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Publication - FOI / EIR Release

Meeting with Scottish Retail Consortium about Apprenticeship Levy: FOI release

Published: 19 Jul 2017

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

FOI reference: FOI/17/01341
Date received: 19 June 2017
Date responded: 14 July 2017

Information requested

A copy of all background notes and/or briefing/s provided to the Minister for Employability and Training with regard to the meeting with the Scottish Retail Consortium in relation to the meeting on the Apprenticeship Levy held on 14th March 2017.

In addition, and again under Freedom of Information legislation you requested a copy of any minute and note taken during or subsequent to this meeting.

Response

Due to the file size of the documents released, copies can be provided on request by emailing ceu@gov.scot, quoting the FOI reference number FOI/17/01341.

Documents released:

  • ANNEX A - Copy of all background notes and/or briefing/s provided to the Minister for Employability and Training with regard to the meeting with the Scottish Retail Consortium in relation to the meeting on the Apprenticeship Levy held on 14th March 2017.

As requested I enclose an electronic copy of most of the information you requested under Annex A.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. because exemptions under sections (section 30(b)(i)) "the free and frank provision of advice" and s.29(1)(a) "formulation or development of Scottish Government policy" apply to that information. The reasons why those exemptions apply are explained in Annex B to this letter.

ANNEX B

I am also unable to provide you with a copy of minutes and notes of the informal meeting between the Minister for Employability and Training and the Scottish Retail Consortium to discuss the Apprenticeship Levy held on 14th March 2017 as minutes and notes of the meeting were not required or taken.

Exemption s.30(b)(i): Free and frank provision of advice

Section 30 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) exempts information from disclosure where disclosure would, or would be likely to, cause substantial harm to one or more of the following:

  • the free and frank provision of advice
  • the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation

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, however this exemption is applied to to allow for the free and frank provision of advice to Ministers.

Exemption s.29(1)(a): Formulation or development of Scottish Government policy

Section 29 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) exempts information from disclosure if it relates to:

  • the formulation or development of government policy
  • Ministerial communications

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, however this exemption is applied to to allow Scottish Government to develop this new policy without constraint.

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:
19 Jul 2017
Meeting with Scottish Retail Consortium about Apprenticeship Levy: FOI release