Publication - FOI/EIR release

Report received by Ardrossan Taskforce: EIR appeal

Published: 24 Mar 2020

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

Published:
24 Mar 2020
Report received by Ardrossan Taskforce: EIR appeal
FOI reference: FOI/19/01463 Appeal
Date received: 3 Sep 2019
Date responded: 19 Mar 2020
Information requested

1. All Reports and consultant opinions received by the Ardrossan Taskforce regarding the new ferry terminal and pier, particularly those dealing with reliability and resilience of the ferry service.

2. A list of agencies consulted in terms of design and weather related access to Ardrossan harbour. 

3. Public minutes of Task Force meetings.

Response

Our initial response dealt with your request solely under the terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA). However, the information you requested is environmental information, and therefore we should have provided you with a response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs). I apologise for not identifying this earlier.

As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the EIRs, we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations.  We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of 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.

We have identified information within the scope of your request, which is detailed in Annex A to this letter. 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 the undernoted exceptions of the EIRs applies to that information:-

  • Regulation 10(5)(e) - Confidentiality of commercial or industrial information
  • Regulation 11(2) - Personal data of a third party.

The reasons why these exceptions apply are explained in Annex B to this letter.

Annex A - List of documents released:-

Ardrossan Ferry Terminal - Berth Compatibilty Study January 2016
Ardrossan Harbour Expansion Impact -Study Internal Appraisal of Economics Impacts – Draft Final report – September 2018
Ardrossan Harbour Redevelopment - Peel Ports Cost Report
Ardrossan Harbour Redevelopment - Proof of Concept Report
Ardrossan Harbour Redevelopment Project – Marine Works Long list options - February 2019 
Ardrossan New Vessel Compatibility
Arran and Campbeltown Mainland Port Options – appraisal of options – Inception Report – December 2016 
Arran and Campbeltown Port Appraisal of Options Report 
Final CMAL Consultancy Report: Creative Business Solutions – June 2016
Independent Project  Review – Ardrossan Harbour Redevelopment
Port of Ardrossan Asset Condition Survey
Winton Pier, Irish Berth Report May 2016

Annex B - Reasons for not providing information
An exception applies

An exception under Regulation 10(5)(e) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to confidentiality of commercial information) applies to financial information.  This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial information provided by Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd, Peel Ports and Consultants involved with the Ardrossan Harbour Project, and thus would cause substantial harm to their commercial interests because the release of certain financial information relating to the project could adversely affect future dialogs that Transport Scotland may have with other stakeholders / parties which would be likely to prejudice their commercial interests / position.

This exception 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 exception.  We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception.  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 enter into discussions with Scottish Government on funding contributions for projects, whereby this is to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money where possible. Commercial companies should be able to trust that the Scottish Government can protect confidential information, and not release information that will cause substantial prejudice to their interests. Maintaining this trust, and not damaging the commercial interests of companies that deal with the Scottish Government outweights the public interest in the release of the information in this case.

An exception under Regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal data of a third party) also 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.

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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