Publication - FOI/EIR release

A90 Foveran culvert maintenance records, construction drawings and correspondence: EIR release

Published: 17 Feb 2020

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Published:
17 Feb 2020
A90 Foveran culvert maintenance records, construction drawings and correspondence: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/20/00062
Date received: 7 Jan 2020
Date responded: 14 Feb 2020
Information requested

You asked for

“Construction drawings for the replacement culvert and associated works at Foveran (Old A90) which commenced on 2 September 2019.

Proposed embankment repairs at the corner of Blairythan Terrace/old A90.

Maintenance records for the A90 Foveran culvert between September 2009 and January 2016.

Copy of the Detailed Drainage Study and Geotechnical Study and any other reports carried out by TS relative to the A90 Foveran culvert between 2009 and 2019.

Details of the temporary works carried out at Foveran in April/May 2016. Bear Scheme Id Ref: 14/NE/01310/012.

Any correspondence/telephone conversations/reports/investigations/recommendations between Aberdeenshire Council and Bear/Transport Scotland relative to the A90 Foveran culvert between 2009 and 2019.

Any correspondence/telephone conversations/meetings and emails between Bear and myself with respect to the culvert and associated works.”

Clarification was received on 17 January that you “would request a detailed programme/scope of the works carried out to upgrade the drains/chambers on th A90 and Blairythan Terrace, Foveran.”

Also requested – “detailed scope of works for the temporary works and a copy of the invoice/receipt for the works carried out to our property”

Response

As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations.  We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA. 

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, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes.  This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

I have numbered your request for ease of reference

1. Construction drawings for the replacement culvert and associated works at Foveran (Old A90) which commenced on 2 September 2019.

An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party 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 exception 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 exception.

Please see Annex A to this response, construction drawings

2. Proposed embankment repairs at the corner of Blairythan Terrace/old A90.

An exception under regulation 10(5)(e) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to confidentiality of commercial information) applies to some of the information you have requested. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial information provided by the company providing the quote and thus cause substantial harm to their commercial interests. Disclosing this information would be likely to give their competitors an advantage in future similar tendering exercises, which would substantially prejudice their ability to submit competitive tenders and so could significantly harm their commercial business.

This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. 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, or enter into Transport Scotland contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party 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 exception 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 exception.

Please see Annex B to this response, details of embankment repairs.

3. Maintenance records for the A90 Foveran culvert between September 2009 and January 2016.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested.  Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs.  From 2009 – 2014 records would only record works if a fault or defect had been identified, there are no records of anything being recorded.

No routine maintenance was carried out for the A90 Foveran culvert from 2014 to 7 January.

4. Copy of the Detailed Drainage Study and Geotechnical Study and any other reports carried out by TS relative to the A90 Foveran culvert between 2009 and 2019.

Some of the information you have requested is available from http://bailey.persona-pi.com/Public-Inquiries/east-west-rail/proofs-rebuttals/nr/NR101.pdf.  Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format.  If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

An exception under regulation 10(5)(e) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to confidentiality of commercial information) applies to some of the information you have requested. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial information provided by the company providing the quote and thus cause substantial harm to their commercial interests. Disclosing this information would be likely to give their competitors an advantage in future similar tendering exercises, which would substantially prejudice their ability to submit competitive tenders and so could significantly harm their commercial business.

This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. 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, or enter into Transport Scotland contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party 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 exception 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 exception.

Please see Annexes C, and D, to this response, geotechnical studies, and drainage studies respectively.

5. Details of the temporary works carried out at Foveran in April/May 2016. Bear Scheme Id Ref: 14/NE/01310/012.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested.  Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs.  This is because there were no temporary repairs carried out.

6. Any correspondence/telephone conversations/reports/investigations/recommendations between Aberdeenshire Council and Bear/Transport Scotland relative to the A90 Foveran culvert between 2009 and 2019.

An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to some of the information you have requested because it is an unfinished document. This is because the documents are in draft stage.

This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which is still in being worked on or is under active consideration is not disclosed when it might misinform the public or give a misleading impression of Transport Scotland’s view or position on the matter to which the information relates.

An exception under regulation 10(5)(e) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to confidentiality of commercial information) applies to some of the information you have requested. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial information provided by the company providing the quote and thus cause substantial harm to their commercial interests. Disclosing this information would be likely to give their competitors an advantage in future similar tendering exercises, which would substantially prejudice their ability to submit competitive tenders and so could significantly harm their commercial business.

An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party 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 exception 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 exception.

Please see Annex E, extracts from correspondence between Aberdeenshire Council and BEAR/Transport Scotland in relation to the A90 Foveran culvert.

7. Any correspondence/telephone conversations/meetings and emails between Bear and myself with respect to the culvert and associated works.

An exception under regulation 11(1) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to the information requested because it is personal information of which you are the data subject, and so it is subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. This exception 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 exception.

Accordingly, we will be dealing with this part of your request as a subject access request. It has now been passed to our Data Protection and Information Manager whose contact details are:

Data Protection and Information Governance Manager
Buchanan House
58 Port Dundas Rod
Glasgow
G4 0HF

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