Whatsapp messages - relevant to COVID inquiry: FOI release

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

Information requested

  1. Has the Scottish Government done any work to identify and catalogue retained messages which might be relevant to the Covid inquiry?
  2. If such work has been done, can the quantity of messages which might be relevant to the Covid inquiry be disclosed?
  3. If such work has not been done, does the Scottish Government plan to do the work necessary to identify and catalogue messages potentially relevant to the Covid inquiry?


In response to your first question, in preparation for the Scottish and UK Covid-19 inquiries the Scottish Government has ensured all staff are aware of their legal obligations to make certain all information and records are appropriately retained in line with the Scottish Government records management policy. This policy states that information and records should be retained as long as they are required to support the Scottish Government in its business requirements and legal obligations.

In response to your second and third questions, the Scottish Government is co-operating fully with the Scottish and UK Covid-19 inquiries and support them in their work to explore the handling of the pandemic and to identify the vital lessons we all need to learn.

The Scottish Government has received a number of requests from the UK Inquiry under Rule 9 of the Inquiry Rules Act 2006, and have been asked not to disclose the evidence that has been requested.

As a result, and in keeping with our obligations to the inquires, we are notifying you of a refusal of your request under section 18(1) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. We consider that to reveal whether the information exists, or is held by the Scottish Government, would be contrary to the public interest.

This notice advises you that if the information existed, and was held by the Scottish Government, that it would be exempt from release under any of sections 28 to 35, 38, 39(1) or 41 of FOISA.

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.


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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