- 23 Nov 2018
Date received: 5 November 2018
Date responded: 20 November 2018
2. 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(5)(f) (substantial damage to the interests of the person who provided that information) and 11(2) (personal data) of the EIRs applies to that information. The reasons why these exceptions apply are explained below.
An exception under regulation 10(5)(f) (substantial damage to the interests of the person who provided that information) of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the interests of the Ayshire Rivers Trust who provided that information to the Scottish Government. The Trust:
was not under any legal obligation to give us that information;
did not supply it in circumstances in which it could, apart from the EIRs, be made available; and
has not consented to disclosure.
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 a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the interests of anyone, such as the Ayshire Rivers Trust, who provides the Scottish Government with information on a confidential basis. Disclosing such information is likely to undermine their trust in the Government and make them reluctant in future to share information with us on issues such as electrofishing applications. This would significantly impair the Scottish Government’s ability to make decisions on the basis of fully informed advice and evidence. This would not be in the public interest.
An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested (the names of individuals) because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exception 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 exception.
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
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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House