This response deals with the aspect of your review request email, for FOI 20210024071, in which you refined your request and asked for “a list of the parties or persons invited to contribute to the terms of reference for the covid-19 inquiry and copies of correspondence sent to any person or group concerning this, specifically those representing families of deceased in any context".
The other points of your review will be addressed in FOI Internal Review 202200270020.
I attach a copy of most of the information you requested in the format you asked for, except for some personal data of third parties as discussed below.
On 24 August 2021, Scottish Ministers announced that an independent Scottish public inquiry would be established to consider Scotland’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. An Aims and Principles paper for the inquiry was published that day. A wide range of views were sought on this Aims and Principles paper which would help in shaping the design of the inquiry, including about terms of reference. However, it should be noted, the Scottish Government was still in the early stages of developing the terms of reference for the Scottish COVID-19 public inquiry, and did not seek input from third parties specifically on the wording of it.
Scottish Government directorates were asked to write directly to external stakeholders, where appropriate, highlighting the opportunity to give feedback on the Aims and Principles paper. We also highlighted this to known stakeholders via email and by press and social media work flagging up the opportunity to feed in views. Meetings were also offered to some stakeholders.
Bereaved family representatives were initially identified by Covid Inquiry Establishment Division by examining correspondence received by the Scottish Government and recent media activity. Groups falling into this category included COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Scotland, Care Home Relatives Scotland (including its Lost Loved Ones group) and PBW Law. During the course of engagement on Aims and Principles, a further bereaved family representative – KM Law – was identified because a written response to the call for views was received from them. The emails that went out to these groups are attached, to the extent they are not otherwise accessible to you.
Three bereaved family representative groups were invited to consider draft scope clauses of terms of reference on a confidential basis in December 2021. The email invitations that went out to these groups (apart from the one sent to PBW Law which is already accessible to you) are attached.
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 of individuals, and disclosing 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 has been applied where necessary throughout the response. 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.
An exemption under section 25(1) of FOISA (information otherwise accessible) applies to some of the information requested because some items of correspondence which fall within the scope of your request have already been sent to PBW Law during the engagement process, including through FOI request 202100247071. 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 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.
- File type
- 6 page PDF
- File size
- 324.2 kB
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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