Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) budges and funding: FOI release

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

Information requested

  1. Between August 1, 2023 and to date, any correspondence from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) to the Scottish Government on the topic of the upcoming budget process.
  2. Any minutes, agendas, ministerial submissions, or advice papers submitted to the Justice Secretary related to fire service funding in the 2024/25 budget over the same time period.


Some of the information you have requested is in the public domain and under section 25(i) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you however I have attached links to the Scottish Parliaments' Criminal Justice Committee (CJC) web pages where you will be able to access the information. The first link is a submission from the SFRS requested by the CJC in relation to pre budget scrutiny which was also sent to the Scottish Government. A link has also been included which will lead you to an evidence session before CJC attended by the Chief Fire Officer and Director of Finance and Contractual Services for your information. Attached is a redacted note of a meeting between the Minister for Victims and Community Safety, the Chair of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Board and the Chief Fire Officer where a number of topics were discussed including the Budget for 2024/25 as well as a redacted brief prepared for the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs ahead of her attendance at the Criminal Justice Committee Pre Budget Scrutiny meeting on 08 November 2023. 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.

Meeting of the Parliament: Criminal Justice Committee 13/09/2023

Our aim is to provide information whenever possible and we have released the relevant documents but we have applied exemptions and redacted all three documents using exemption(s) under section(s) 30(b) (i) and 30 (b) (ii) of FOISA applies to that information. Section 30 b (i & ii) allows for free and frank provision of (i) advice and (ii) views. With the budget process for 24/25 still ongoing releasing the information you requested could prejudice effective conduct of public affairs

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 some public interest in release because of the interest shown in the budget set for SFRS. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that SFRS can have full and frank discussions with the Scottish Government.

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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