Briefings given from Civil Servants to Ministers on increasing the Scottish Child Payment to £20 per week from 1 January 2021 to 25 March 2021 and separately from 7 May 2021 to the date of your request.
Attached is a copy of some of the information requested.
Some of the information you have requested is enclosed with this letter, however, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, on this occasion we are unable to provide some of the information you requested as exemptions under the following sections of FOISA apply to that information:
- s.29(1)(a) (formulation or development of Scottish Government policy)
- s.38(1)(b) (personal information).
An exemption under section s.29(1)(a) of FOISA (formulation or development of government policy) applies to some of the information requested because it relates to the development of the Scottish Government’s policy on the Scottish Child Payment. This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’.
Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered carefully 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 a public interest in disclosing information regarding the Scottish Child Payment as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in high quality policy and decision-making, and in the properly considered implementation and development of policies and decisions. This means that Ministers and officials need to be able to consider all available options and to debate those rigorously, to fully understand their possible implications. Their candour in doing so will be affected by their assessment of whether the discussions on the development of the Scottish Child Payment will be disclosed in the near future, when it may undermine or constrain the Government’s view on that policy while it is still under discussion and development.
An exemption under section s.38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. The personal information, including names and contact details of officials is their own personal information, and is therefore exempt under FOISA. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, thus, we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.
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.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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