Publication - FOI/EIR release

Aberdeen city deal funding: rail link improvement: EIR release

Published: 11 Oct 2018

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Published:
11 Oct 2018
Aberdeen city deal funding: rail link improvement: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/18/02513  
Date received: 5 October  2018 
Date responded: 10 October 2018
 
Information requested
 
Copies of all communication (Email/Letter) from Government Minister's, Cabinet Secretary's etc and their respective offices including Special Advisors relating to the proposed rail link improvement as part of the Scottish Government's additional city deal funding for the Aberdeen City Region deal, between December 2017 and the present month.
 
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. 

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, 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.

We do endeavour to provide information whenever possible. The table below lists the information held by Transport Scotland for the period you specify, and these documents are attached.

Item

Date

From

Document Title

1

18/07/18

Paul Wheelhouse MSP

Letter responding to Pete Wishart MP on City Region Deal and Aberdeen to Central Belt £200 million.

2

01/05/18

TS

Ministerial Engagement Briefing

3

14/02/18

TS

Annex E of Ministerial Engagement Briefing

Some of the information you have requested is available, details of where that specific information can be obtained, can be accessed via the following links:

The Scottish Government website holds details of previous FOI responses and can be accessed via the following link.  References FOI/18/01202 and FOI/17/02673 relate to your request.  https://beta.gov.scot/publications/?publicationTypes=foi-eir-release&page=1.

Aberdeen City Region Deal Joint Committee publishes updates provided by Transport Scotland.   An update provided is available through the Aberdeenshire Website (item 6 in the agenda pack).

https://committees.aberdeencity.gov.uk/documents/g6305/Public%20reports%20pack%2004th-May-2018%2009.30%20Aberdeen%20City%20Region%20Deal%20Joint%20Committee.pdf?T=10

Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format. 

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 exceptions under regulations 10(4)(d) (Unfinished or Incomplete information) and 10(4)(e) (internal communications) of the EIRs applies to that information.  The reasons why these exceptions apply are explained below.

Reasons for not providing information
 

An exception applies.

An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (Unfinished or Incomplete information) applies to some of the information you have requested because it is material which is still in the course of completion.

This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government.  However, this is outweighed by the strong public interest in maintaining the right to confidentiality of communications between officials whilst we are still developing an agreed policy position.

An exception under regulation 10(4)(e) of the EIRs (Internal Communications) applies to some of the information you have requested because it relates to internal exchanges and release could compromise our collective ability to reach an agreed policy position.

This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government.  However, this is outweighed by the strong public interest in maintaining the right to confidentiality of communications between officials whilst we are still developing an agreed policy position.

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

foi-18-02513 Letter

4 page PDF
2.2 MB

foi-18-02513 Briefing

4 page PDF
363.7 kB

foi-18-02513 Briefing Annex

5 page PDF
358.7 kB

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