Correspondence sent to Paul Wheelhouse regarding Fracking: EIR release

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

Information requested

Any correspondence (letters, emails or otherwise) addressed to Paul Wheelhouse on the Scottish Government’s position on fracking between (a) 1 March 2018 and 31 August 2018 (b) 1 January 2019 and 31 March 2019. We interpreted your request to mean correspondence from outside of the Scottish Government i.e. from external stakeholders only, and so have not included any internal correspondence in our consideration of your request.

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.


I attach a copy of most of the information you requested. A total of 10 documents are attached with the information which can be released.

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 regulation 6(1)(b) (information otherwise accessible) and 11(2) (personal information of a third party) of the EIRs apply to that information. The reasons why these exceptions apply are explained below.

In addition, information which falls outwith the scope of your request has been redacted.

Reasons for not providing information

Exceptions apply
Already accessible information

In the case of Document 7, 2 of the 4 attachments listed at the end of the e-mail (all of which fall within the scope of the request) are available from the Scottish Government’s website at: 

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. 

Personal data of third parties

An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested 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.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

Document 1
Document 2
Document 3
Document 4
Document 5
Document 6
Document 7-1
Document 7-2
Document 8
Document 9
Document 10


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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