Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands briefing used for portfolio questions: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

Information requested

Your request, reference 202100235877
Please share the briefing notes of the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands for the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs and Islands Portfolio Questions on 2 September 2021?

Your review request, reference 202100245106

I can confirm that I am unhappy with the response to the EIR request, which is attached. I believe that on balance the public interest lies in disclosing the information.

Therefore, I would be very grateful if you could carry out an internal review of the response.


I have been asked to look at your request afresh, to decide whether the original response should be confirmed, with or without modifications, as appropriate, or that a fresh decision should be substituted. I can confirm that I was not involved in the handling or decision-making around the original response.

I have concluded that a different decision should be substituted. I apologise for the delay in providing this response.

I have conducted a comprehensive review of the information previously withheld under regulation 10(4) (e) (internal communications). I am satisfied that all of the information withheld would fall within the definition of internal communications set out in the EIRs. However, I am not satisfied that there is a greater public interest in withholding the information that there is in disclosing the information in all circumstances.

I therefore attached a copy of most of the information requested.

I have determined that in relation to a small amount of the information previously withheld, the public interest in disclosure would not outweigh the public interest in withholding the information for the reasons set out in our initial response. Where this is the case this information has been marked as [redacted].

In addition a small amount of information has been redacted under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. names/contact details of individuals, 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 exception 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. Where this is the case this information has been marked as [redacted – regulation 11(2)]

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

FOI202100245106 - Information released


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top