Publication - FOI/EIR release

Organisations which responded to the Net Zero Nation consultation: FOI release

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

Published:
19 Jul 2021
Organisations which responded to the Net Zero Nation consultation: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100211611
Date received: 7 Jun 2021
Date responded: 16 Jul 2021
Information requested

The names of the organisations that responded to the Net Zero Nation consultation.

Response

Attached is a copy of most of the information requested. 

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested due to an exemption under section 30(c) of FOISA (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption applies are explained below.

It is essential for officials to be able to communicate, often in confidence, with external stakeholders on a range of issues, including those stakeholders responding to consultations. Disclosing their information, particularly without the consent of the stakeholder, is likely to undermine their trust in the Scottish Government and will substantially inhibit communications on this type of issue in the future. These stakeholders will be reluctant to provide their views if they believe that they are likely to be made public. This would significantly harm the Government’s ability to carry out many aspects of its work, and could adversely affect its ability to gather all of the evidence it needs to make fully informed decisions.

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 communicate with appropriate external stakeholders as part of the process of exploring and refining the Government’s approach to engaging the public on important issues such as climate change. This private space is essential to enable all options to be properly considered, so that good decisions can be taken based on fully informed advice and evidence. Premature disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues between the Scottish Government and these stakeholders, which in turn will undermine the quality of the decision making process, and therefore would not be in the public interest.

About FOI
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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