FOI reference: FOI/17/02273
Date received: 9 October 2017
Date responded: 8 November 2017
Any costings, business plans and other documents around the announcement of a post graduate teaching bursary and whether any modelling has been done on the expected take up of this bursary.
I enclose a copy of all of the information you requested.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance some information has been redacted from the enclosed documents exemptions 30(b)(i) (the free and frank provision of advice), 30(b)(ii) (the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation) and 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA apply to that information. The reasons for these exemptions are explained in the Annex A to this letter. Some other information has been redacted as it does not relate directly to your request.
In relation to the last part of your request, no modelling has yet been done on the expected take up of the bursary. However, it is anticipated that there will be up to 100 places available.
Reasons for not providing information
An exemption applies.
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the redacted information because it is the personal data of 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 applies, subject to the public interest test.
Exemptions under section 30(b)(i) of FOISA (free and frank provision of advice) and section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation) applies to some of the redacted information. These exemptions apply because disclosure would, or would be likely to; inhibit substantially the effect on the provision of advice or on the exchange on views. These exemptions recognise the need for officials to have a private space within which to provide free and frank advice to Ministers on key discussion points in pre-meeting briefings.
Disclosing the content of free and frank advice on such key points will substantially inhibit the provision of such advice in the future, particularly when these discussions relate to a policy matter, such as STEM bursaries.
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 allowing a private space within which officials can provide full and frank advice to Ministers, before they meet key stakeholders.
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