Publication - FOI/EIR release

Interactions with CJC Media: FOI release

Published: 25 Oct 2019

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

Published:
25 Oct 2019
Interactions with CJC Media: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/19/02130
Date received: 26 Sep 2019
Date responded: 23 Oct 2019
Information requested

You asked for the following information:

  • any contracts entered into between the Scottish Government and three named entities
  • any communications between the Scottish Government and three named entities
  • any payments made by the Scottish Government to three named entities,

between October 2013 and 17 September 2019 (the date of your original request), the three named entities being:

  • CJC Media (UK) Limited
  • CJC Media Limited
  • CJC Media (Scotland) Ltd.
Response

For the sake of brevity, I will refer to all three entities as a single entity called “CJC Media”.  I will also switch the order of the second and third parts of your request to improve the logical flow of my response.

Part 1 (“any contracts”)

From a search of relevant data sources, no contracts relevant to your request were found.

Part 2 (“any payments”)

From a search of relevant data sources, no payments relevant to your request were found.

Part 3 (“any communications”)

A search of the Scottish Government’s electronic filing system (known as ERDM) found the following items relevant to your request.  (The term “any communications” has a very wide definition and it is my view that widening a search beyond our primary record of written communications would be likely to exceed the upper cost limit of £600 applicable to FOI requests.)

Schedule of correspondence between Scottish Government (“SG”) and CJC Media (“CJC”) found on ERDM

Ref. Description Release Details
Item 1a e-mail CJC to SG, 8 December 2014 Released (with redactions).  See Note 1.
Item 1b attachment to the above e-mail (CJC to SG),  “Proposal for SG and Carat”.  Released (with redactions).  See Note 1.
(The second attachment to this e-mail is identical apart from being in Word rather than PDF format.)
Item 2 Ministerial correspondence, 10 March 2015 Not released – see Note 2.
Item 3a e-mail SG to CJC, 19 March 2015 (covering an earlier e-mails, from CJC to SG on 23 February 2015 and from SG to CJC on 30 December 2014) Released (with redactions).  See Note 1.
(Pages 7 to 11 of the original is omitted as it is a copy of item 1a.)
Item 3b Attachment to the above e-mail (letter from SG to CJC dated 19 March 2015) Released (with redactions).  See Note 1.
Item 4 CJC to SG: FOI request, 31 March 2015 Released (with redactions).  See Note 1.
Item 5 Ministerial correspondence, 7 April 2015 Not released – see Note 2
Item 6 e-mail exchanges between CJC and SG up to 27 April 2015.  (Pages 13 to 17 of the original is omitted as it is a copy of item 1a.) Released (with redactions).  See Note 1.
Item 7 SG to CJC: FOI response, 30 April 2015 Released (with redactions).  See Note 1.
Item 8 CJC to SG: FOI request 10 June 2015 (covering an earlier e-mail of 7 May 2015) Released (with redactions).  See Note 1.
Item 9 SG to CJC: FOI response, 25 June 2015 Released (with redactions).  See Note 1.
Item 10 Ministerial correspondence, 16 June 2015 Not released – see Note 2
Item 11 Ministerial response, 18 June 2015 Not released – see Note 2
Item 12a CJC to SG (contact via Single Point of Enquiry), 25 June 2019 Released (with redactions).  See Note 1.
Item 12b SG to CJC: acknowledgement e-mail, 6 July 2019
Item 12c SG to CJC: e-mail in response to Single Point of Enquiry contact, 27 July 2015
Item 12d Attachment to the above e-mail (letter), 27 July 2015
Item 12e Attachment to the above e-mail (feedback form), 27 July 2015

Note 1: redaction of personal information

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 38(1)(b) (personal information) and 33(1)(b) (commercial interests) of FOISA apply to that information.  The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained in the Annex to this letter.

Note 2 (relating to Ministerial correspondence to and from MSPs)

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 under sections 30(c) (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) of FOISA applies to that information.  MSPs usually communicate with Scottish Ministers on the understanding that this is intrinsically confidential.  It is essential for MSPs to be able to write confidentially to Ministers, particularly on behalf of their constituents, and for Ministers to be able to communicate with MSPs on a range of issues across their portfolios.  Disclosing the content of such communications is likely to undermine trust in Ministers and make them reluctant to communicate.  This would be likely to prejudice the ability of both Ministers and MSPs to carry out their public duties.  The reasons why this exemption applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.

Annex A - Reasons for not providing information
In reference to Note 1: An exemption applies

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. the names and contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would 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.

In reference to Note 1: 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 our tenderers.  Specifically, disclosing this information would be likely to give these organisations’ competitors an advantage in future similar tendering exercises, which would substantially prejudice their ability to submit competitive tenders and so could significantly harm their commercial business.  This exemption has been applied to information on tendered prices, costings and discounts.

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 organisations which tender for Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

In reference to Note 2: An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test 

An exemption under section 30(c) of FOISA (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) applies to some of the information requested.  It is essential for Ministers to be able to communicate, often in confidence, with external stakeholders (including MSPs) on a range of issues, including matters raised by constituents.  Disclosing the content of these communications, 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 provide their views fully and frankly if they believe that their views are likely to be made public.  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 decisions.

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, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate.  However, there is a greater public interest in allowing Ministers and officials a private space within which to communicate with MSPs about matters raised by their constituents. 

About FOI
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FOI-19-02130 - Item 1a

5 page PDF
283.2 kB

FOI-19-02130 - Item 1b

5 page PDF
396.8 kB

FOI-19-02130 - Item 3a

6 page PDF
464.9 kB

FOI-19-02130 - Item 3b

2 page PDF
97.7 kB

FOI-19-02130 - Item 4

3 page PDF
404.1 kB

FOI-19-02130 - Item 6

12 page PDF
1.0 MB

FOI-19-02130 - Item 7

3 page PDF
170.6 kB

FOI-19-02130 - Item 8

2 page PDF
185.4 kB

FOI-19-02130 - Item 9

4 page PDF
277.5 kB

FOI-19-02130 - Item 12a

5 page PDF
158.2 kB

FOI-19-02130 - Item 12b

1 page PDF
104.1 kB

FOI-19-02130 - Item 12c

2 page PDF
216.0 kB

FOI-19-02130 - Item 12d

1 page PDF
87.0 kB

FOI-19-02130 - Item 12e

1 page PDF
61.0 kB

Contact

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG