Questions regarding information released in FoI/18/01835 loan to Ferguson Marine: FOI review

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/02174
Date received: 27 September 2018  
Date responded: 18 October 2018
Information requested
Your initial request asked why section IV 'Previous Interventions to support FMEL' was redacted from the document entitled ‘New loan agreement with Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd’ (released under FOI/18/01835), and you asked for details of previous support to be released.
Further to my letter of 27 September, I have now completed my review of our response to your request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).
I have reviewed section IV and the reasons for the redaction and have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed, with modifications.

As advised in our initial response the information in section IV was withheld under exemption 33(1)(b) (substantial prejudice to commercial interests) of the FOISA. As the information is of a commercially sensitive nature, I believe this exemption has been applied correctly. However I have concluded that some information can be released and I have copied this at Annex A below.

As you are aware from our response to one of your previous FOI requests (FOI/18/01889), the Scottish Government agreed a £15 million loan to Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd (FMEL) in September 2017and a further loan of £30 million in June 2018. We do not hold a record of other public funding provided to private companies, and as such have no record of any other public funding being made to FMEL.

The £15 million is noted in section IV of the document referred to above. No other public funding is mentioned in this section.

You clarified in your review request that you were seeking all documentation linked to the £15 million, similar to the information released under FoI/18/01835 in relation to the £30 million.
When dealing with the initial request, it was interpreted as asking Scottish Government to release section IV of the document in question, rather than all documentation linked to the loan. This is why the reply advised the information was ‘commercially sensitive’ and could not be released.

In reviewing how this response was handled I have concluded that we did respond to your questions as fully as we were able considering much of the information relating to the loan is commercially sensitive. However had we considered releasing the documentation linked to the loan alongside our response, this would have given you greater clarity and background.

Documentation linked to the £15 million loan is due to be published through FoI/18/002266 in the next few days. I will send you a link to this within the next week.

The additional questions raised during the review will be dealt with as a separate FOI (FoI/18/02804).
You may also wish to be aware that FMEL successfully led a consortium bid for EU funding to build and launch the world’s first hydrogen ferry. The consortium is led by FMEL and St Andrews University and includes a number of partners. The consortium has been awarded €9.3 million of Horizon 2020 funding (
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-18-02174 - Annex A - Review


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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