FOI reference: FOI/17/02128
Date received: 20 September 2017
Date responded: 18 October 2017
You asked for any correspondence written and digital between Michael Russell, MSP andhis staff and Lewis MacDonald, MSP and his staff along with any minutes, if taken, of meetings between these parties between 1st July, 2017 and 20th September, 2017.
I enclose a copy of some of the information 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 an exemption(s) under section(s) s.30 of FOISA being a prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption(s) applies are explained below.
Reasons for not providing information
An exemption under section 30(c) of FOISA (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) applies to some the information requested. It is essential for Ministers to be able to communicate, often in confidence, with external stakeholders on a range of issues, including the EU Withdrawal Bill. Disclosing the content of these communications, particularly without the consent of the stakeholder, is likely to undermine their trust in the Scottish Government and will substantially inhibit communications on this type of issue in the future. These stakeholders will be reluctant to participate in meetings and provide their views fully and frankly if they believe that their views are likely to be made public, particularly while these discussions are still on-going and as these discussions relate to a sensitive or controversial issue such as the EU Withdrawal Bill. This would significantly harm the Government's ability to carry out many aspects of its work, and could adversely affect its ability to gather all of the evidence it needs to make fully informed decisions.
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
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House