FOI reference: FOI/18/00514
Date received: 9 March 2018
Date responded: 20 March 2018
Any correspondence (emails, typed or handwritten notes, letters, phone calls, minutes of meetings, briefs or otherwise) between the Scottish Government and either Scottish Enterprise or Scottish Development International on the topic of a location for the Berlin trade hub.
I enclose a copy 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 exemptions under sections s.28(1) UK Relations s.29(1)(a)on-going policy developments. S.30(b)(i) (substantial inhibition of free and frank provision of advice),s.38(1)(b) (personal information) and s.31(1), when information is exempt from disclosure for the purpose of safeguarding national security, of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained below.
Reasons for not providing information
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a 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.
S.28(1) of FOISA (UK Relations) exempts information from disclosure where disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially relations between administrations in the UK (e.g. between Westminster and Holyrood).
S.29 (1) (a) of (FOISA) exempts information from disclosure if it relates to the formulation or development of government policy.
An exemption under section 30(b)(i) (substantial inhibition of free and frank provision of advice) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption recognises the need for Ministers and officials to have a private space within which to seek advice and discuss options before reaching a settled public view.
An exemption under section Section 31(1), when information is exempt from disclosure for the purpose of safeguarding national security of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption recognizes that there are security issues around releasing information about a British Embassy.
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 some of 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.
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