Publication - FOI/EIR release

Emma Harper and Humza Yousaf, correspondence on improving A75/A77: FOI release

Published: 26 Mar 2019

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

Published:
26 Mar 2019
Emma Harper and Humza Yousaf, correspondence on improving A75/A77: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/19/00562
Date received: 26 Feb 2019
Date responded: 25 Mar 2019
Information requested

 

Any correspondence (letters, emails or otherwise) between Emma Harper and Humza Yousaf on improving (a) A75 (b) A77.

 

Response

 

I enclose a copy of all of the information you requested.
 Annex A – Request from Emma Harper to Humza Yousaf - A75 Active Travel
 Annex B – Acknowledgment from Humza Yousaf to Emma Harper – A75 Active Travel
 Annex C – Response by Humza Yousaf to Emma Harper - A75 Active Travel
 Annex D – Request from Emma Harper to Humza Yousaf - A75 / A77 road conditions
 Annex E – Acknowledgment from Humza Yousaf to Emma Harper- A75 / A77 road conditions
 Annex F – Response by Humza Yousaf to Emma Harper - A75 / A77 road conditions
 Annex G – Request from Emma Harper to Humza Yousaf - A75 / A77 Upgrades
 Annex H – Acknowledgment from Humza Yousaf to Emma Harper - A75 / A77 Upgrades
 Annex I – Response by Humza Yousaf to Emma Harper - A75 / A77 Upgrades
 Annex J – Request from Emma Harper to Humza Yousaf - A75 / A77 Upgrades
 Annex K – Acknowledgment from Humza Yousaf to Emma Harper - A75 / A77 Upgrades *[No Final Response] – Duplicate of correspondence, See Annex G, Different Ministerial Number. – Response Request Withdrawn
 Annex L – Request from Emma Harper to Humza Yousaf - A77 Bypass/Cycling
 Annex M – Acknowledgment from Humza Yousaf to Emma Harper - A77 Bypass/Cycling
 Annex N – Response by Humza Yousaf to Emma Harper - A77 Bypass/Cycling
 Annex O – Request from Emma Harper to Humza Yousaf - Economic Impact Assessment. If so, will the Assessment include Stranraer Waterfront
 Annex P – Acknowledgment from Humza Yousaf to Emma Harper
 Annex Q – Response by Humza Yousaf to Emma Harper - Economic Impact Assessment. If so, will the Assessment include Stranraer Waterfront
 Annex R – Request from Emma Harper to Humza Yousaf - A75 HGV sounding horns.
 Annex S – Acknowledgment from Humza Yousaf to Emma Harper - A75 HGV sounding horns.
 Annex T – Response by Humza Yousaf to Emma Harper - A75 HGV sounding horns.

 

ANNEX - REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION

Section 30(b)(i) - free and frank provision of advice in relation to Cabinet/Ministerial/official discussions and policy formulation/development.

An exemption under section 30(b)(i) of FOISA (free and frank provision of advice) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of advice. This exemption recognises the need for officials to have a private space within which to provide free and frank advice to Ministers before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. Disclosing the content of free and frank advice on the Workplace Parking Levy will substantially inhibit the provision of such advice in the future.

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 a private space within which officials can provide free and frank advice to Ministers before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. Premature disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues between Ministers and officials, which in turn will undermine the quality of the process, which would not be in the public interest.

Section 30(b)(ii) - free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation in relation to communications/meetings with external stakeholders.

An exemption under Section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank advice and exchange of views) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views and provision of advice. This exemption recognises the need for officials to have a private space within which to discuss options freely and provide free and frank advice to Ministers before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. Disclosing the content of free and frank advice and free and frank exchange of views will substantially inhibit the provision of such advice and the candor of discussions in the future.

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 a private space within which officials can provide full and frank advice and free and frank exchange of views to Ministers relating to Scottish Transport issues.

Section 38(c) - substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs [in relation to the source of legal advice]

An exemption under section 30(c) of FOISA (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because revealing the source of the Scottish Government's legal advice on the Workplace Parking Levy would be likely to lead to conclusions being drawn from the fact that any particular lawyer has, or has not, provided advice, which in turn would be likely to impair the Government's ability to take forward its work. This would constitute substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs in terms of the exemption.

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 enabling the Scottish Government to determine how and from whom it receives legal advice, without facing external pressure or concerns that particular conclusions may be drawn from the fact that any particular lawyer has or has not provided legal advice on a particular matter. Releasing information about the source of legal advice would also be a breach of the long-standing Law Officer Convention (reflected in the Scottish Ministerial Code) which prevents the Scottish Government from revealing whether Law Officers either have or have not provided legal advice on any matter. There is no public interest in breaching that Convention by divulging which lawyers provided advice on any issue.

Section 38(1)(b) - personal data of a third party

An exemption under Section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party. 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 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.

 

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Contact

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Email: ceu@gov.scot
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