Police Negotiation Board: FOI release

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

Information requested

Information on the Police Negotiation Board (PNB).

Can you advise on then the last 2 meeting occurred and who was in attendance representing each of the following:

  • Scottish Government Minsters
  • Scottish Police Authority
  • Police Scotland

I want a breakdown for each meeting.
Particularly I am looking for those involved in the recent offer to the police with regards to pay.
Who from the above was present and who was present at the previous meeting?
Can you also advise on whether the documents from the meeting are available.


The information you have requested has been provided in Annex A: The last two Police Negotiating Board (PNB) meetings were held on 16 February and 13 May 2022. I have included copies of the minutes for both of these meetings however, it should be noted that the PNB meeting from May is a draft version as this will not be approved until the next PNB meeting which is yet to be held.

You will find from these minutes, the list of attendees as represented by the ‘Scottish Government Ministers, The Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland’ as requested. All of these attendees were involved in the current police pay offer as part of the PNB.

Whilst our aim is to provide all the information you have requested, some exemptions apply to that information you have asked for. In this instance, an exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to the list of attendees you have requested because it is personal data of a third party, 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.

A further exemption that applies to the information you have requested due to the nature of that information included in these minutes. In this instance, section 30 (b) (ii) substantial inhibition of free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation applies to that information because 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. Disclosing the content of such advice/discussions will substantially inhibit the free and frank provision of advice and/or exchange of views in the future, particularly while discussions are ongoing and decisions have not been taken, and/or if those discussions relate to sensitive or controversial issues.

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 because disclosure of the information requested would enhance public scrutiny of our decision-making or policymaking processes, and therefore our transparency and accountability. However, this is outweighed to apply the exemption as it is essential for Scottish Government officials to be able to hold discussions with external stakeholders on a range of issues it is responsible for. Disclosing information about such meetings, particularly without the consent of the stakeholder, is likely to undermine their trust in Government and make them reluctant to participate in future, or to provide their views fully and frankly. This would significantly harm the Scottish Government’s ability to carry out many aspects of its work, and could adversely affect its ability to gather all of the evidence needed to make fully informed policies/decisions.

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.

FOI 202200305392 - Information released - Annex A


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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