The total spent on the development of the Highly Protected Marine Areas policy in the 2022-23 financial year?
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.
Information already available (Regulation 6(1)(b))
All of the information you have requested is available from here as a response to a previous EIR: Scottish Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) correspondence and costs breakdown: EIR release - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
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. However, under our requirement to provide advice and assistance, I have also provided the information below.
Below is a copy of some of the information requested in a table below regarding the total overall spent on Highly Protected Marine Areas policy development in the 2022-23 financial year.
|Cost||Value (including VAT)|
|Publication Cost of Consultation Documents||£6,656.29|
|Newspaper notice of Environmental Report publication||£515.09|
Information not held - (10(4)(a)
Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have. The Scottish Government does not have all of the information you have requested, “The total spent om the development of the Highly Protected Marine Areas policy in the 2022-23 financial year?” This is because while the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and Nature Scot were also involved in advising during the policy development process, however there is no business requirement for officials to allocate their time spent working on tasks for Marine Directorate between different tasks they perform for us, for example time spent on tasks relating to the policy development, or their work more generally. Given we do not hold details of the time spent by individuals undertaking these tasks, we are unable to provide details of the total costs that you have specified.
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. While we recognise that there may be some public interest in information about the costs of Highly Protected Marine Areas policy development, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
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
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