Publication - FOI/EIR release

Delivery of vessels 801/802 from Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd: FOI release

Published: 25 Jan 2019

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

Published:
25 Jan 2019
Delivery of vessels 801/802 from Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/18/03665  
Date received: 7 December 2018 
Date responded: 24 January 2019
 
Information requested
 
To provide information on all meetings, correspondence and emails relating to the issue of the delivery of vessels 801/802 from FMEL that Mr Matheson was directly involved in  and was party to, from the time of his appointment on 27th June 2018 to the time of his appearance before the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee on 5th December. The information should also provide all briefing documents from relevant officials relating to Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd contract with CMAL as part of the handover of Ministerial responsibilities from his predecessor after his appointment as Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity.
 
Response
 

We have identified information within the scope of your request which is contained in Appendix 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)(i)(ii),free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views, and Section 33(1)(b), commercial interests, of FOISA apply.  The reasons why these exemptions apply is explained below.

 

Reasons for not providing information

 

Exemptions apply, subject to the public interest tests.

 

Section 30(b)(i)(ii) - free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views.

Exemptions under sections 30(b)(i)(ii) free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views applies 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 recognise 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.  Disclosing the content of these discussions could inhibit the ongoing discussions regarding the contract they have with Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd for the construction of the ferries, 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 

These exemptions are 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 these exemptions.  We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding these exemptions.  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 these 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 both Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd, Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd and their parent company Clyde Blowers Capital with regards to both the current contract and any possible procurement exercises in the future. 

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

 

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-18-03665 Appendix A

13 page PDF
386.8 kB

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