Publication - FOI/EIR release

Roseanna Cunningham’s MSP 2017 visit to Montrose: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Published:
9 Nov 2018
Roseanna Cunningham’s MSP 2017 visit to Montrose: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/18/02657  
Date received: 24 September 2018  
Date responded: 2 November 2018
 
Information requested
 

All internal and external correspondence, letters, emails, notes, minutes and briefings between the Scottish Government Minsters, Special Advisors and Civil Servants and Marine Scotland pertaining to the meeting between Roseanna Cunningham, the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and Angus Council, The Montrose Golf Club and the Montrose Port Authority in August 2017, refered to in written answer S5O-02387.

Response
 

As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EISRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA. 

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exceptions under regulations 10(4)(d) (unfinished or incomplete information), 10(4)(e) (internal communications) and 11(2) (personal information of a third party) of the EIRs apply to that information. The reasons why these exceptions apply are explained below.

Reasons for not providing information 

Exceptions that apply.

Exceptions under regulations 10(4)(d) (unfinished or incomplete information), 10(4)(e) (internal communications) and 11(2) (personal information of a third party) of the EIRs apply to some of the information you have requested.

Regulation 10(4)(d) – unfinished or incomplete information.

An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to some of the information you have requested because it is unfinished draft documents.

This exception is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which was or is being worked on or is under active consideration is not disclosed when it might misinform the public or give a misleading impression of the Government’s view or position on the matter to which the information relates.  

Regulation – 10 (4)(e) (internal communications).

An exception under regulation 10(4)(e) of the EIRs (internal communications) applies to some of the information you have requested because it is internal communication between Scottish Government Ministers and/or officials.

This exception is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in properly considered implementation and development of policies and decisions.

Regulation 11(2) – personal information of a third party.

An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information of a third party) applies to some of the information requested because it 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 exception is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception.

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