- 20 Jun 2018
FOI reference: FOI/18/01432
Date received: 22 May 2018
Date responded: 19 June 2018
'For the period August 2013 to November 2013, information held by Transport Scotland relating to the contract variation signed 18th November 2013 re the vessel switch.'
I am writing with the formal response to your request.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested in relation to informaiton relating to the vessel switch contract variation of 18 November 2018 because exemption under Section 29(1)(a) formulation or development of Scottish Government Policy and Section 30(b)(i) prejudice of effective conduct of public affairs of FOISA applies. This is in regard to discussions which led to the formulation of Scottish Government policy and the subsequent advice to Scottish Ministers. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained below.
Information in scope of your request has been provided in Annex B.
Reasons for not providing information
Exemptions apply, subject to the public interest test.
s.29(1)(a) – Formulation or Development of Scottish Government Policy
Section 29 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) exempts information from disclosure if it relates to:
the formulation or development of government policy
the provision of advice by any of the Law Officers (or any request for the provision of such advice) or
the operation of any Ministerial private office. The section 29 exemptions are sometimes referred to as "class-based" exemptions. This means that the exemption will apply if the information falls within a particular class of information (e.g. Ministerial communications). Unlike most of the exemptions, the authority does not have to demonstrate that disclosure of the information would cause harm before applying the exemption. The exemptions in section 29 are all subject to the public interest test. This means that, even if the exemption applies, the information must be disclosed unless the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it. When applying the public interest test, the Scottish Administration must consider the public interest in disclosing the factual information used to inform a decision.
s.30(b)(i) - Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs
Section 30 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) exempts information from disclosure where disclosure would, or would be likely to, cause substantial harm to one or more of the following:
the maintenance of the convention of the collective responsibility of the Scottish Ministers
the free and frank provision of advice
the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation
the effective conduct of public affairs All of the exemptions in section 30 are subject to the public interest test. This means that, even if the exemption applies, the information must be disclosed unless the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it.
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