Publication - FOI/EIR release

Information relating to Minister for Trade, Innovation and Public Finance: FOI release

Published: 20 Apr 2021

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
20 Apr 2021
Information relating to Minister for Trade, Innovation and Public Finance: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100151660
Date received: 5 Feb 2021
Date responded: 5 Mar 2021
Information requested

1. From 1 March and 30 September 2020, all email correspondence between Ivan McKee and the following:

  • Life Sciences Scotland
  • Professor Anna Dominic

2. From 1 March and 30 September 2020, all agendas, minutes and any additional papers circulated relating to meetings (virtual or face-to-face) held between Ivan McKee and the following:

  • Life Sciences Scotland
  • Bio Quarter
  • Amazon
Response

I can confirm that we have documents that we consider to be in scope of your request relating to ‘Life Sciences Scotland’ and ‘Bio Quarter’.

Please find the documents listed in ANNEX B. As some of the documents that were circulated at the meetings are now published online, I have provided the links to these below:

https://www.abpi.org.uk/publications/life-sciences-recovery-roadmap/#a2110591

https://www.gov.scot/publications/report-enterprise-skills-strategic-board-sub-groupmeasures-mitigate-labour-market-impacts-covid-19/

You will note that certain information has been redacted and I can confirm that this has been done under multiple sections of FOISA. (Further information regarding both sections can be found in Annex A).

The Scottish Government does not hold the information you have asked for relating to ‘Professor Anna Dominiczak’ and ‘Amazon’. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested

ANNEX A

REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
Section 38(1)(b) – Personal data

This exemption applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. names and contact details, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

Section 36(2) – Actionable breach of confidence

An exemption under section 36(2) of FOISA (actionable breach of confidence) applies to some the information requested because disclosure would constitute an actionable breach of confidence. This is because the information is confidential, was provided in circumstances which imposed an obligation on the Scottish Government to maintain that confidentiality, and unauthorised disclosure would be to the detriment of the organisation who provided the information. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

Section 30(b)(i) - Free and frank provision of advice or exchange of views

Exemptions under section 30(b)(i) of FOISA (free and frank advice and exchange of views) apply to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. The exemption recognises the need for Ministers to have a private space within which to seek advice and views from officials before reaching the settled public position. Disclosing the content of free and frank briefing material will substantially inhibit such briefing in the future, particularly because discussions on the issue are still ongoing and final decisions have not been taken, and these discussions relate to a sensitive or controversial issue.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemptions. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in allowing a private space within which officials can provide free and frank advice and views to Ministers. Premature disclosure of this type of information could lead to a reduction in the comprehensiveness and frankness of such advice and views in the future, which would not be in the public interest.

Section 25(1) - Information otherwise accessible

Some of the information you have requested is available online. We have included the links to these documents in our response above. Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. 

ANNEX B

LIST OF DOCUMENTS SUPPLIED

All documents listed below are attached in the response: 

  • Life Sciences Scotland – Ministerial Letter – 17.04.2020
  • LSSILG – DT letter to Ivan McKee – 22 April 2020
  • Life Sciences Scotland – Letter from Ivan McKee to DT – 5 August 2020
  • Life Sciences Scotland – Note of meeting – 8 April 2020
  • ILG – Note of meeting and actions – 21 May 2020
  • ATMP Strategy Background Story – 21.05.2020
  • Life Sciences Scotland – Testing Oversight Group – 21.05.2020
  • LS Sector Covid Summary – 21 May 2020
  • Mark Cook Governance Chair – 21 May 2020
  • LSS ILG – Note of Meeting – 17 June 2020
  • LSSILG Medtech Update – 17.06.2020
  • ATMP Summary – 17 June 2020
  • SIP Progress Brief – ILG 15.06.2020
  • Life Sciences Scotland – Strategy – 17 June 2020
  • Life Sciences Scotland – Note of meeting – 15 July 2020
  • LSS ILG – Digital Health and Care Transformation – 15 July 2020
  • LSSILG – DRAFT Recovery Roadmap – 15.07.2020
  • LSSILG Generics Onshoring – 15/07/2020
  • SKILL SIP Progress Brief – 14.07.2020
  • LSS – ILG – Internationalisation – 11.08.2020
  • Life Sciences Scotland – Note of meeting and actions – 19 August 2020
  • LSS ILG – Governance Update – 19.08.2020
  • LSS ILG – MarComms Update – 19.08.2020
  • Life Sciences Scotland – Note of meeting – 16 August 2020
  • LSS ILG – Skills Update – 16.09.2020
  • LSS ILG – Connectivity – 16.09.2020
  • LSS ILG – Governance Update – 16.09.2020
  • LSS ILG – ATMP Update – 16.09.2020
  • Ministerial Visit Programme – 4 March 2020

 

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