- 9 Oct 2018
Date received: 2 August 2018
Date responded: 30 August 2018
- 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.
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.
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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House