- 2 Jul 2018
FOI reference: FOI/18/01555
Date received: 29 May 2018
Date responded: 2 July 2018
A list of the meetings between some Government officials and some ANM directors from 2013 to date, the government officials of interest are, either, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity or Minister for Local Government and Housing or DPEA officials and reporters and the specific ANM directors, are, either, Pat Machray, Grant Rogerson, Peter Chapman or Peter Watson.
As you know, 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.
If I may in the first instance confirm that the Scottish Government has adopted thepractice of publishing, on a monthly basis, three months in arrears details of engagements carried out by all Ministers and therefore some of the information you have requested is available from the Scottish Government website at the following link(s) :
Engagements from before May 2016:
Engagements from May 2016 onwards:
You may be aware that 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. 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 of the relevant information.
In terms of your request for a list of meetings between the above named parties and DPEA reporters, I confirm no meetings fall under this scope of your request in this respect. If it might be of help however I confirm that the appointed reporter(s) carried out an inspection of the site as part of consideration of the case(s). The inspection(s) were/was on an unaccompanied basis and no parties involved in the appeal(s) were present.
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