Publication - FOI/EIR release

Delays with Glen Sannox, communications with Ferguson Marine: FOI release

Published: 16 Mar 2018
Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
Published:
16 Mar 2018
Delays with Glen Sannox, communications with Ferguson Marine: FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/18/00122
Date received: 16 January 2018
Date responded: 14 March 2018

Information requested

1. Email correspondence between Scottish Ministers and Ferguson Marine on the delays with the new Glen Sannox.

2. Documentation outlining the faults which has led to the delay of the completion of the new Glen Sannox.

3. Minutes from meetings with Scottish Government officials and Ferguson Marine about the new Glen Sannox.

On 18 January 2018 you clarified your request as follows:-

'The faults are in relation to the bow, as outlined here:

http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/news/15815666.Ferry_MV_Glen_Sannox_to_have_bow_replaced/"

'I am looking for a timeframe between 1 January 2016 and 10 January 2018 for email correspondence.'

Response

Request 1

Please see exchange of letters between Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands dated 9 November 2017 and Mr Jim McColl, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Clyde Blowers Capital dated 6 November 2017 that have previously been provided to the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee. These letters are attached at Annex 1.

Request 2

This is formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA (information not held) that the Scottish Government does not hold information you have requested. Please see Annex 2.

Request 3

We have identified some information within the scope of this request and this is detailed in Annex 3.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions under Section 30 (b) (ii), free and frank exchange of views, and Section 33(1)(b), commercial interests of FOISA applies. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained below.

Reasons for not providing information

Exemptions apply, subject to the public interest test.

Section 30(b)(ii) – free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation.

An exemption under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank exchange of views) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. This exemption recognises the need for Ministers / officials to have a private space within which to discuss issues and options with external stakeholders. Disclosing the content of these discussions will substantially inhibit such discussions in the future, because these stakeholders will be reluctant to provide their views fully and frankly if they believe that those views are likely to be made public.

Public interest test.

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, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in allowing Ministers and officials a private space within which to communicate with appropriate external stakeholders.

This private space is essential to enable all options to be properly considered, so that good decisions can be taken based on fully informed advice and evidence, such as that provided by stakeholders. Premature disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues between the Scottish Government and these stakeholders, which in turn will undermine the quality of the decision making process, which would not be in the public interest.

Section 33(1)(b) – commercial interests.

An exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (commercial interests) applies to the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to prejudice substantially the commercial interests of Clyde Blowers / Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd.

Public interest test.

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 Clyde Blowers / Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

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 Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG