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Publication - FOI / EIR Release

Briefing for roundtable discussion with Scottish Retail Consortium: FOI release

Published: 30 Jun 2017

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

FOI reference: FOI/17/01328
Date received: 16 June 2017
Date responded: 30 June 2017

Information requested

A copy of all background notes and or briefings provided to the Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe in relation to the Roundtable Discussion with the Scottish Retail Consortium meeting on 1 March 2017.

Response

Please see the attached documents for the information requested. Annex A below explains why certain details have been redacted.

Documents released

  1. Briefing for Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe discussion with Scottish Retail Consortium
  2. Speaking notes for Scottish Retail Consortium discussion

Annex A

An exemption under section Section 38(1)(b) – applicant has asked for personal data of a 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/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.

An exemption under section Section 29(1)(a) - formulation or development of government policy.

An exemption under section 29(1)(a) of FOISA (formulation or development of government policy) applies to some of the information requested because it relates to the development of the Scottish Government's policy on a retail strategy and Non Domestic Rating (NDR). 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 a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in high quality policy and decision-making, and in the properly considered implementation and development of policies and decisions. This means that Ministers and officials need to be able to consider all available options and to debate those rigorously, to fully understand their possible implications. Their candour in doing so will be affected by their assessment of whether the discussions on the retail strategy and NDR will be disclosed in the near future, when it may undermine or constrain the Government's view on that policy while it is still under discussion and development.

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

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:
30 Jun 2017
Briefing for roundtable discussion with Scottish Retail Consortium: FOI release