Information

Issue of section 19 of Road Safety Act: FOI review

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


Information requested

1. Copies of any correspondence, notes, reports, minutes, or any other documents shared between the Scottish Government and Police Scotland, and the Scottish Government and the Scottish Police Authority, since 1 Jan 2018 that relates to the issue of section 19 of the Road Safety Act 2006.

2. Copies of any correspondence, notes, reports, minutes, or any other documents shared between the Scottish Government and the Department for Freight and Transport (DFT) since 1 Jan 2018 that relates to the issue of section 19 of the Road Safety Act 2006.

Response

You requested an internal review as you consider the exemptions cited in response to your previous FOISA request dated 16 June 2021 were incorrectly applied.

I have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed, with modifications. In reviewing this decision I have reconsidered the exemptions applied and the public interest test. In addition to the original decision of being unable to provide the information you have requested because exemptions under sections s.28(1) (relations with the United Kingdom) and s.30(b)(ii) (free and frank exchange of views) of FOISA applies to that information I have concluded that additional exemptions under sections29(1)(a) (formulation of Scottish Administration Policy), 30(c) (the effective conduct of public affairs) and 36(1) (legal advice) of FOISA applies to that information.

These exemptions are also 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 exemptions.

In requesting this review you asserted that ‘it is in the public interest to ensure the public is aware of the views of its governments when it comes to any debates over the effect of legislation designed to ensure public safety and any “free and frank exchange of views” defence in respect of its application could arguably have been made in respect of such matters during the passage of the legislation through the parliamentary processes and as his request post-dates the legislative process the information should be released’.

In reviewing your request, while is correct to say that the primary legislation has been passed, it is not yet the position that Section 19 has been implemented. The implementation will take place through secondary legislation and the communications and documents identified during the course of the original request relate to the ongoing and sensitive issue of the considerations regarding this implementation. This being the case the decision has been reached that the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemptions.

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

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