Value for money and level of service analysis for Gourock-Dunoon route: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/02070 and FOI/18/02082  
Date received: 2 August 2018
Date responded: 30 August 2018
Information requested
  • Any value for money analysis undertaken for the Gourock-Dunoon route completed after 13 September 2017.
  • Any analysis of the appropriate level of service and any assessment of communities’ needs for the Gourock to Dunoon route completed after 13th September 2017.
The information released can be found in the document attached below.
Reasons for not providing information
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 exemptions under section 29(1) (a) formulation or development of government policy, 29(1)(b) Ministerial communications apply. Sections 30(b)(i),(ii) and 30(c) which cover free and frank provision of advice, free and frank exchange of views and otherwise prejudice effective conduct of public affairs also apply to some of the information. Section 38(1)(a) applies to personal data.

Section 29(1)(a) of FOISA (formulation or development of government policy) applies to some information requested because it relates to the development of the Scottish Government’s policy on the procurement of ferry services and the retendering of a public service contract.

Sections 30(b)(i)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. This exemption recognises the need for to have a private space within which to provide advice.

Section 30(c) of FOISA (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) applies to some of the information requested. Disclosing this information would be likely to prejudice substantially the effective conduct of public affairs which, if disclosed, would otherwise be likely to have a significantly disruptive effect on the way in which public authorities conduct their business. This would constitute substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of ongoing ferry services procurement and associated public affairs.

Personal data relating to names of Scottish Government officials has also been redacted under 38(1)(a) of FOISA. This exemption applies because the information is personal data of third parties and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998.

These exemptions are 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 exemptions. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemptions. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the process of procurement of the Gourock to Dunoon ferry service and ensuring that the Scottish Government is able conduct this aspect of its business effectively.
About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at
foi-18-02070 Information


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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