Publication - FOI/EIR release

Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, issues with the Don Bridge: EIR release

Published: 25 Jan 2019

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

Published:
25 Jan 2019
Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, issues with the Don Bridge: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/18/03275  
Date received: 6 November 2018  
Date responded: 17 January 2019
 
Information requested
 
Details of all correspondence and/or meeting minutes relating to issues with the Don Bridge between Transport Scotland and ARL.
This was clarified on 15 November to Details of all correspondence and/or meeting minutes relating to issues with the Don Bridge between Transport Scotland and ARL from June 2018 to 5 November.
 
Response
 
As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), 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.
 
An exception under regulation 10(5)(e) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to confidentiality of Commercial information) applies to some of the information you have requested from meetings held between Transport Scotland and Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL), the project contractor. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial information provided by the project contractor, Aberdeen Roads Limited and thus cause substantial harm to their commercial interests. Disclosing this information would be likely to give ARL’s competitors an advantage in future similar tendering exercises, which would substantially prejudice their ability to submit competitive tenders and so could significantly harm their commercial business.
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 a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial interests of companies which enter into Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

I have attached a table detailing minutes of meetings held between June and 5 November 2018.
 
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foi-18-03275 Information requested

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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