Publication - FOI/EIR release

Correspondence regarding support for expansion of National Museum of Flight: FOI release

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

Published:
1 Oct 2018
Correspondence regarding support for expansion of National Museum of Flight: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/18/02373
Date received: 3 September 2018 
Date responded: 28 september 2018
 
Information requested
 

Correspondence between any minister or Scottish Government employee and staff members at the National Museums of Scotland council since 5 September 2017 regarding the Scottish Government's support for the expansion of National Museum of Flight. 

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 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 that exemption(s) applies are explained below.

Reasons for not providing information

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 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 National Museums of Scotland on funding for the Museum of Flight 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 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 National Museums of Scotland. 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. 

An exemption(s) under section(s), s.33(1)(b) Commercial interests of FOISA applies to some the information you have requested.

This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of National Museums of Scotland. Disclosing this sensitive data into the public domain at this early stage of the project would be prejudicial to the decision making process by all parties concerned and may impact tendering processes.

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 organisations which tender for external contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

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foi-18-02373 Correspondence

12 page PDF
2.1 MB

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