- 23 Oct 2019
Date received: 19 Sep 2019
Date responded: 18 Oct 2019
You asked for “all marketing spending by the SG on paper shredders over each of the last five financial years. In each case, please say the date of purchase, which department or office the shredder was for, how much it cost and where it was purchased from” which was later clarified to read “all Scottish Government spending on paper shredders”.
I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested at Annex A.
We do endeavour to provide information whenever possible. However, in this instance: -
1. An exemption under section 33(1)(b) (Commercial Interests) of FOISA applies to your request for the individual prices. This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of those companies supplying the Scottish Government. Disclosing this information would be likely to give their competitors an advantage in future tendering exercises, which would substantially prejudice their ability to submit competitive tenders and so could significantly harm their commercial business.
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 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 tender for Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.
2. We can confirm that the overall cost of purchasing the shredders highlighted in Annex A was £28,392.25 for the period from 1 July 2016.
3. Some of the information you have requested is not held by the Scottish Government. Section 17(1) of FOISA (information not held) requires the Scottish Government to notify you if it does not have the information you requested. The Scottish Government does not have all the information you have asked for because it only holds this information from 1 July 2016.
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.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House