Dear Scotland Office,

Within 20 days you must furnish me with all correspondence received by Charles - Prince of Wales and any responses sent to said individual, this is a request! Although I do not, and will not, cite FOI as my avenue of resource, this is nonetheless a request for recorded information.

I acknowledge that this has the potential to be a large request, let me make the activation of your Section 16 obligation easier; should you be unable to identify, retrieve or provide all such correspondence I will accept correspondence sent/received during 2010-2014.

A lackadaisical attempt to complete this request will not be accepted - it is clear that a number of your 'Information Officers' have form for this with regards correspondence requests.

I trust that you will avoid the application of S.36 as it is clear that communications exchanged between Prince Charles and the equivalent lords of the Scotland Office, would have no impact upon the operation of our much maligned but beloved Scottish institution. Should you care to employ such a devilish tactic could you please complete the following:

- Identify this at the earliest stage and alert me to this
- Identify the name of your qualified person
- Provide the 'reasoned opinion' of such qualified person

It should be recorded that I have no interest in personal information or care to peruse any information that may be deemed commercially sensitive.

Yours in faith,

Jiri Litmanen

Scotland Office

Dear Mr Litmanen
 
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
 
Thank you for your email of 1 July 2015 which is being treated under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. We will aim to issue you with a response
by 29 July 2015 but in the meantime if you have a query regarding the
request, please contact me.
 
Regards
 
Tony Conte
Scotland Office
 
 
 
Tony Conte | Senior Administrator | Scotland Office | 1 Melville Crescent
| Edinburgh | EH3 7HW
Tel: 0131 244 9066 | [1]www.gov.uk/scotland-office |
Twitter:@ScotlandOffice
 
The UK Government’s office for Scotland
Get in the Know on Facebook and LinkedIn
 
 
 
 
 

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Scotland Office

Dear Mr Litmanen,

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST DB951

 

Thank you for your email sent to the Scotland Office on 1 July 2015. 
Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding.   

 

You asked for the following information:

 

Within 20 days you must furnish me with all correspondence received by
Charles - Prince of Wales and any responses sent to said individual, this
is a request! Although I do not, and will not, cite FOI as my avenue of
resource, this is nonetheless a request for recorded information. 

 

I acknowledge that this has the potential to be a large request, let me
make the activation of your Section 16 obligation easier; should you be
unable to identify, retrieve or provide all such correspondence I will
accept correspondence sent/received during 2010-2014.

 

A lackadaisical attempt to complete this request will not be accepted - it
is clear that a number of your 'Information Officers' have form for this
with regards correspondence requests.

 

I trust that you will avoid the application of S.36 as it is clear that
communications exchanged between Prince Charles and the equivalent lords
of the Scotland Office, would have no impact upon the operation of our
much maligned but beloved Scottish institution. Should you care to employ
such a devilish tactic could you please complete the following:

 

- Identify this at the earliest stage and alert me to this

- Identify the name of your qualified person

- Provide the 'reasoned opinion' of such qualified person

 

It should be recorded that I have no interest in personal information or
care to peruse any information that may be deemed commercially sensitive.

           

I can confirm that the Scotland Office does hold information within the
scope of your request.  This information is being withheld as it falls
under the exemptions in Sections 37(1)(aa), 40(2) and 41 of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. 

 

Section 37(1)(aa) protects information that relates to communications with
the heir to, or the person who is for the time being second in line of
succession to, the Throne.  Section 37(1)(aa) is an absolute exemption and
does not require consideration of the public interest.

 

The information is also exempt from disclosure under the absolute
exemption at section 40(2) of the FOI Act as it is personal data as
defined by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and its disclosure would
breach one or more of the data protection principles in that Act.  Release
of this information would constitute a breach of the first data protection
principle which states that personal data shall be processed fairly and
lawfully, and shall not be processed unless at least one of the conditions
in Schedule 2 of the DPA is also met.  In our view the disclosure would
not constitute fair processing as the individual to whom the personal data
relates would have had no reasonable expectation that it would be
disclosed.   As such it is not necessary to consider whether a Schedule 2
condition would also have been met, though in our view none of those
conditions have been met.

 

Finally, we consider that the absolute exemption set out in section 41 of
the FOI Act also applies to the information as it is information provided
to the Department under an expectation of confidentiality and to which the
Department owes a duty of confidence.   Section 41 is an absolute
exemption and therefore not subject to the public interest balancing
test.  However a court would be unlikely to uphold a breach of confidence
if the public interest in disclosure outweighed the public interest in
maintaining the confidence.  Therefore, in practice, an assessment of the
public interest test will still take place.  Where a duty of confidence
exists, there is a strong public interest in favour of maintaining that
confidence.  In this case we consider that the public interest in favour
of maintaining the confidence is not outweighed by the general interest in
public scrutiny of information held by the Department.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the decision made in relation to your request
you may ask for an internal review.  A request for an internal review
should be addressed to:

 

FOI Officer

1 Melville Crescent

EDINBURGH

EH3 7HW

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.  The contact details are:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

CHESHIRE

SK9 5AF

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

James Newman

Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Scotland

Scotland Office

 

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Alistair P Sloan left an annotation ()

You may be interested to note that while it is true that section 37(1) is an absolute exemption, there is no equivalent in the Environmental Information Regulations. There is more than a distinct possibility that information that they hold within the scope of your request might fit the definition of Environmental Information. You may therefore wish to press them on whether the EIRs apply to any of the information that they hold by way of an internal review.

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