Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) equality practices agreement: FOI release

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

Information requested

The EHRC has today announced that the SQA has signed an agreement to improve its equality practices.

Under FOISA, please release any material held by the Scottish Government (specifically ministers, the learning directorate, special advisers and media/press office staff) regarding this agreement and the SQA’s signing of it. This would include material such as communications, briefing papers, records and minutes of meetings, personal notes etc.

The time frame for this request is 1 Jan 2021 – present.


I apologise for the delay responding to your request. This was due to a high workload, including a high volume of FOISA requests, within the area.

I attach a copy of the information you requested. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because of exemptions under 30(b)(i), and 38(1)(b) of FOISA.

Exemptions under section 30(b)(i) of FOISA (free and frank provision of advice) apply to some of the information requested. These exemptions apply because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of advice. This exemption recognises the need for Ministers and officials to have a private space within which to seek advice and discuss options before reaching a settled public view. When applying the public interest test we noted that while information is in the public interest as public bodies must show they are meeting the needs of all Scotland’s people and their legal obligations, disclosing the content of advice, particularly when decisions have not been taken, and/or if those discussions relate to sensitive or controversial issues, will substantially inhibit the free and frank provision of advice in the future.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. names and contact details, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. 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.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI - 202100244075 - Information Released - Annex A


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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