Publication - FOI/EIR release

Work Place Parking Levy - correspondence, reports and briefings: FOI release

Published: 20 Mar 2019

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

Published:
20 Mar 2019
Work Place Parking Levy - correspondence, reports and briefings: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/19/00472
Date received: 14 Feb 2019
Date responded: 19 Mar 2019
Information requested

 

All correspondence, internal reports and briefings relating to the 'Work Place Parking Levy' presented or distributed to special advisers, cab sec finance/transport/local govt and minister for public finance since draft budget statement Dec 2018

 

Response

 

In response to your request I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested in a PDF format outlined below. Where the information provided is in a broader document we have retained only the information that is in scope.

• Annex A - Email - For information briefing - Workplace Parking Levies (submission)
• Annex B - Email - For information briefing - Workplace Parking Levies (noted - Mr Matheson)
• Annex C - Briefing - Get Glasgow Moving re. Transport Bill
• Annex D - Lines for Clearance - Edinburgh Evening News
• Annex E - Email - Budget- Workplace Parking Levy - Lines to Clear
• Annex F - Email - Budget - Workplace Parking Levy - Lines to Clear
• Annex G - Email - Tory LibDems Reax to Workplace Parking Levy
• Annex H - Letter - From Rona Mackay MSP
• Annex I - Email - Tory LibDems Reax to Workplace Parking - Lines for Clearance - DFM Clearance
• Annex J - Email - Proposed Budget Stakeholder Cuts
• Annex K - Email - Message from Scottish Parliament Website
• Annex L - Letter - From RAC
• Annex M - Sun - Workplace Parking Levy - Lines for Clearance
• Annex N - Proposed Budget Stakeholder Cuts - WPL - text for Ms Forbes for Scottish Retail Consortium
• Annex O - Briefing - Workplace Parking Levies
• Annex P - Various - Workplace Parking Levy - Lines for Clearance
• Annex Q - Budget Stakeholder Phone Call - WPL Update
• Annex R - Email - Tax
• Annex S - Email - Various - Workplace Parking Levy - Lines for Clearance
• Annex T - Bulletin - Murdo Fraser Comments on WPL
• Annex U - Email - Legislative Delays Due to Brexit - Evening News
• Annex V - Email - Parking Charge
• Annex W - Email - Meeting Briefing - Workplace Parking Levies - Thursday (with accompanying briefing)
• Annex X - Scotsman/STV - Tories: Vat on Workplace Parking Levy (with accompanying letter from Scottish Association of Social Work)
• Annex Y - Email - Proposed Parking Levy
• Annex Z - Email - Parking charges at work

• Annex AA - Email - Works Car Park Tax and Tourism Tax
• Annex BB - Email - From Annabelle Ewing MSP (with accompanying email and letter from constituent)
• Annex CC - Letter - Work Place Car Tax
• Annex DD - Email - Work Place Car Parking Charges
• Annex EE - Email - Workplace Car Parking
• Annex FF - Email - Workplace Parking Tax
• Annex GG - Letter - Workplace Car Parking Tax: Exemption for Aviation
• Annex HH - Email - Workplace Car Parking Charges
• Annex II - Email - Workplace Car Park Taxes
• Annex JJ - Email - Work Place Car Parking Charges
• Annex KK - Email - Workplace Car Parking Charges
• Annex LL - Email - Work Place Car Parking
• Annex MM - Letter - Workplace Parking Tax
• Annex NN - Email - Levy Taxes on Workplace Car Parking
• Annex OO - Email - Daily Mail - D&G Council Rules Out WPI - Lines for Clearance
• Annex PP - Email - SNP Car Parking Levy
• Annex QQ - Email - Parking Levies (with accompanying letter)
• Annex RR - Email - Scottish Association of Social Work Letter to Derek Mackay
• Annex SS - Email - Workplace Car Parking
• Annex TT - Email - Daily Mail - D&G Council Rules Out WPI - Lines for Clearance
• Annex UU - Email - Workplace Car Parking
• Annex VV- Email - BBC GMS - Councils Rule Out Workplace Parking Levy - Ministerial Bid
• Annex WW - Email - BBC GMS - Councils Rule Out Workplace Parking Levy - Ministerial Bid
• Annex XX - Email - Workplace Car Parking
• Annex YY - Email - From Constituent, Titled 'me'
• Annex ZZ - Email - Work Parking Charge

• Annex AAA - Email - Working Car Parking Tax - Exemption

• Annex BBB - Email - Car Parking Tax
• Annex CCC -Email -Workplace Parking Levy-Daily Mail etc, -Lines for Clearance
• Annex DDD -Email -Workplace Parking Levy -Daily Mail etc, -Lines for Clearance
• Annex EEE -Email -Letter to Finance Committee
• Annex FFF -Briefings -TS Work Place Parking Levy

 

We have exempted two pieces of information under Section 25 of the FOi (Scotland) Act, as these can reasonably obtained without asking for them under FOISA. We direct you to the associated piece of information which was published as follows:
https://www.parliament.scot/S5_Finance/General%20Documents/ScotGov_response_Budget_report.pdf

https://news.gov.scot/news/additional-investment-in-public-services

 

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) (free and frank provision of advice), Section 30(b)(ii) (free and frank advice and exchange of views), Section 30(c) (substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs) and Section 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA apply to that information. The reasons why the exemptions apply are explained in the Annex to this letter.

 

REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION


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

Exemptions under sections 30(b)(i) and 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank 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. The exemptions recognise the need for Ministers to have a private space within which to seek advice and views from officials before reaching the settled public view. Disclosing the content of free and frank material on the Workplace Parking Levy will substantially inhibit such provision of advice in the future, particularly because these discussions relate to a sensitive or controversial issue.

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 the exemptions. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the 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 a private space within which officials can provide free and frank advice and views to Ministers and officials. Premature disclosure of this type of information could lead to a reduction in the comprehensiveness and frankness of such advice and views in the future, which would not be in the public interest.

 

Section 30(c) -substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs [in relation to communications/meetings with external stakeholders]

An exemption under section 30(c) of FOISA (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) applies to some of the information requested. It is essential for Ministers and officials to be able to communicate, often in confidence, with external stakeholders on a range of issues, including the Workplace Parking Levy. Disclosing the content of these discussions, particularly without the consent of the stakeholder, is likely to undermine their trust in the Scottish Government and will substantially inhibit communications on this type of issue in the future. These stakeholders will be reluctant to provide their views fully and frankly if they believe that their views are likely to be made public, particularly while these discussions relate to a sensitive or controversial issue. This would significantly harm the Government's ability to carry out many aspects of its work, and could adversely affect its ability to gather all of the evidence it needs to make fully informed decisions.

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 a private space within which officials can provide full and frank advice and free and frank exchange of views relating to Scottish Transport issues.

 

Section 30(c) -substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs [in relation to the source of legal advice]

An exemption under section 30(c) of FOISA (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because revealing the source of the Scottish Government's legal advice on the Workplace Parking Levy would be likely to lead to conclusions being drawn from the fact that any particular lawyer has, or has not, provided advice, which in turn would be likely to impair the Government's ability to take forward its work. This would constitute substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs in terms of the exemption. 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 enabling the Scottish Government to determine how and from whom it receives legal advice, without facing external pressure or concerns that particular conclusions may be drawn from the fact that any particular lawyer has or has not provided legal advice on a particular matter. Releasing information about the source of legal advice would also be a breach of the long-standing Law Officer Convention (reflected in the Scottish Ministerial Code) which prevents the Scottish Government from revealing whether Law Officers either have or have not provided legal advice on any matter. There is no public interest in breaching that Convention by divulging which lawyers provided advice on any issue.

 

Section 38(1)(b) -personal data of a third party

An exemption under Section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party. Disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption 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 exemption.

 

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Phone: 0300 244 4000

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