Correspondence between Scottish Government and representatives of Ofgem: EIR review

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

Information requested

In your review request you noted that you had:

‘…asked for correspondence with a specific organisation (Ofgem) on a specific topic (ScotWind) over a relatively short period of time… All that is required is a search for correspondence including email addresses and the keyword “ScotWind”.’


Further to my letter of 19 June, I have now completed my review of our response to your request under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs) for ‘all correspondence between the Scottish Government (including Ministers, Civil Servants, and Special Advisers) and representatives of Ofgem, which mentions “ScotWind”, from 1st January 2021 - date.’

I have been asked to consider your request afresh as I was not involved with the handling of your initial request. I have concluded that a different decision should be substituted.

I have reconsidered the application of regulation 10(4)(b)(Manifestly unreasonable) of the EIRs with the Public Interest test arguments and do not believe that this exception applies. I have concluded that the search could have been narrowed down more effectively to enable it to be completed without such a burden on the public authority (in terms of the costs and resources involved in dealing with your request) that the request would be ‘manifestly unreasonable’.

A further search for correspondence was conducted out on this basis.

Information considered as being within the scope of your original request has been limited to correspondence between the Scottish Government (including Ministers, Civil Servants, and Special Advisers) and representatives of Ofgem including the keyword “ScotWind”.

For this reason, I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested. In two cases, these documents have been issued in full. These are the two letters between Ofgem and Scottish Government Ministers on the subject of ScotWind, sent on 17 January 2022 [please note the date enclosed in this letter is incorrect] and 2 February 2022 respectively.

In the third document, the slide entitled ‘Planning and Consenting Update’, I have provided an extract of the information in scope of your request.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, an exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to the letter sent from Scottish Government’s Directorate For Energy and Climate Change to Ofgem on 15th September 2021. This is 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.

About FOI

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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