Publication - FOI/EIR release

Abellio ScotRail funding: FOI release

Published: 15 Nov 2019

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

Published:
15 Nov 2019
Abellio ScotRail funding: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/19/02389
Date received: 15 Oct 2019
Date responded: 12 Nov 2019
Information requested

You requested, as follows:

On July/August (specifically for this question) 2019 was any sum of money transferred to Abellio ScotRail ? And what was the following:

1) The amount
2) for what reasons
3) What were the terms of repayment?

Out with the agreed terms of financial grants/aid for franchise agreements, has the Scottish government gave any additional money to Abellio ScotRail and what
was the following:

1) The reason (s) for any additional funding
2) The terms of any agreement
3) How would it be paid back and when

Response

I can confirm that for July and August 2019, payments were made by Transport Scotland to Abellio ScotRail against the following 3 areas:-

1. Payment for a seconded member of staff from ScotRail to Transport Scotland to assist in the development of accessibility improvements across the Scottish rail network. The total value of the payment for this area was £15,127.20.
2. Payments for the purchase of rail travel tickets for Transport Scotland staff. The total value of the payments for this area was £2,187.68.
3. Payments under the franchise agreement. An exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (commercial interests) applies to the monetary sums associated with the information requested in relation to this payment area. This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of Abellio ScotRail.

I can however confirm that the values transferred under the Franchise heading was as per Schedule 8 of the Franchise Agreement and that all payments made to ScotRail have been consistent with the provisions of the Agreement. A copy of the Franchise Agreement can be found via the following link:-

https://www.transport.gov.scot/media/2302/abellio-scotrail-redacted-franchise-agreement-web-version-revised-november-2016.pdf 

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 enter into Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

About FOI

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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