- 31 Oct 2018
Date received: 21 September 2018
Date responded: 30 October 2018
You asked for:
(a) Copies of all correspondence between Scottish Government ministers and officials, and P&O Ferries, since May 2016; and
(b) Details of all meetings between Scottish Government ministers and officials, and P&O Ferries, since May 2016, including minutes where available.
I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested.
Some of the information you have requested is available from http://www.poferries.com/en/pr-contact/press-release/11.09.2018-P&O-statement-on-transportation-of-young-calves-to-continental-Europe-across-the-Irish-Sea Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website. However, in this instance it was simpler to include that information with this response.
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 an exemption(s) under section(s) s.29(1)(a) (policy formulation) 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 regulation 38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to information that has been redacted from the documents which are being released to you. This exemption applies because the information is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998.
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 29(1)(a) of FOISA (formulation or development of government policy) applies to information that has been redacted from the documents which are being released to you.
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 this 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 some public interest in release as part of open and transparent government, and to inform public debate. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in in allowing Ministers and officials a private space within which policy positions on a matter of such vital importance to animal welfare can be explored and refined, until the Scottish Government can adopt a policy that is sound and likely to be effective. This private thinking space also allows for all options to be properly considered, so that good policy decisions can be taken based on the best advice available.
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
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House