UK Vertical Launch (UKVL) Project Board meetings minutes: FOI release

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

Information requested

Copies of minutes taken at any meetings of the UK Vertical Launch (UKVL) Project Board in February, March and April.


A copy of the information you requested is attached.

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 exemptions under sections s.30(c) (substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs); s.33(1)(b) (commercial interests); and s.38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption(s) applies are explained in the Annex below:


An exemption applies

An exemption under Section 38(1)(b) – applicant has asked for personal data of a third party applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie 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 under Section 33 (1)(b) - disclosure would (or would be likely to) prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person or organization.
Information which is commercially sensitive is often described as being “commercially confidential.” However, there is no single exemption in FOISA covering “commercial confidentiality”. FOISA draws a distinction between information where disclosure would have a detrimental effect on commercial interests, and information which is “confidential” under Scots law.

An exemption under Section 30(c) – substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs
It is essential for officials to be able to meet, often in confidence, with external stakeholders on a range of issues. Disclosing the information about these meetings, particularly without the consent of the stakeholder, is likely to undermine their trust in the Scottish Government and will substantially inhibit communications on this type of issue in the future. These stakeholders will be reluctant to participate in meetings if they believe that their views are likely to be made public, particularly while discussions are still ongoing. This would significantly harm the Government’s ability to carry out many aspects of its work, and could adversely affect its ability to gather all of the evidence it needs to make fully informed policies.

About FOI

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

FOI-19-01025 February Program Board Minutes
FOI-19-01025 March Programme Board Minutes


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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