Publication - FOI/EIR release

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) in slaughterhouses: EIR release

Published: 26 Jul 2021

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

Published:
26 Jul 2021
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) in slaughterhouses: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202100208232
Date received: 1 Jun 2021
Date responded: 22 Jul 2021
Information requested

A copy of all Scottish Government internal communications containing mention of the subject of closed-circuit television in slaughterhouses from 1/1/19 to 31/12/21.

As the closing date cited in your request parameters has not been reached, the closing date for your request has been taken to be the date on which your request was received. Consequently your request has been amended to "a copy of all Scottish Government internal communications containing mention of the subject of closed-circuit television in slaughterhouses from 1/1/19 to 1/6/21 inclusive".

Response

As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRS), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at regulation 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

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, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

I attach a copy of some of the information you requested.

Some of the information you have requested is already publicly available to you. You may also wish to be aware of the resources on these following websites:

www.legislation.gov.uk

The Mandatory Use of Closed Circuit Television in Slaughterhouses (Scotland) Regulations 2020
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2020/384/contents/made

The Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment for The Mandatory Use of Closed Circuit Television in Slaughterhouses (Scotland) Regulations 2020
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2020/384/pdfs/ssifia_20200384_en.pdf

The Policy Note for The Mandatory Use of Closed Circuit Television in Slaughterhouses (Scotland) Regulations 2020
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2020/384/pdfs/ssipn_20200384_en.pdf

The Scottish Parliament Website

Official Report of the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee meeting of 28 October 2020
https://archive2021.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=12908

The Scottish Government Website

Animal Slaughter: Guidance on the Use of Mandatory CCTV
https://www.gov.scot/publications/animal-slaughter-guidance-on-the-use-of-mandatory-cctv/

Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format. 

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 exemptions under regulations 11(2) (personal data of third party) and 10(4)(e) (internal communications) of EIRS apply to that information. The
reasons why those exemptions apply are explained below.

Regulation 11(2)
An exemption(s) under regulation 11(2) of EIRS applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption applies because the information is personal data of a third person and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles of the United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation and in regulation 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test' where it relates to the names of public authority employees. 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.

Regulation 10(4)(e)
An exemption(s) under regulation 10(4)(e) of EIRS applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption applies where the disclosure of information would, or would be likely to, cause substantial harm or inhibition in the provision of advice to Ministers.

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 some public interest in release as part of open and transparent government. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in maintaining working relations between the Scottish Ministers and their officials in allowing a private space in which officials can provide free and frank advice and views to brief Ministers on policy options and/or for appearances in the Scottish Parliament.

It is clearly in the public interest that Ministers can properly provide sound information to Parliament (to which they are accountable), and robustly defend the Government’s policies and decisions. They need full and candid advice from officials to enable them to do so. 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.

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