- 8 Jun 2018
FOI reference: FOI/18/01043
Date received: 29 March 2018
Date responded: 24 May 2018
Information concerning the decision to ban Scottish imports of salmon ova to Norway. In particular;
All information/ correspondence between Scottish Government and Norwegian Government institutions on the Norwegian decision, in addition to information on a meeting with Per Sandberg ( including Norwegian documentation, reports, decisions, emails, letters); and
Any Scottish Government communications with egg companies, salmon farming companies and other parties on the decision to ban imports of salmon ova to Norway or a meeting with Per Sandberg
Any Ministerial briefing concerning the decision to ban Scottish imports of salmon ova to Norway.
I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested.
Some of the information you have requested is available online; https://www.regjeringen.no/contentassets/84664705a50f4fa9bc36ecc29bc2ee2b/avgjorelse-av-klage-pa-avslag-pa-soknad-om-tillatelse-til-innforsel-av-r.._.pdf
and can be translated using an online document translator (for example; https://www.onlinedoctranslator.com/).
Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide a small amount of the information you have requested because exemptions under sections s. 29(1)(a) (policy formulation), s. 38(1)(b) (personal information), s. 36(1) Confidentiality in legal proceedings, s. 30(b)(i) free and frank provision of advice, s. 29 (1)(b) Ministerial communications, s. 33(1)(b) Commercial interests and s. 32 (1)(b)(i) Confidential information received from international organisations of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained below.
Reasons for not providing information
An exemption applies.
An exemption(s) under section(s) s. 25 (1) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested as some information relating to the decision by the Norwegian authorities is already available online. A link and translator has been provided.
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.
An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test.
An exemption under section s.29(1)(a) policy formation, 29(1)(b) ministerial communications and s.30(b)(i) free and frank provision of advice of FOISA applies to a small amount of the information you have requested which involves the formation of Ministerial briefing and communications between Ministers. In addition a small amount of this information also contains Scottish Government legal advice and is withheld under exemption s. 36(1) – confidentiality in legal proceedings.
An exemption under s. 33(1)(b) commercial interests and s. 36(1) confidentiality in legal proceedings and s. 32(1)(b)(ii) applies to a small amount of information you have requested as this relates to potential future commercial plans of the operator and ongoing discussions with the Norwegian authorities about the potential import of a different salmon ova strain.
A small amount of personal information has been redacted under s. 38 (1)(b) personal information.
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 because it relates to the commercial interests of Scotland. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in that information surrounding the decisions made by Norwegian authorities is available online.
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 Andrew's House