Publication - FOI/EIR release

Grants or investments in 2017 or 2018 to Spirit Aerosystems: FOI release

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

Published:
2 Nov 2018
Grants or investments in 2017 or 2018 to Spirit Aerosystems: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/18/02793
Date received: 4 October 2018  
Date responded: 1 November 2018
 
Information requested
 
You asked 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 or special advisers on the topic of grants or investments in 2017 or 2018 to Spirit Aerosystems.
 
Response
 
I attached below details of the information you requested and enclose some of the other information requested in the format you asked for:
 
  • An email highlighted the opportunity for the First Minister to visit Spirit in August 2018 to announce £4.8 million funding from Scottish Enterprise towards Spirit’s R&D Facility and possibly as a part of the wider Programme for Government announcement.
  • An email informed the First Minister that she will meet a senior employee from Airbus during her visit to Spirit in August 2017 with a copy of the revised briefing for the First Minister’s engagement to include the additional biography. This briefing has been enclosed for your information.
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) 29(1)(a), 33(1)(b) and 38(1)(b) 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 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. names/contact details of individuals, 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 section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (commercial interests) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of Spirit Aerosystems. Disclosing this information would be likely to give Spirit’s competitors an advantage in future similar technology field and markets, which would substantially prejudice Spirit’s commercial business.

This exemption is also 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 ensuring that information is not disclosed which could benefit the competitors of Scottish based businesses and impact their ability to contribute to Scotland’s economy.

An exemption under section 29(1)(a) of FOISA (formulation or development of government policy) applies to some of the information requested because it relates to the development of the Scottish Government’s policy on both Research and Development expenditure and the Scottish Growth scheme.

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 high quality policy and decision-making, and in the properly considered implementation and development of policies and decisions. This means that Ministers and officials need to be able to consider all available options and to debate those rigorously, to fully understand their possible implications. Their candour in doing so will be affected by their assessment of whether the discussions on either Research and Development expenditure or the Scottish Growth scheme will be disclosed in the near future, when it may undermine or constrain the Government’s view on that policy while it is still under discussion and development.
 
About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses athttp://www.gov.scot/foi-responses

foi-18-02793 Briefing

30 page PDF
828.7 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