Lists of interests by ministers serving upon their appointment, including the information provided by the First Minister: FOI release

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

Information requested

Please supply the following in respect of the 4th session of the Scottish Parliament, which ran from 2016 to 2021.

  1. all the information in all the lists of interests (including spouse, partner and family interests) provided by each minister serving in the Scottish Government upon their appointment, including the information provided by the First Minister;
  2. any confirmation from ministers, at the time of their appointment, as to whether they are aware of any close acquaintances or advisers who have a contractual relationship with the Government or are involved in policy development, as described in Section 11.4 of the Scottish Ministerial Code (or contemporary equivalent;
  3. all information in all records of action taken by ministers in agreement with the Permanent Secretary on the handling of interests, and any subsequent changes, as set out in Section 11.5 of the Scottish Ministerial Code (or contemporary equivalent).


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested in the format you asked for.

  1. The interests of each Minister who served in the Scottish Government from 2016-21 as declared by them following their appointment are provided at Annex A.
  2. Any declarations of interests made by currently serving Ministers concerning relationships with the Government of close acquaintances or advisers are detailed in the information provided at Annex A (see heading I).

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 an exemption(s) under section 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption(s) applies are explained below.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is the personal data of a third party. You will see, for example, that we have redacted the names of some individuals and some personal financial information from the information provided as 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 exemption 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.

  1. Furthermore, in relation to the third part of your request, the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12. You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on his website at:

About FOI

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

Tom Gordon FOI - 2016-21


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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