Correspondence relating to the merging of the emergency services: FOI release

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

Information requested

All communications to and from the Scottish Government relating to the merging of the emergency services on an administrative basis.


I enclose a copy of some relevant information which I hope will be useful to you. I have interpreted your request as referring to a project named 'Blue Light Collaboration', a piece of work around the potential sharing of corporate services which has been under consideration since January 2021. This work has recently crystalised through a jointly commissioned Outline Business Case in which partners were asked to consider opportunities for efficiency savings through collaboration across Corporate Service areas.

To ensure strong governance oversight of the joint procurement of professional support to develop the OBC, it was agreed that an Oversight Group (OG) would be established, comprising of Board members from the SFRS Board and the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), supported by executives from SFRS, PS and SPA. The OG is chaired by the SFRS as they are the current chair of the Reform Collaboration Group (RCG) which oversees all collaboration work involving SFRS, PS and the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS).

Some of the information you have requested is available from the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) website ( Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy. However, you may wish to contact SPA via who may be able to help you.

Furthermore, some of the information that falls within the scope of this request is related to an in-flight collaborative procurement between Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, therefore it is both (1) commercially sensitive and is (2) available from another source. This information
is therefore exempt under the following two categories of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA):

  • Section 25(1): Information otherwise accessible. Further procurement guidance for buyers and suppliers is available within Scotland’s Procurement Journey and Scotland’s Supplier Journey respectively. Furthermore, commercial documents may be accessed by signing up to: PCS - Tender(; and
  • Section 33(1)(b): Commercial interests. Disclosure of this information would (or would be likely to) prejudice substantially the commercial interests of the organisations running the procurement.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the further information you have requested as exemptions under the following sections of FOISA applies to that information:

  • s.29(1)(a): Formulation or development of Scottish Government policy
  • s.30(c) - Substantial prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs
  • s.30(b)(i): Free and frank provision of advice
  • s.30(b)(ii): Free and frank exchange of views
  • s.38(1)(b): Personal data relating to third party.

The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained in the Annex to this letter.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI 202300379637 - Information Released - Annex


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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