An unredacted version of the information previously released in response to FOI 202300367955.
Please note that your request was initially triaged under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), however it should have been triaged under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs). I would like to apologise for this oversight.
As the info rmation you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
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, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two
different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
As a consequence of this, and in handling this information request, all of the information which was withheld or redacted in the original response has been reassessed under the EIRs. In particular, consideration has been given to the redactions which were made in relation to sections 29, 30 and 38 of FOISA. Equivalent regulations within the EIRs (e.g. regulation 10(4)(e) – internal communications and regulation 11(2) – personal information) have been considered.
All previously redacted information has been considered on a line-by-line basis. Responding to this request has been done so with a presumption in favour of the release of information, with the use of exceptions in a restrictive manner and where necessary giving consideration to the public interest test.
Whilst regulation 10(4)(e) of the EIRs – internal communications, applies to much of the redactions which were made under section 29 and 30 of FOISA, it has been determined that on applying the public interest test the balance lies in favour of releasing the majority of this information which was previously redacted.
The majority of the redactions made under section 38 are now substituted with redaction under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs. Redactions made under 10(4)(e) of the EIRs are specified as [REDACTED] [EIR Reg 10(4)(e)], all other redactions applied relate to regulation 11(2) – personal information and are mainly marked as [REDACTED].
I enclose a copy of the information you requested subject to appropriate redactions applied. For your information, in handling the request for a review of FOI 202300367955, a further email communication was identified which was not part of the original response. This has now been included in the release and is subject to the appropriate redactions.
An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information 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 mainly relates to names, email addresses, job titles and telephone numbers of certain individuals. This exception 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 exception.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide a very small amount of the information you have requested because an exception under regulation 10(4)(e) (internal communications) of the EIRs applies to that information. The reasons why that exception(s) applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.
An exception under regulation 10(4)(e) (internal communications) of the EIRs applies to a very small amount of the information you have requested. This relates to a comment within an internal email chain concerning some specific sensitivities and releasing this information may inadvertently relate to the release of personal information.
This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is some public interest in release because the information in these documents helps to demonstrate the actions taken and discussions held in relation to this subject area and supports the principles of an open and transparent government. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in withholding this comment to protect a sensitivity identified and as the comment itself does not inform the wider discussion about handling or the statistics at the heart of these discussions, there is no public interest in releasing the same.
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.
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Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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