Publication - FOI/EIR release

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

Published: 25 Sep 2018

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

Published:
25 Sep 2018
Questions regarding information released in FoI/18/01835 loan to Ferguson Marine: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/18/02174  
Date received: 15 August 2018
Date responded: 12 September 2018
 
Information requested
 
1. Why the Cabinet Secretary in his statement on 27th June 2018 said "This investment allows FMEL to further diversify their business by moving into innovative areas, like low-carbon marine projects, and target decommissioning work”?
 
2. Why this section [Previous Interventions to support FMEL] is missing [from the FOI material published in response to FOI request (FOI/18/01835)] and to inform, in the public interest, of all 'Previous Interventions to support FMEL'.
 
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 exemptions under sections of FOISA apply. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained below.
 
Questions: 
 
1. Why the Cabinet Secretary in his statement on 27th June 2018 said "This investment allows FMdecommissioning

Your email of 15 August compares the purpose of the loan facility provided to FMEL as described in the Scottish Government’s news release of 27 June 2018 with an extract of the submission to Ministers dated 22 June 2018 from Mary McAllan which summarises the purpose of the loan in relation to “liquidity”. You queried the reasons for the different terminology used to describe the aims of the loan facility, including the purpose of diversification.
The concepts “working capital” and “liquidity” are linked. Working capital (the difference between the company’s current assets and current liabilities) is one measure of a company’s liquidity – that is, its ability to pay off debts as they fall due.
The specific purpose of the loan facility as described in the Loan Agreement between the Scottish Ministers and Ferguson Marine is “to fund FMEL to assist with the long term viability and enhanced capabilities of the businesses carried on at the Property, and for other general working capital purposes of FMEL, all as identified in the Business Plan and/or Financial Model.”
 
2. Why this section [Previous Interventions to support FMEL] is missing [from the FOI material published in response to FOI request (FOI/18/01835)] and to inform, in the public interest, of all 'Previous Interventions to support FMEL'.

In answering the FOI of [Redacted] (FO1/18/01835) the Scottish Government decided that it was appropriate to redact certain sections of the material held because exemptions under sections of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) apply. Disclosure of this material relating to sensitive commercial transactions would (or would be likely to) prejudice substantially the commercial interests of Ferguson Marine and risks substantial inhibition of free and frank exchanges with Ministers.
 
Reasons for not providing information
 
Exemptions apply, subject to the public interest test.

An exemption under section 33 (1(b)) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested because it relates to commercial information that may prejudice the company.
 
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.
An exemption under section 30 of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested because it contains information that could risk substantial inhibition of free and frank exchanges with Ministers.
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.
 
About FOI
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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000 


The Scottish Government 
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