"The detailed minutes of the First Minister Humza Yousaf’s meeting with Tesco CEO Ken Murphy on the 25th April".
Upon receiving your request it was noticed that the published records of Ministerial engagements, travel and gifts: April 2023 contained an error with regards the First Minister's meeting with Tesco CEO on 25 April. The First Minister's meeting on this date was with Jason Tarry, CEO for UK and ROI - not Ken Murphy as in your request. The published data on Scottish Government's website has been updated to reflect this and the response to your request is therefore based on the meeting between the First Minister and Jason Tarry and the related record.
In response to your request, a partial release of the record of that meeting is in the attached annex.
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 the following sections of FOISA applies to that information: sections 29(1)(a), formulation of government policy; 30(b), free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views; 33(1)(b), substantial prejudice to commercial interests; and 38(1)(b), third party personal data.
Section 38(1)(b) 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.
All other exemptions applied in this case are subject to the 'public interest test'. 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 exemptions.
Section 29(1)(a) applies to some of the information requested which relates to the formulation and development of the Scottish Government's policy on the deposit return scheme. This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test' and 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, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in high quality policy and decision-making, and in the properly considered implementation and development of policies and decisions. This means that Ministers and officials need to be able to consider all available options and to debate those rigorously, to fully understand their possible implications. Their candour in doing so will be affected by their assessment of whether the discussions will be disclosed in the near future, when it may undermine or constrain the Government’s view on that policy while it is still under discussion and development.
Section 30(b)(i) and (ii), apply to some of the information requested. These exemptions apply because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views and advice for the purposes of deliberation. These exemptions recognise the need for Ministers and officials to have a private space within which to provide free and frank advice and to discuss and explore options before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’ and we have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemptions. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in allowing Ministers and officials a private space within which to explore and refine the Government’s position on policies until the Government as a whole can adopt a policy approach or decision that is sound and likely to be effective. This private thinking space is essential to enable all options to be properly considered, so that good decisions can be taken. Premature disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues between Ministers and officials,
which in turn will undermine the quality of the policy/decision making process, which would not be in the public interest
Section 33(1)(b) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of Tesco. This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’ and 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. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial interests of companies which operate in a competitive environment and in ensuring that company engagement with Ministers and subsequent disclosure of information discussed is not prejudicial to their commercial interests.
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
- 2 page PDF
- File size
- 84.1 kB
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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