Publication - FOI/EIR release

Local Serving Rates: FOI release

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

Published:
26 Jul 2021
Local Serving Rates: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100216757
Date received: 23 Jun 2021
Date responded: 21 Jul 2021
Information requested

Please provide all information concerning the Rates List, including that which concerns:

(1) which bodies were involved in decision-making around the rates listed in the Rates List;

(2) correspondence, telephone attendance notes, documents, charts and/or meetings reports and minutes concerning the Rates List created by or shared between those bodies identified in (1) above and/or with Scottish Government; and

(3) any analysis undertaken or seen by Scottish Government in respect of the Rates List, including but not limited to:

a. how the rates for each local authority were calculated, the factors considered and then decided upon;
b. economic, market and other figures used to determine (recommend) the appropriate rates; and
c. any analysis as to and further to the power under which the Rates List was decided.

Response

1) which bodies were involved in decision-making around the rates listed in the Rates List;

In preparing and finalising the Local Serving Rates (LSR) listed in the Rates List for Year 1, the Scottish Government worked extensively with officials in COSLA with input from the local authority catering representative organisation – ASSIST.This engagement enabled us to identify the Local Serving Rates to enable settings to purchase milk and health snacks sustainably and at a fair price. This process also utilised a variety of data sources including data from Scotland Excel (Scotland’s local authority procurement body) on the local variations in milk supply contracts currently in place across all 32 local authorities.

(2) correspondence, telephone attendance notes, documents, charts and/or meetings reports and minutes concerning the Rates List created by or shared between those bodies identified in (1) above and/or with Scottish Government; and

(3) any analysis undertaken or seen by Scottish Government in respect of the Rates List, including but not limited to:
a. how the rates for each local authority were calculated, the factors considered and then decided upon;
b. economic, market and other figures used to determine (recommend) the appropriate rates; and
c. any analysis as to and further to the power under which the Rates List was decided.

I attach copies of most of the information you requested. Certain exemptions apply to a small amount of the information you requested. Reasons for not providing information are set out below:

An exemption applies
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data.

Where this applies (eg names/contact details of individuals) those details have been redacted because disclosing them 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.

An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test
An exemption under sections 30(b)(i) and 30(b)(ii) (free and frank provision of advice, and free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.

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.

These exemptions apply because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. The exemptions recognise the need for Officials to have a private space within which to discuss views before reaching the settled position.

We consider that any public interest in release is outweighed by the public interest in enabling Government Ministers to be provided with full and candid advice from officials to enable them to consider their decisions. 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.

An exemption under section 36(1) of FOISA (confidentiality of communications) applies to some of the information requested because it is legal advice and disclosure would breach legal professional privilege. 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, and to inform public debate. However, this is outweighed by the strong public interest in maintaining the right to confidentiality of communications about legal advice. In addition, some information has been redacted because it does not fall within the scope of your request.

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