Information

Nicola Sturgeon St Andrews trip: FOI release

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


Information requested

All the correspondence and any other messages - email, letter, WhatsApp, text and any other form of communication - between the Scottish Government, including the First Minister's office (including civil servants and special advisers) and The PGA Tour/European Tour/The Open or any other company or agency involved about the First Minister's visit to the Open Championship in St Andrews on Friday July 15.

Response

I attach a copy of most 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 exemptions under sections 33(2)(b) (financial interests) and 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA apply to that information.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie names and 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 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 33(2)(b) of FOISA (financial interests) applies to a small amount of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the financial interests of the Scottish Government. Disclosing information about a live commercial discussion the drivers behind it would substantially prejudice our ability to obtain value for money while negotiations are ongoing.

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 a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the financial interests of the Scottish Government, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

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 202200311419 - Information released

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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