Information regarding “gender identity” question in Scottish Household survey: FOI release

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

Information requested

A) Information you hold regarding the development of and correspondence and meeting minutes relating to the question on “gender identity” in the Scottish Household survey, including any communications and meeting minutes with the Office for Statistical Regulation.

B) Information you hold regarding a child friendly definition of “gender identity”.


A) I attach a copy of some of the information you requested (Annexes A-E). Some of the information you have requested is available from the Scottish Government and Office of the Statistics Regulator websites.

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.

Published documents relating to the 2017 consultation on the content of the SHS 2018-21 questionnaire are available via the following links:

SHS 2018-2021 Questionnaire Review - Report
SHS 2018-2021 Questionnaire Review - Annex 2A - Full external responses
SHS 2018-2021 Questionnaire Review - Annex 3A - Full Lead Analysts Internal Responses
SHS 2018-2021 Questionnaire Review - Annex 6 - Detailed summary of changes

Correspondence between Roger Halliday (Scottish Government Chief Statistician) and Ed Humpherson (Director General for Regulation, Office for Statistics Regulation) in relation to a compliance check of the Scottish Household Survey, focused on the collecting and reporting of data about gender identity, is available at:

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) 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.

B) The Scottish Government does not have an official definition of “gender identity”. It gives the term its ordinary meaning.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI - 202100209858 - Information Released - Annex A to E


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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