May 2016 Scottish Parliament election, Aberdeen Donside accounts: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/00819
Date received: 14 March 2018
Date responded: 29 March 2018

Information requested

A copy of the claim submitted by the Returning Officer for Aberdeen Donside in the 2016 Scottish Parliamentary Election, including forms A through L. I would also like to see all the annexes (A, B,C,D,E,F and G) submitted with Form G, and the invoice copy submitted to support the payment either to Idox or to Aberdeen City Council for the provision of a managed service for the opening and verification of personal identifiers for postal votes. I am happy for the identity of the signatory authorising payment to be redacted, but would like details of the account from which the invoice was to be paid and any instructions on whether it will be paid inclusive or exclusive of VAT, including whether it is marked "out of scope", to be left unredacted.


I attach a copy of the full account submitted by the Returning Officer for Aberdeen Donside at May 2016 Scottish Parliament election. I also attach a copy of the two invoices from idox which relate to the opening and verification of postal vote identifiers. You will wish to note that these invoices are for providing this service for all three constituencies managed by the Returning Officer for the Aberdeen City area and therefore only one third of the invoiced amount (£12,600) is charged against sub-head G8 on form G. The remaining amount was reclaimed in the accounts for Aberdeen Central and Aberdeen South and North Kincardine.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we have had to make some redactions because exemptions under section s.38(1)(b) (personal information) and 33(1)(b) (commercial interests) of FOISA apply to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained below.

Reasons for not providing information

Personal information.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. names and contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998 (individuals names on form E and signatures on the Idox invoices). Redactions have been made as appropriate.

This exemption 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 exemption.

Bank account details.

An exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (commercial interests) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of Aberdeen City Council.

The account number of the Aberdeen City Council bank account on form C, used by the Returning Officer, has been redacted in order to maintain confidentiality.

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Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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