Publication - FOI/EIR release

Official meeting with Build to Rent 16 January 2018: FOI review

Published: 26 May 2021

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

Published:
26 May 2021
Official meeting with Build to Rent 16 January 2018: FOI review
FOI reference: FOI/202100189869 review of 202100167558
Date received: 7 Apr 2021
Date responded: 4 May 2021
Information requested

Then Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution, Derek McKay, Build to Rent Dinner (‘To encourage build to rent’), 16 January 2018. Details being sought include:

1. Pre meeting briefing(s)

2. Agenda

3. Copy of any speech delivered

4. List of all attendees

5. Minutes or notes from any meeting

6. Action points from any meeting

7. Venue, cost of, and details of who paid for any dinner

Response

I have been asked to look at your request afresh, to decide whether the original response should be confirmed, with or without modifications, as appropriate, or that a fresh decision should be substituted. I can confirm that I was not involved in the handling or decision-making around the original response.

In conducting my review I have re-examined the information held on our electronic information management systems and having done so, I have identified some information falling within the scope of your request. I have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed, with modifications.

I have included information, in part, some of the information that you originally requested. A small amount of information has been redacted from the documents disclosed because an exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to that information. This is because it is personal data of a third party, 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.

4. Attached is a list of attendees as requested. You will note from the attendee list that two SG officials did attend the meeting, separate to the Cabinet Secretary, to represent their respective policy areas in housing and planning.

6. Attached is  one email which details a follow up discussion, noting action points relevant to that discussion from the meeting.

7. Attached is an email which confirms the venue at which the dinner took place.

However, I have also concluded that we were entitled to respond to parts 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 (cost of, and details of who paid for any dinner) of your request under section 17(1) (information not held) of FOISA. As noted above, I have re-examined the information held on our electronic information management systems and having done so, I am satisfied that the Scottish Government does not hold: (1) pre meeting briefing(s), (2) agenda, (3) copy of any speech delivered, (5) minutes or notes from any meeting or (7) cost of, and details of who paid for any dinner. The reason for this, as I understand from my review, is the event was led by the Scottish Futures Trust who liaised directly with the then Cabinet Secretary.

On the basis of the above, there is no indication that SG officials provided official support to the Cabinet Secretary for this meeting. This would consequently preclude SG officials attending a pre meeting briefing, involvement with the development of a speech and taking minutes or notes from the meeting.

You may however wish to contact Scottish Futures Trust at foi@scottishfuturestrust.org.uk who may be able to help you.

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG