Accessibility |

COPFS

Travel and subsistence costs and Bereaved Relatives Scheme (R0755)

Travel and subsistence costs and Bereaved Relatives Scheme (R0755)

Thank you for your request dated 18 November 2015 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the undernoted information:

“Could you please tell me under FOI how much was paid in terms of travel subsistence and accommodation to support the family of xxxx out of the bereaved nearest relative scheme?

Could you also tell me what the total value of the bereaved nearest relative scheme was for the year 2009?”

While we do endeavour to provide information where possible, I consider that the information sought by you in relation to the money paid in terms of travel subsistence and accommodation to support the family of xxxx out of the bereaved nearest relative scheme is exempt from release under section 38(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA). This exemption applies because the information is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. This is an absolute exemption and is not subject to the public interest test.

In addition, I consider that the information in relation to the money paid in terms of travel subsistence and accommodation to support the family of xxxx out of the bereaved nearest relative scheme is exempt from release under Section 39 of FOISA as the release of such information would be likely to endanger the physical or mental health or the safety of an individual.  In particular, I am of the view that the release of such information into the public domain would be likely to have a negative impact on the mental well-being of the family of xxxx.

Section 39 is not an absolute exemption and I have again considered the public interest in the disclosure of this information and I am of the view that the potential distress which releasing this information would have upon the family of the deceased outweighs the public interest in releasing this information.

The Bereaved Relatives Fund has been in operation since 2006 and assists up to three close family members of the deceased, who are not witnesses, in attending Court proceedings in homicide cases and road traffic deaths.

I can confirm that the total value of the bereaved nearest relative scheme for the financial year 2009/10 was £70,817; £30,000 of which was allocated from Scottish Government funds.