Publication - FOI/EIR release

Correspondence and reports regarding MV Clipper Ranger: FOI release

Published: 22 Mar 2019

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

Published:
22 Mar 2019
Correspondence and reports regarding MV Clipper Ranger: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/19/00491
Date received: 18 Feb 2019
Date responded: 21 Mar 2019
Information requested

 

“To provide information of all correspondence relating to the MV Clipper Ranger from 25th September 2018 until 18th February 2019 including meetings, emails, letters and reports between Scottish Ministers, Transport Scotland, CMAL, CalMac Ferries Ltd, Serco Northlink Ferries Ltd and Seatruck Ferries Ltd. Given the extended search worldwide for additional tonnage for  Scotland's ferries network, that, so far has proved to no avail, it is important that an opportunity should not be missed, finally, in this instance.”

 

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 these exemptions apply are explained in Annex B to this letter.

 

Annex B

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

The Section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views) exemption applies to some of the information requested.  This exemption applies 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.  This exemption 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, CalMac Ferries Ltd, CMAL, Serco Northlink Ferries Ltd and Seatruck 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) (commercial interests) 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-19-00491 Annex A

36 page PDF
1.7 MB

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