beta

You're viewing our new website - find out more

Publication - FOI / EIR Release

Briefing for Highlands and Islands Enterprise Board meeting: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/17/001408
Date received: 16 June 2017
Date responded: 3 July 2017

Information requested

A copy of all background notes and/or briefing/s provided to the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and fair Work with regard to the meeting with Lorne Crerar and the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in relation to the Enterprise and Skills Review held on 2nd March 2017 and a copy of any minute and note taken during or subsequent to this meeting.

Response

Enclosed is a copy of relevant information which you requested.

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 apply to that information under FOISA sections:

  • 30(b)(i), Free and frank exchange of views
  • 38(1)(b), Personal data relating to third party

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

You may wish to be aware that a significant amount of information related to the Review has been published online, including the Report on Phase 2 of the Review, associated feeder reports and the Scottish Government's Response to Professor Crerar's Report on Governance. All of this is available at: https://beta.gov.scot/policies/economic-growth/enterprise-and-skills-review/

Annex

Reasons for not providing informaiton

An exemption applies to some of the information you have requested under section:

  • 30(b)(ii) – Free and frank exchange of views – in relation to Cabinet/ Ministerial/official discussions and policy formulation/development.

An exemption under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank exchange of views) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. This exemption recognises the need for Ministers and officials to have a private space within which to discuss and explore options before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. Disclosing the content of free and frank discussions on the Enterprise and Skills Review will substantially inhibit such discussions in the future.

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 openness and transparency of the Scottish Government. However, this is outweighed by the public interest as the briefing and background provided for the meeting and discussions at that meeting may aid the formulation and development of government policy.

A further exemption applies to some of the information you have requested under section:

  • 38(1)(b), Personal data relating to third party

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. names and contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. 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.

About FOI

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

Briefing for HIE meeting .pdf

19 page PDF
360.2kB

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

Published:
4 Jul 2017
Briefing for Highlands and Islands Enterprise Board meeting: FOI release