- 21 May 2019
Date received: 18 Apr 2019
Date responded: 20 May 2019
Any correspondence (letters, emails or otherwise) between senior Scottish Government civil servants and NFU Scotland in May and June 2018.
I enclose a copy of the information you requested
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): s.38(1)(b) (personal information) and S.33 (1)(b) (commercial interests) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption(s) applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.
Reasons for not providing information - Annex
An exemption(s) under section(s) s.38(1) (personal information) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested because it is personal data of a third party such as names and contact details of individuals, 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 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.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 tendering companies. Disclosing this information would be likely to give competitors an advantage in future similar tendering exercises, which would substantially prejudice these companies the ability to submit competitive tenders and so could significantly harm their commercial business.
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 and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial interests of companies which tender for Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.
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.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House