Publication - FOI/EIR release

Information relating to the Queensferry Crossing. : EIR release

Published: 21 Sep 2018

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

Published:
21 Sep 2018
Information relating to the Queensferry Crossing. : EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/18/02258
Date received: 21 September 2018  
Date responded: 24 August 2018
 
Information requested
Information relating to the Queensferry Crossing.

Please provide details of any meetings or correspondence (emails, typed or handwritten notes, letters, phone calls, minutes of meetings, documents or otherwise) between Scottish Government ministers, senior civil servants, special advisers or communications staff regarding the following publication prior to its release date, including the original draft of the publication that was sent to ministers, senior civil servants, special advisers or communications staff: http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/report/forth-replacement-crossing

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. As the exemption is conditional we have applied the ‘public interest test’. This means we have, in all the circumstances of this case, considered if the public interest in disclosing the information under FOISA 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.

Please find enclosed as an attachment to this response, details of the annotated draft reply from Transport Scotland to Audit Scotland.

With regards to your request for details of any meetings or correspondence (emails, typed or handwritten notes, letters, phone calls, minutes of meetings, documents or otherwise) between Scottish Government ministers, senior civil servants, special advisers or communications staff, I am writing to advise you that we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(e) of the EIRs which allows a Scottish public authority to withhold internal communications.

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. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial interests of companies which enter into Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

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