Publication - FOI/EIR release

Discussions related to chartering or purchasing mv Clipper Ranger: FOI release

Published: 28 Nov 2018

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
28 Nov 2018
Discussions related to chartering or purchasing mv Clipper Ranger: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/18/02756  
Date received: 2 October 2018 
Date responded: 28 November 2018
 
Information requested
 

All emails, file notes and reports regarding the possibility of purchasing or chartering mv Clipper Ranger.  This should include emails between CMAL, CalMac Ferries Ltd,  Transport Scotland and the relevant Ministers.

Further clarified to

I am seeking information related to discussions between Transport Scotland, Ministers , CMAL and CalMac Ferries Ltd that have occurred in 2018 related to the possibility of chartering or purchasing mv Clipper Ranger for use on Ullapool to Stornoway and charter to Northlink.

 

Response
 

We have identified information within the scope of your request which is contained in Annex A to this letter.  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 exemptions under Section 30(b)(ii), free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation, and Section 33(1)(b), commercial interests, of FOISA apply.  The reasons why this exemption applies are explained below.

 
Reasons for not providing information
 

Exemptions apply, subject to the public interest tests.

Section 30(b)(ii) - free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation

Exemptions under sections 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views) apply to some of the information requested.  These exemptions apply because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation and discussion.  These exemptions recognises the need for officials to have a private space within which to discuss issues and options with colleagues and stakeholders, in this case Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd and CalMac Ferries Ltd.  Disclosing the content of these discussions will substantially inhibit such discussions in the future, because these stakeholders will be reluctant to provide their views fully and frankly if they believe that those views are likely to be made public.

Public interest test

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.  We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in allowing officials and stakeholders a private space within which to communicate with appropriate colleagues and external stakeholders.

We consider, therefore, on balance, that the public interest in release is outweighed by that in favour of upholding the exemptions. 

Section 33(1)(b) - Commercial interests

The Section 33(1)(b) exemption applies to a small amount of the information because the release of certain financial information relating to any potential purchase or charter could adversely affect future dialogs that Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd have with the vessel owners and would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of those companies.

Public interest test

We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government.  However, we consider that there is a greater public interest in ensuring that we avoid the capacity of significant harm to the commercial interests of Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd  to negotiate contracts to achieve value for money to the public purse.

We consider, therefore, on balance, that the public interest in release is outweighed by that in favour of upholding the exemptions. 

 

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses

foi-18-02756 Annex A

82 page PDF
1.6 MB

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000 

The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 
Edinburgh 
EH1 3DG