- 1 Oct 2018
Date received: 3 September 2018
Date responded: 28 September 2018
Any correspondence between any minister or employee of the Scottish Government and any member of staff of the V&A since 5 September 2017 regarding the Scottish Government’s support, financial or otherwise, for the V&A Dundee.
I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested.
The remainder of the information you have requested relates to funding announcements and can be accessed using the following links:
Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some details relating to the information you have requested because an exemptions under sections s.30(b)(ii) Free and frank exchange of views, s.33(1)(b) Commercial Interests and s.38(1)(b) Personal information of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why the exemptions apply are explained below.
An exemption applies.
An exemption under section, s.38(1)(b) Personal information of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This relates to personal data, which if disclosed would contravene data protection regulations.
This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.
An exemption under section, s.33(1)(b) Commercial interests of FOISA applies to some the information you have requested.
This exemption applies because it relates to sensitive bank details.
In this case this exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.
An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test.
An exemption under section s.30(b)(ii) Free and frank exchange of views of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. The exemption relates to dialogue/deliberation as regards funding for the project.
This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. This exemption recognises the need for officials to have a private space within which to discuss issues and options with external stakeholders before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. Disclosing the content of these discussions with V&A Dundee on funding for the Museum project will substantially inhibit such discussions in the future, because these stakeholders will be reluctant to provide their views fully and frankly if they believe that those views are likely to be made public, particularly while these discussions are still ongoing and decisions have not yet been taken.
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, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in allowing Ministers and officials a private space within which to communicate with appropriate external stakeholders as part of the process of exploring and refining the Government’s position on this project, until the Government as a whole can adopt a decision that is sound and likely to be effective. This private space is essential to enable all options to be properly considered, so that good decisions can be taken based on fully informed advice and evidence, such as that provided by V&A Dundee. Premature disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues between the Scottish Government and these stakeholders, which in turn will undermine the quality of the decision making process, which would not be in the public interest.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House