Publication - FOI/EIR release

Local Serving Rates: FOI review

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

Published:
21 Oct 2021
Local Serving Rates: FOI review
FOI reference: FOI/202100225803 review of 202100216757
Date received: 26 Jul 2021
Date responded: 23 Sep 2021
Information requested

1) We need urgently to address what we consider to be a failure to meet the duty of candour attendant on this matter. By way of example only, in response to our request for “all information concerning the Rates List, including that which concerns… correspondence, telephone attendance notes, documents, charts and/or meetings reports and minutes concerning the Rates List created by or shared between those bodies [involved in decision-making around the rates] and/or with Scottish Government”, you appear to have failed to disclose any correspondence with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, despite having, as your letter says, “worked extensively” with COSLA officials.

2) Nor do you appear to have disclosed any correspondence with the National Milk Reimbursement Unit, despite it being apparent from your response of 23 July 2021 to our pre-action letter of 2 July 2021 that “[o]fficials also assessed claims from the Scottish dairy sector to the UK NMS, which provided historical data on the value of claims from different types of childcare setting”. This is not a fulfilment of our request or of your duties under FOISA. As you know, the documents we requested under FOISA were also requested in our preaction letter of 2 July 2021.

3) We do not consider that you have fulfilled your duty of candour, given the number of assertions made in your response to our pre-action letter for which you have provided no documentary evidence and in relation to which a request for disclosure was made. It is for instance, striking that there is no proper explanation of how the average rate is reached or how local authority specific weighting was applied, absent which it is still impossible for our client to understand how the LSRs were reached. In relation to FOISA, it cannot be that the final position reached on how the figures were reached is subject to any exemption as to internal deliberation, nor can this properly be subject to legal professional privilege.

Response

Further to my letter of 23 August 2021, I have now completed my review of our response to your request for all information concerning the Rates List. I have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed, with modifications.

I am satisfied that appropriate and sufficient searches were carried out by the case handler to identify information within the scope of FOI request 202100216757. I have reviewed the content released and have included in the Annex all the information which I consider should have been provided with the original request. This includes some records of our engagement with COSLA and some information about how Local Serving Rates were calculated.

I have considered the exemptions applied under section 30 (b)(i), 30(b)(ii), 36(1) and 38(1)(b) of FOISA to all of the other information relevant to your request and consider that these exemptions have been appropriately applied. These exemptions were not applied to any information relating to the matter of how the average rate is reached or how local authority specific weighting was applied.

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.

FOI202100225803 - Annex 1

62 page PDF
2.7 MB

FOI202100225803 - Annex 1.1

43 page PDF
2.9 MB

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