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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-15344: Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 20 March 2018

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the email of 30 June 2017 that was published as a result of Freedom of Information requests FOI/18/01769 and FOI/17/01247 on 6 February 2018, for what reason the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills reportedly asked for four documents to be removed from an information release, and whether it will provide a copy of these documents.

Answered by: John Swinney 4 April 2018

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) states that any person who requests information from a Scottish public authority which holds it is entitled to be given that information by the authority, but that this right is subject to certain conditions and exemptions as set out in the act. The Deputy First Minister took the view that it was appropriate, subject to the public interest test, to apply the provisions of the statutory exemption relating to the Royal Household (Section 41(a) of FOISA) to four documents in the draft response. An additional exemption under Section 38 (1) (b) was also initially applied to part of this material.

All documents associated with FOI/17/01247 have subsequently been released. Three of the documents requested (numbers 20, 24 & 25) are available at the Scottish Government’s FOI website by following this link https://beta.gov.scot/publications/foi-17-01247-review/ . The additional document number 26 was released prior to the Government publishing responses on this website and this will be sent to the member.