Scottish Health Council

Mr Wyllie 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 Sir or Madam,

This is a request for information under section 8 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

I would suggest it is best dealt with by the Health Directorates.

Please provide information about correspondence between the Scottish Health Council and the Scottish Government from 31st December 2007.

Please provide information about memoranda or reports made since 31st December 2007 about the Scottish Health Council.

Please provide copies of these documents, in an electronic format.

I am extremely grateful for your assistance and look forward very much to your response.

Yours faithfully,

E Wyllie

Scottish Government

Mr Wyllie

I acknowledge receipt of your FOI request.

Sandra Falconer
Patient Focus and International Issues
GER
SAH
0131 244 2399

From: Mr Wyllie [mailto:[FOI #25112 email]]
Sent: 24 December 2009 13:40
To: Central Enquiry Unit
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Scottish Health Council

Dear Sir or Madam,

This is a request for information under section 8 of the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

I would suggest it is best dealt with by the Health Directorates.

Please provide information about correspondence between the
Scottish Health Council and the Scottish Government from 31st
December 2007.

Please provide information about memoranda or reports made since
31st December 2007 about the Scottish Health Council.

Please provide copies of these documents, in an electronic format.

I am extremely grateful for your assistance and look forward very
much to your response.

Yours faithfully,

E Wyllie

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Scottish Government

1 Attachment

Mr Wyllie

Please see the attached letter re your recent FOI request.

Sandra Falconer
Patient Focus and International Issues
GER
SAH
0131 244 2399

From: Mr Wyllie [mailto:[FOI #25112 email]]
Sent: 24 December 2009 13:40
To: Central Enquiry Unit
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Scottish Health Council

Dear Sir or Madam,

This is a request for information under section 8 of the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

I would suggest it is best dealt with by the Health Directorates.

Please provide information about correspondence between the
Scottish Health Council and the Scottish Government from 31st
December 2007.

Please provide information about memoranda or reports made since
31st December 2007 about the Scottish Health Council.

Please provide copies of these documents, in an electronic format.

I am extremely grateful for your assistance and look forward very
much to your response.

Yours faithfully,

E Wyllie

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Dear Mrs Falconer,

Request for Information
Your ref: Fol/10/00004

Thank you for your letter in response to my request for information, which I have considered.

You ask firstly what is meant by my first request. The specific information to which I refer in that case is the information that was contained in any correspondence (whether electronic or otherwise) dated since 31st December 2007 between either an officeholder in the Scottish Administration or a member of the staff of the Scottish Administration (within the meaning provided by section 126(7) of the Scotland Act 1998) working within the Patients and Quality Division of the Government and a member of the staff of the Scottish Health Council (established under the NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (Establishment of Scottish Health Council) Regulations 2005).

In relation to my second request (concerning memoranda) I would like to request the information that was contained in any memoranda or reports made since 31st December 2007 by either an officeholder in the Scottish Administration or a member of the staff of the Scottish Administration working within the Patients and Quality Division about the discharge of the functions of the Scottish Health Council.

You are quite correct about the impact of the recent Court of Session judgment. However, I wish to place on record my preference under section 11(1) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 for a copy of the information in electronic form.

This is because I consider this the easiest and most efficient of the options available to you under section 11 of the Act of providing the information to me. I would remind you that under sections 14(3)(d) and 15(7)(c) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000, the Accounting Officer(s) has an obligation to ensure efficient use of public funds.

Consequently, should you wish to provide the information in another format, I would be grateful if you would provide an explanation when doing so.

I hope very much that this has suitably clarified the position. I look forward very much to your response

Yours faithfully,

Mr Wyllie

Scottish Government

1 Attachment

Mr Wyllie

Please see the attached response to your e-mail of 11 January.

<<Letter (2) to Mr Wyllie.pdf>>

Sandra Falconer

Patient Focus and International Issues

GER

SAH

0131 244 2399

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

Dear Mrs Falconer,

Your ref: FoI/10/00004

Thank you very much for your email, which I received today. I have given it careful thought.

I am uncertain whether your first point contends that my request is invalid because it asks for copies of documents, or whether I am misreading the letter. In order to speed up the process for both of us, I have decided to just put down my submissions on this point if you intend to make it, instead of waiting for clarification.

I would like to make it clear that I seek to make a distinction between the documents themselves and the information contained within the documents. I am not seeking the records (to use the language of the judgment to which you refer) that contain the information. On the contrary, I am seeking the information within the records.

Section 11(1) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 distinguishes too between records and information. I am, in accordance with that section, requesting my preference for a copy of the information to be provided to me. I am not requesting that I be allowed to inspect the record containing the information, as I could do under section 11(2)(c).

You have a duty to give effect to my preference, so far as it's reasonably practicable. I understand that this may effectively mean that I would be provided with copies of the records by the Government, because this is the simplest way to provide the information, and probably the most efficient.

Your second point seeks clarification, which I am happy to provide.

My request for information remains the same as I have previously put it to you. However, it only relates to information concerning the discharge of the functions of the Scottish Health Council, in relation to the independent review of the Council. It relates only to recorded information created since 1st August 2008.

I appreciate that, by now this matter must be as frustrating for you as it is for me. I have, however, tried my best to be of help.

But if I can be of any further assistance to clear up this matter and reduce the inevitable burden on yourself and the Division I realise I must create, please do contact me as soon as possible. I shall respond as soon as I can.

Kind regards,

Mr Wyllie

Scottish Government

Mr Wyllie

Thank you for this. I acknowledge your request for "information
concerning
the discharge of the functions of the Scottish Health Council, in
relation to the independent review of the Council. It relates only to
recorded information created since 1st August 2008."

We will check our records and provide the relevant information.

Sandra
Patient Focus and International Issues
GER
SAH
0131 244 2399

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Scottish Government

16 Attachments

Me Wyllie

Please see the attached response to your FOI request in relation to the
Scottish Health Council.

Sandra Falconer
Patient Focus and International Issues
GER
SAH
0131 244 2399

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Dear Ms Falconer,

I wanted to acknowledge receipt of your email containing much correspondence, for which I'm very grateful, in particular for the background information.

I did, however, note that the second limb of my request, asking for memoranda etc. doesn't seem to have been covered. Given the purpose of my request was analysing the machinery of government, I would hope that there was some information of this sort.

In any case, I look forward to confirmation either way of what appears to be an oversight, rather than having to use the somewhat draconian internal review route.

That aside, I wanted to thank you for the information you've released and your consistent courtesy throughout.

Kind regards,

Mr Wyllie

Scottish Government

2 Attachments

Mr Wyllie

Thank you for your e-mail. In the previous correspondence I have
explained that the recent Court judgement clarified that the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) gives a right to information,
not documents. What I tried to do was supply documents which provide
the relevant information and supplement this with additional background
information.

We do have e-mails to/from the SHC which were sent as covering notes.
For example I include an e-mail received as a covering note to the SHC
Action Plan and also the e-mail issuing advice to the Patient Focus
Public Involvement Designated Directors. Information on both of these
items was included in my response to you and a copy of the action plan
was provided. The e-mails do not actually provide any additional
information and were therefore not included. The following is an
extract from the paper included in the e-mail of 1Sept 2008 to PFPI
Directors (this is the only mention of the independent review in that
particular paper):

"8. The independent review of the Scottish Health Council is being
undertaken by the Scottish Council Foundation and McCormick.McDowell. A
Steering Group has been established and initial findings from the review
will be presented to this group at a meeting on 12 September."

I hope this clarifies the position.

Sandra
Patient Focus and International Issues
GER
SAH
0131 244 2399

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