Publication - FOI/EIR release

Tree Health Pest & Disease Surveys Scotland Framework results: FOI release

Published: 2 Sep 2020

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

Published:
2 Sep 2020
Tree Health Pest & Disease Surveys Scotland Framework results: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000032394
Date received: 20 Apr 2020
Date responded: 4 Jun 2020
Information requested

1. That I am provided with contact details for your superior officer so that I may submit a complaint about your handling of this appeal and your failure to return my voicemail of 9 December regarding the GDRP aspect of the tender.

2. That I am provided with a copy of the responses received from other bidders with regard to the GDPR aspect of their submissions (requested in my emails of 2 April and 6 April). I request this under the Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) Act 2002.

3. That I am provided with a copy of the external legal advice you received during your internal review (cited in your email of 16 April) in addition to all internal notes and correspondence regarding the same matter. I request this under the Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) Act 2002.

4. That I am provided with more detailed commentary with regard to how you ‘considered compliance’ with the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 (your email of 16 April) including any file notes or other records you possess in this regard of this assessment. I request this under the Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) Act 2002.

5. That I am provided with details of the applicable case law you considered with regard to the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 (your email of 16 April 2020) and your analysis of said case law pertaining to application to this appeal, including any file notes or other records you possess in this regard. I request this under the Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) Act 2002.

Response

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information requested.
In answer to question 1, this information, namely the relevant name of the Scottish Government official has already been provided to you in a letter from Scottish Government on 24 April 2020.
In answer to question 2 the information is attached to this letter at Annex A. For completeness not all answers provided received a pass mark.
In answer to question 4, this information has already been provided to you in a letter on 24 April 2020, the same as referenced above in question 1.
In answer to question 3 and 5 an exemption under 36(1) of FOISA applies to that information.
The reasons why that exemption applies are explained in Annex B to this letter.

ANNEX B
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
Section 36(1) - legal advice

An exemption under section 36(1) of FOISA (confidentiality in legal proceedings) applies to some of the information requested because it is legal advice and disclosure would breach legal professional privilege.
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 some public interest in release as part of open and transparent government, and to inform public debate.
However, this is outweighed by the strong public interest in maintaining the right to confidentiality of communications between legal advisers and clients, to ensure that Ministers and officials are able to receive legal advice in confidence, like any other public or private organisation 

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.

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