- 7 Jan 2020
Date received: 5 Dec 2019
Date responded: 6 Jan 2020
8 Loggie Place, Aberdeen, AB16 7TP the premises copy of the contract between (i) Environtec Ltd and Transport Scotland and/or Aberdeen City Council and (ii) BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland and/or Aberdeen City Council in regard to the premises
As 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.
For the purpose of this response, the ‘premises’ refers to number 8 Logie Place, Aberdeen, AB16 7TP.
(i) Environtec Ltd and Transport Scotland and/or Aberdeen City Council
With regards to the first part of your request, I can advise that Environtec Ltd was responsible for demolition and refurbishment asbestos surveys between June 2017 and September 2017, and were contracted to Transport Scotland.
Due to commercially sensitive information contained within the contract relating to tender documents, I am unable to provide you with a full copy of the contract document. An exception under regulation 10(5)(e) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to confidentiality of commercial information) applies to some of the information you have requested. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information (tender documents) would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial information provided by Environtec and thus cause substantial harm to their commercial interests.
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 Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.
However, I can provide you with a blank copy of the contract without the commercially sensitive information which is included in Annex A. Please note some of the information has been redacted due to personal details which is explained below.
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.
(ii) BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland and/or Aberdeen City Council
To answer the second part of your request, I can advise that BEAR Scotland was responsible for property management from 21 September 2017 to 18 January 2019. You can find a copy of the contract between BEAR and Transport Scotland at the link below.
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.
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