Information

Various reports files sizes: FOI release

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


Information requested

"Please could you provide me with the exact number of pages and their respective file sizes, when sent as attachments, of the following documentation that is held by the Scottish Government:

  1. The Investigating Officer's (Judith Mackinnon) Report of February 2018.
  2. The Investigating Officer's (Judith Mackinnon) Report of June 2018.
  3. The Investigating Officer's (Judith Mackinnon) Report of July 2018.
  4. The Decision Report of Leslie Evans 'officially' compiled on 21 August 2018.
  5. The Summary Document providing an overview of the investigation process that was sent to John Somers and the First Minister which was referenced in Stuart Gardner's Report.
  6. The Internal Misconduct Investigation Report as referenced in the ICO report.

I would also like to know the exact date the Summary Document was sent to John Somers in 2018 and a copy of that."

 

Response

1) In relation to your first request I can confirm that the Investigating Officer's (Judith  Mackinnon) Report of February 2018 consists of 27 pages and, in word document format, has a file size of 131 KB.

2)  In releation to your second request, while our aim is to provide information wherever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that we do not hold the information you have reuqested. There was no a  report in June 2018.

3) In relation to your third request I can confirm that the investigating Officer's (Judith Mackinnon) Report of July 2018 consists  of 212 pages (including annexes) and, in word document format barring one annex which is in pdf format, has a file size of 625 KB. The pdf annex (8 pages) has a file size of 2017KB.

4) In relation to your fourth request I can confirm that the Decision Report of Leslie Evans 'officially' compiled on 21 August 2018 consists of 31 pages and, in pdf format, has a file size of 606.9KB.

5) In relation to your fifth request, I can confirm that the Summary Document, which incorporates a copy of the SG Procedure on the Handling of Harassment Complaints involving current or former ministers, runs to 10 pages and, in pdf format, a file size of 299 KB. Some of the information you request is available at SP SGHHC4 MC1_-_Note from First Minister to the Permanent Secretary_of 6 June 2018.pdf (parliament.scot) . Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

6) In relation to your sixth request, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. The information you request is available at: Correspondence relating to internal investigation of unauthorised disclosure of information: FOi release -gov.scot (www.gov.scot). The document at Annex A of this FOi release is the document described as "Internal Misconduct Investigation Report." If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy."

In relation to the final part of your request, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the information you have requested because an exemption under section 36(1) of FOISA (confidentiality in legal proceedings) of FOISA applies to that information.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test.' Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered 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 some public interest in release as part of open and transparent government, and to inform public debate. However, this is outweighed by the strong public interest in maintaining the right to confidentiality of communications between legal advisers and clients, to ensure that Ministers and officials are able to receive legal advice in confidence, like any other public or private organisation.

There is a very strong public interest in maintaining confidentiality of communications between legal adviser and client on administration of justice grounds. It is clearly in the public interest for lawyers to be able to provide free and frank legal advice to their clients, considering and discussing all issues and options, without fear that the advice might be disclosed and potentially taken out of context. It is also in the public interest that decisions are taken by the Government in a fully informed legal context. Ministers and officials therefore need high-quality, comprehensive legal advice for the effective conduct of their business. That advice needs to be given in context, and with a full appreciation of relevant facts. Without such legal advice, which can only be provided frankly and comprehensively in the knowledge that it will be kept in confidence, the quality of the Government's  decision-making would be much reduced since it would not be fully informed. 

About FOI

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.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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