- 2 Jun 2021
Date received: 5 Apr 2021
Date responded: 14 May 2021
Please provide all Scottish Government correspondence (internal or external) related to Derek Mackay MSP for the one-month period from Monday, February 3, 2020 to Tuesday, March 3, 2020.
This would include correspondence involving ministers, MSPs and civil servants.
See Annex A for the information related to your request.
Please note, the searches conducted for this FOI request were restricted to the areas where the information was most likely to be held (all Ministerial Private offices, Special Advisers office and relevant Directors and Director Generals). There are over 6000 officials in the Scottish Government, searching all these communications would have breached the cost limit set by FOISA.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption under section 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information.
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (third party personal data) applies to some of the information requested because it is third party personal information and so it is subject to the General Data Protection Regulation and 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.
In addition, an exemption under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank exchange of views) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. This exemption recognises the need for Ministers and officials to have a private space within which to discuss and explore options before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view.
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 exemption. 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 Ministers and officials a private space within which to explore and refine their position on a particular topic.
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.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House