Publication - FOI/EIR release

Marine Scotland Aquaculture staff declared interests in Salmon Farming Industry: FOI review

Published: 30 May 2019

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

Published:
30 May 2019
Marine Scotland Aquaculture staff declared interests in Salmon Farming Industry: FOI review
FOI reference: FOI/19/01207 Review
Date received: 3 May 2019
Date responded: 16 May 2019
Information requested

 

Concerning Marine Scotland Aquaculture staff declared interests in relation to the Salmon Farming industry in Scotland:-

"Interests" in this case shall be determined as business and pecuniary interests of the individual, which may arise directly from themselves, but also an immediate family member, such as spouse, partner, parent or child.

- Are Marine Scotland staff required to declare any "interest" in salmon farming companies or those providing services to salmon farming companies?

- Are Marine Scotland staff permitted to hold positions at salmon farming companies or those providing services to salmon farming companies while also working for Marine Scotland?

- How many Marine Scotland staff also currently hold positions at salmon farming companies or those providing services to salmon farming companies?

- Are any Marine Scotland staff with "interests" in salmon farming companies or those providing services to salmon farming companies involved in the inspection and enforcement of applicable regulations and/or guidelines?

 

Response

 

When we acknowledged your request we did so under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 but on further reflection this request is most appropriately handled under FOISA. This essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
In accordance with section 21(4) of FOISA, I have also reached a decision on your request.

On behalf of Marine Scotland I apologise for the delay in responding to your original request. This has occurred because of an administrative error where responsibility for providing a response between the relevant ‘Science’ team and ‘policy’ team had not been established and therefore not progressed and subsequently missed. Steps to rectify this type of error have now been put in place e.g. any information request or review request will be logged on receipt and will allocated to the relevant team when responsibility is established ensuring a record such requests is visible and progressed within the statutory timeline for response.
I can now provide our response to your original request.

 

Response to your request

The answer to your questions are as follows.
1. Are Marine Scotland staff required to declare any ‘interest’ in salmon farming companies or those providing services to salmon farming companies?
All staff are required to declare any interests in order to ensure that there can be no suggestion of bias or use of an official position to further personal interests.
Staff must not engage in any appointments or undertakings which may conflict with the interests of the organisation or be inconsistent with their position and values as a civil servant.
If necessary appropriate measures are put in place to mitigate the conflict, including but not limited to:
 delegating the affected colleague's responsibilities to another employee
 declaring any relevant interests at all meetings to which the interest relates
 recording potential conflicts in the minutes of meetings
 excluding the affected colleague from meetings (or parts of meetings) which discuss matters related to their interests
 moving to another post in the Scottish Government where the conflict would not arise
 disposing of the interest.

2. Are Marine Scotland staff permitted to hold positions at salmon farming companies or those providing services to salmon farming companies while also working for Marine Scotland?
All staff must seek prior permission for all occupations, undertakings or activities which involve:
 use of official time and/or resources
 use of their official designation
 use of official information or of experience acquired in the course of official duties
 working for another government department, or any form of service in any of the armed forces
A member of staff must not engage in any appointments or undertakings which may:
 conflict with the interests of the organisation
 be inconsistent with their position and values as a civil servant
Each case would be considered on its own merits and advice given to the member of staff.

3. How many Marine Scotland staff also currently hold positions at salmon farming companies or those providing services to salmon farming companies?
Information contained on the Scottish Government Interests register reflect that no Marine Scotland staff fall within this category.

4. Are any Marine Scotland staff with "interests" in salmon farming companies or those providing services to salmon farming companies involved in the inspection and enforcement of applicable regulations and/or guidelines?
Information contained on the Scottish Government Interests register reflect that no Marine Scotland staff fall within this category.

 

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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 Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG