FOI reference: FOI/17/02215
Date received: 2 October 2017
Date responded: 26 October 2017
Papers and correspondence from and between SG officials, Scottish Government Ministers and Special Advisors on the reasons and justifications for stopping the Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN).
I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested in the digital format you asked for.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information because an exemption under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA applies as it relates to unused draft press releases/press lines and media handling strategies. We are not required to disclose the content of such advice/discussions as doing so would substantially inhibit the use of free and frank provision of advice. The reasons why that exemption applies are explained below.
Reasons for not providing information
An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test.
An exemption under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested as it relates to unused draft press releases/press lines and media handling strategies. We are not required to disclose the content of such advice/discussions as doing so would substantially inhibit the use of free and frank provision of advice.
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. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in recognising the need for Ministers and officials to have a private space within which to obtain advice on and discuss the presentation of policies and decisions to the media and the public.
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