Further to my letter of 23 May 2019, I have now completed my review of our response to your request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for a copy of the full, unredacted performance remedial plan created by ScotRail and agreed to by Transport Scotland.
I have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed, with modifications. I can advise that an exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (commercial interests) is still applicable to two of the redacted sections within the Performance Remedial Plan.
The exemption applies in respect of paragraph 2.1.1 (train crew) because disclosure of the redacted information contained within this paragraph remains highly commercially sensitive and would provide other rail operators active in the Scottish rail network and beyond with advantageous commercial information when competing for the recruitment of qualified train drivers.
The exemption applies in respect of paragraph 2.2.2. because disclosure of the redacted information contained within the paragraph would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of Abellio ScotRail’s contractual obligations with its suppliers. The redacted information relates to obligations contained in the Contract between Abellio ScotRail and Hitachi Rail Europe: Transport Scotland is not party to that Contract.
The exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, I have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. I have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption in respect of these two sections. I 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 who do not have the specific contracts in place with the Scottish Government.
In respect of paragraph 3.2.2, as the passage of time has lowered the sensitivity of this information, ScotRail have agreed that I can disclose this information to you. Please therefore find below the graph that was originally redacted from the publically available report.
As you may be aware you can find the remedial plan (redacted version) on ScotRails website at: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/sites/default/files/assets/download_ct/train_service_performance_remedial_plan_redacted.pdf
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
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