Publication - FOI/EIR release

A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen Scheme: EIR release

Published: 20 Nov 2019

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

Published:
20 Nov 2019
A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen Scheme: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/19/02352
Date received: 18 Oct 2019
Date responded: 14 Nov 2019
Information requested

“Please could you supply me with all and any communications of any kind including but not limited to email, letters, reports, etc., between Transport Scotland, their contractors and subcontractors and Aberdeenshire Council from August 2018 to October 2019 relating to the Orange, Violet and Online options of the proposed new A96.”

Response

As all of the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (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.
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 exception(s) under regulation(s) 11(2) of the EIRs applies to that information.

An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) 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. This exception has been applied to Annexes A and B contained within this response.

Please find enclosed the following information regarding communications with Aberdeenshire Council from August 2018 to October 2019 relating to the orange and violet routes and online through Inverurie:

  • Annex A: Meeting Notes - Extracts in relation to orange and violet routes and online through Inverurie.
  • Annex B: Email Correspondence - Extracts in relation to orange and violet routes and online through Inverurie.
  • Annex C: Letter Correspondence - Extracts in relation to orange and violet routes and online through Inverurie.
  • Annex D: Presentations - Extracts in relation to orange and violet routes and online through Inverurie. Please note due to the size of this drawing, it will be sent via post along with a copy of this letter.

Furthermore, an exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to some of the information you have requested because it is material which is still in the course of completion. I can confirm that ‘Meeting Notes’ for the following meetings are incomplete at this time:

  • Environmental Steering Group – 26 September 2019
  • Meeting with Aberdeenshire Council and Nestrans – 26 September 2019

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 some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and this will be met by the offer, if requested, to provide once completed extracts from the Meeting Notes outlined above specifically in relation to the orange and violet routes and online through Inverurie. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which is still in being worked on is not disclosed when it might misinform the public. I would be grateful if you could let me know if you would like extracts from these Meeting Notes once completed in relation to the orange and violet routes and online through Inverurie.

Annex D - due to the size of the files we are unable to upload the documents referred to above.
If you wish to consider, please contact us at the address below and we will be happy to provide.
About FOI

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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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