Publication - FOI/EIR release

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, questions regarding rail and ferries: FOI release

Published: 20 Mar 2019

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

Published:
20 Mar 2019
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, questions regarding rail and ferries: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/19/00476
Date received: 7 Feb 2019
Date responded: 11 Mar 2019
Information requested

 

All correspondence between Christine Grahame MSP and the Cabinet Secretary for Transport.

How many times have representatives from the Cabinet Secretary for Transport's office met with Christine Grahame MSP and when did these meetings occur?

The minutes of all meetings between Christine Grahame MSP and representatives from the Cabinet Secretary for Transport's office.

All correspondence between members of Christine Grahame MSP’s office and the Cabinet Secretary for Transport's office.

Has the Cabinet Secretary for Transport met with any of the opposition spokesmen for transport (Colin Smyth, Jamie Greene and Mike Rumbles). If yes, when did these meetings occur and what were the minutes of these meetings.

All correspondence from the Cabinet Secretary for Transport and relevant bodies concerning East Linton and/or Reston.

All correspondence between Michael Matheson MSP and ScotRail/Abellio regarding ScotRail performance.

How many times has Michael Matheson MSP met with ScotRail/Abellio and when did these meetings occur?

The minutes of all meetings between Michael Matheson MSP and ScotRail/Abellio.

All correspondence between Michael Matheson MSP and CalMac.

How many times has Michael Matheson MSP met with CalMac and when did these meetings occur?

The minutes of all meetings between Michael Matheson MSP and CalMac

 

Response

 

  • All correspondence between Christine Grahame MSP and the Cabinet Secretary for Transport.

Please find attached in Annex A
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie names and contact details of individuals and 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.

 

  • How many times have representatives from the Cabinet Secretary for Transport's office met with Christine Grahame MSP and when did these meetings occur?

The Cabinet Secretary is due to meet Christine Grahame MSP, however a date has yet to be arranged.

 

  •  The minutes of all meetings between Christine Grahame MSP and representatives from the Cabinet Secretary for Transport's office.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

 

  •  All correspondence between members of Christine Grahame MSP’s office and the Cabinet Secretary for Transport's office.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

 

  • Has the Cabinet Secretary for Transport met with any of the opposition spokesmen for transport (Colin Smyth, Jamie Greene and Mike Rumbles). If yes, when did these meetings occur and what were the minutes of these meetings.

The Cabinet Secretary met with Jaime Greene on 21/02/2019. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the minutes you have requested.

 

  • All correspondence from the Cabinet Secretary for Transport and relevant bodies concerning East Linton and/or Reston.

Please find attached Annex C
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie names and contact details of individuals and 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.

 

  • All correspondence between Michael Matheson MSP and ScotRail/Abellio regarding ScotRail performance.

Please find in Annex B
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie names and contact details of individuals and 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.

2/8/2018 Introduction Meeting with Alex Hynes
6/11/2018 Meeting with Alex Hynes
30/10/2018 Introduction meeting with Dominic Booth
23/1/2018 Meeting with Alex Hynes

 

  • The minutes of all meetings between Michael Matheson MSP and ScotRail/Abellio.

An exemption under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank exchange of views) applies to the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. This exemption recognises the need for Ministers and the Franchise Operator to have a private space within which to discuss and explore options before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view.

Disclosing the content of free and frank discussions between ScotRail and the Scottish Government will substantially inhibit discussions in the future, particularly because the Franchise is still ongoing and these discussions relate to a sensitive or controversial issue.

Likewise, an exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (commercial interests) applies to the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of Abellio ScotRail. Disclosing this information would be likely to give future competitors an advantage in future similar tendering exercises, which would substantially prejudice Abellio ScotRail’s ability to submit competitive tenders and so could significantly harm their commercial business.

Both these 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 Ministers and the Franchise operator a private space within which to explore and refine the Government’s position.

Likewise 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 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.

 

  • All correspondence between Michael Matheson MSP and CalMac.

Please find attached in Annex A

 

  • How many times has Michael Matheson MSP met with CalMac and when did these meetings occur?

Mr Matheson met with Calmac on 4 October 2018

 

  • The minutes of all meetings between Michael Matheson MSP and CalMac

Please find attached Annex D
An exemption under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank exchange of views) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. This exemption recognises the need for Ministers and the Franchise Operator to have a private space within which to discuss and explore options before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view.

Disclosing the content of free and frank discussions between Calmac and the Scottish Government will substantially inhibit discussions in the future, particularly because the Franchise is still ongoing and these discussions relate to a sensitive issue.

Likewise, an exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (commercial interests) applies to the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of Caledonian MacBrayne. Disclosing this information would be likely to give future competitors an advantage in future similar tendering exercises, which would substantially prejudice Abellio ScotRail’s ability to submit competitive tenders and so could significantly harm their commercial business.

Both these 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 Ministers and the Franchise operator a private space within which to explore and refine the Government’s position.

Likewise 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 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.

 

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-19-00476 Annex A, B, C, D

19 page PDF
646.5 kB

Contact

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG