Publication - FOI/EIR release

Information in relation to marine licence application reference 05964: EIR release

Published: 21 Sep 2018

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Published:
21 Sep 2018
Information in relation to marine licence application reference 05964: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/18/01812
Date received: 29 June 2018  
Date responded: 27 September 2018
 
Information requested

1. The Marine Licence application, and associated paperwork (if any) submitted by Aberdeen Harbour Board subsequently granted licence number 05964/18/0 (‘the application’).

2. All responses received by Marine Scotland in response to its consultation on the application.

3. Any internal or third party research work utilised by Marine Scotland in consideration of the application.

4. Any internal correspondence/memos etc. generated by Marine Scotland in consideration of the application.

5. All correspondence between Marine Scotland and third parties with respect to the application.”

Response

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.

Response 

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.

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 exceptions under regulations 10(4)(d) (unfinished or incomplete information), 10(4)(e) (internal communications) and 11(2) (personal information of a third party) of the EIRs apply to that information. The reasons why these exceptions apply are explained below.

Reasons for not providing information

Exceptions that apply.

Exceptions under regulations 10(4)(d), 10(4)(e) (internal communications) and 11(2) of the EIRs apply to some of the information you have requested.

Unfinished or incomplete information.

An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to some of the information you have requested because it is an unfinished document. 

This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government.  However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which is still being worked on or is under active consideration is not disclosed when it might misinform the public or give a misleading impression of the Government’s view or position on the matter to which the information relates.

Internal communications

An exception under regulation 10(4)(e) of the EIRs (internal communications) applies to some of the information you have requested because it is internal communication between Scottish Government Ministers and/or officials.

This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in properly considered implementation and development of policies and decisions.

Personal data of a third party.

An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EISRs (personal information of a third party) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exception 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 exception.

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