Policy on the creation of new public bodies

Matthew Rice made this Freedom of Information request to Scottish Government

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Scottish Government,

I am writing to you from the digital rights campaigning organisation Open Rights Group. I'm writing off the back of the Scottish Government's response to the Independent Advisory Group on the Use of Biometrics in Scotland. The Government accepted most of the recommendations, and accepted the creation of a Biometrics Commissioner in principle, citing the policy of a strong presumption against creating new public bodies.

I'm writing to request any related documents in relation to the Scottish Government's policy on the creation of public bodies. In particular I'm looking for information relating to:

- The rationale behind the presumption against creating new public bodies.
- Criteria for assessing whether to create a new public body.
- Guidance given to / received from the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body in relation to the appointment of new commissioners / new public bodies.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me at matthew [at] openrightsgroup.org

Yours faithfully,

Matthew Rice

Dear Scottish Government,

Could I please receive confirmation of receipt of the request titled "Policy on the creation of new public bodies."

If you require further information or clarification please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours faithfully,

Matthew Rice

Matthew Rice left an annotation ()

I received a response from the Scottish Government via email on 23 May 2018.

Dear Mr Rice

REQUEST UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002 (FOISA)

Thank you for your request dated 24 April 2018 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA). You asked for the following pieces of information:-

1. The rationale behind the presumption against creating new public bodies.

The information you have requested in this part of your request is available from:

a. Speech by First Minister Alex Salmond to Parliament on Delivering More Effective Government, Wednesday January 30 2008: http://www.gov.scot/News/Speeches/Speech...

b. Link to the Christie Commission report into the delivery of public services: http://www.gov.scot/Resource/Doc/352649/...

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

You may find this additional information held by the Scottish Parliament useful

http://www.parliament.scot/S4_ChamberDes...

2. Criteria for assessing whether to create a new public body.

There should be rigorous assessment about the need for a new public body before any consideration is given to developing formal proposals for the establishment of such a body.

Key issues to be covered in the assessment include:

• The need for the functions and services being proposed;
• The contribution that the proposed functions and services will make to the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy and National Performance Framework;
• The level of demand for the proposed functions and services;
• The extent to which the proposed functions and services offer good use of public money
• The impact of not providing the proposed functions and services.
3. Guidance given to/received from the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body in relation to the appointment of new commissioners/new public bodies.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested because there is no guidance given to/received from the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body in relation to the appointment of new commissioners/new public bodies.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

If you are unhappy with this response to your FOI request, you may ask us to carry out an internal review of the response, by writing to:

Director of Local Government and Communities, Area 3F North, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Your review request should explain why you are dissatisfied with this response, and should be made within 40 working days from the date when you received this letter. We will complete the review and tell you the result, within 20 working days from the date when we receive your review request.

If you are not satisfied with the result of the review, you then have the right to appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner. More detailed information on your appeal rights is available on the Commissioner’s website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourR....