- 19 Dec 2019
Date received: 22 Nov 2019
Date responded: 18 Dec 2019
“Please find our WD Letter dated 21 November 2019 where we make a FOI-Request for Information concerning Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project, under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.”
1. I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested. Due to the large number of documents I have attached the following link which gives you access to view and download the requested files:
The link goes to the Scottish Government Dropbox area, a place to share large and/or numerous files. To access the documents via Dropbox use the above link and click a document to view it in your browser.
2. Some of the information you have requested (new construction and dredging license applications 07035 and 07161 submitted in October 2019) is available from the Marine Scotland Information website. - 07035 (AHEP Capital Dredging and Sea Deposit license application):
- 07161 (AHEP Construction of new harbour and use of explosive substances license application):
Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.
3. 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 under regulation 11(2) (personal information of a third party) of the EIRs applies to that information. The reason why this exception applies is explained in the Annex to this letter.
4. Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have. The Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. The EPS license application submitted on 4 June 2019 that is referred to in your letter has been retracted. No further EPS license application has been submitted to the Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team (MS-LOT) since this one was retracted, and Marine Scotland no longer holds a copy of the retracted EPS license application. The reason why this exception applies is explained in the Annex to this letter.
5. The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. Most documents supplied by the Scottish Government will have been produced by government officials and will be Crown Copyright. You can find details on the arrangements for re-using Crown Copyright material on the National Archives website at:
Information you receive which is not subject to Crown Copyright continues to be protected by the copyright of the person, or organization, from which the information originated. You must ensure that you gain their permission before reproducing any third party (non Crown Copyright information).
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
3. An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EISRs (personal information of a third party) 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.
4. An exception under regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held) applies to some of the information requested. The Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have.
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. While we recognise that there may be some public interest in information about an EPS license application, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
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