First Minister meeting with The Hunter Foundation May 2017: FOI review

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

Information requested

Your request, reference 202100175036
Please can you provide details of the following meeting?

Nicola Sturgeon meeting and dinner The Hunter Foundation on the 26th May 2017

Details being sought include

  • Pre meeting briefing(s)
  • Any agenda
  • Attendees at meeting and minutes or notes from meeting
  • List of attendees at dinner, venue details, and cost of dinner

Your review request, reference 202100235298 
This has still not been responded to yet. Can you please review why it has not been responded to?


Further to my letter of 2 September 2021, I have now completed my review of our failure to respond to your requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for details of:

- Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney meeting and dinner with The Hunter Foundation on the 26th May 2017, including, pre meeting briefing(s); any agenda; attendees at meeting and minutes or notes from meeting; list of attendees at dinner, venue details, and cost of dinner.

In accordance with section 21(4) of FOISA, I have also reached a decision on your request. Please accept our apologies for failing to respond to your original requests - this was due to an administrative oversight. I can now provide our response to your original request.

Some of the information you have requested on the May 2017 event is available from the Scottish Government website at Hunter Charity Foundation event costs and attendance: FOI release - ( and FM attendance at the Hunter Charity Foundation event: FOI release - ( As you'll see from the information within this these earlier, the First Minister and Deputy First Minister attended the Hunter Foundation dinner on 26 May 2017 as guests of Sir Tom Hunter. As
such, there were no costs associated with the First Minister’s or Deputy First Minister’s attendance. The Scottish Government did, however, pay £7.65 to cover the costs of one officials travel. An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to the name of that official who attended because the official is a non-SCS staff member as disclosure would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. 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.

The dinner was held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre and the agenda for the event is set out below:
17:30 VIP arrival, Security clearance, Drinks reception
18:35 First call to dinner
18:50 Final call to dinner
19:00 All guests seated (No access can be granted to the room after 7pm until after the main address)
19:10 Welcome, Sir Tom Hunter, the Hunter Foundation
19:15 The Honorable Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States
20:15 Dinner served
22:05 After dinner entertainment – Annie Lennox, Kevin Bridges, Texas
Main auction will be held after Kevin Bridges
Bars open
01:00 Close and carriages

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. The Scottish Government does not hold information on the costs of the dinner because it was not hosted by the Scottish Government, nor for the same reason does it hold a full list of attendees. We also do not hold any minutes or notes from the dinner, nor any pre-briefing material. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

You may be aware that the media covered the dinner and more information which may be of interest to you can be found at Obama avoids crowds outside Edinburgh charity dinner - BBC News.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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