Relations within the United Kingdom

Guidance on the use of FOISA section 28

Section 28 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) 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).

The exemption in section 28(1) is subject to the public interest test. This means that, even if the exemption applies, the information must be disclosed unless the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it.

The exemption does not last forever. In general, it cannot be applied to information that is more than 15 years old.

This is one of the exemptions where a public authority can refuse to confirm or deny whether it holds the information, provided the authority is satisfied that revealing whether the information exists or is held would be contrary to the public interest (section 18 of FOISA).

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Section 28 exemption briefing

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