Publication - FOI/EIR release

Freedom of Information request submitted by former Times journalist: FOI release

Published: 10 Jun 2021

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

Published:
10 Jun 2021
Freedom of Information request submitted by former Times journalist: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100202372
Date received: 14 May 2021
Date responded: 4 Jun 2021
Information requested

Regarding the particular Times journalist, the one who no longer works as a journalist, can you please send me any other fois made by that person from late 2017 to the time when the journalist left journalism. Can you send me any correspondence between him or her and the SG in that period. This was implied in my foi, as I think I asked you for everything I could find out.

Can you please also send me the precise text of the foi on 18 June along with everything apart from the journalist's name. For example, I have not yet had the precise minute when he or she emailed you etc. This really was part of my request, even if not explicitly stated.

Response

Attached is a copy of most of the information requested.

I have interpreted your request for "late 2017" as starting at 31 October, as you have expressed an interest in that date before. However, I have searched for FOI requests from 1 September 2017 to ensure proper coverage.

I have also searched our Electronic Records & Document Management system for any correspondence from the journalist. I have identified a small number of general queries from the journalist, but we have no record of communications in response, as these are transitory in nature and have not been retained.

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) of FOISA applies to any that is the personal information of a third party and so is subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. This exception 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 exception. 

You also noted in reference to [redacted] review of 202100171874
Regarding the public interest. I believe that the police are acting in the public interest and so is the ICO in seeking to know who (in the SG, say) leaked the information about the allegations against Salmond. You recall that these allegations were not proven in a criminal court and that
Salmond alleged a conspiracy, actually naming people in the SG as plotting against him. I want to get to the truth of that matter.

This is not a request for information, so I would simply note that [redacted] applied section 38(1)(b) only to the name of the former journalist who made request FOI/18/02575. As you are aware, the response to this request did not release any information relating to complaints about the conduct of Mr Salmond and in any event, had it done so, complying with FOISA in response to a valid FOI request would not have constituted a 'leak'.

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
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