Publication - FOI/EIR release

Reviews of the Tenant Hardship Loan Fund: FOI release

Published: 7 Oct 2021

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

Published:
7 Oct 2021
Reviews of the Tenant Hardship Loan Fund: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100231937
Date received: 17 Aug 2021
Date responded: 14 Sep 2021
Information requested

Please provide me with the documentation referred to in the response to 202100224578 relating to the regular reviews of the Tenant Hardship Loan Fund, including management information reports and review documents.

Response

Policy officials within the Scottish Government review the Tenant Hardship Loan Fund on an ongoing basis, using information principally gathered within the Coronavirus Acts – Reports to the Scottish Parliament, and a variety of other sources, including any Covid area levels in operation, the continuing of other support mechanisms, along with statistics from the tenant loan scheme. There are no formal review documents to share.

The Coronavirus Acts – reports to the Scottish Parliament can be found on the Scottish Parliament website, the latest report is here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-acts-eighth-report-scottish-parliament/

Management Information, or statistics, from the Tenant Hardship Loan Fund are provided by our administrators on an ongoing basis. For the purpose of fulfilling this request we have attached statistics from January 2021, one month after the scheme opened, from April 2021, just after the scheme was continued, and from August as an indicator of the continuing demand for the scheme. Please note, there are changes to the statistics formats during this period. Commercially sensitive information around the credit scoring of applicants, has been withheld under Exemptions in Section 33 (1)(a).

This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of Energy Saving Trust (EST). Each lender has its own credit scoring system which is kept confidential and not shared with other lenders.

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 withholding the information. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial interests of companies which enter into, Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are in a position to provide loan support where this is required.

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