FOI reference: FOI/17/02455
Date received: 19 October 2017
Date responded: 13 November 2017
[COSLA - Convention of Scottish Local Authorities]
You asked for:
A breakdown of all communications and correspondence between the Deputy First Minister and COSLA since November 2016.
All minutes and notes taken of any telephone communications between the Deputy First Minister and COSLA since November 2016.
I enclose a copy of most 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 under section 30(b)(ii) (free and frank exchange of views) of FOISA applies to some of that information and some of that information is not held. These reasons 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. The exemption applies to information which is for the purposes of deliberation in relation to communications with external stakeholders.
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 because it relates to expenditure of public funds. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in the effective conduct of public affairs.
The Scottish Government does not have the information:
The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because no notes or minutes were made of the phone conversations of 14 March and 15 September listed above. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
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