- 26 Feb 2020
Date received: 26 Jan 2020
Date responded: 24 Feb 2020
A copy of all documents, applications, communications, analyses reports and decisions relating to the Forrest Estate Relief Road.
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.
I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested.
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) Reg 11(2) (Personal data relating to third party) of the EIRs applies to that information. The reasons why that exception(s) applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.
We have highlighted particular documents which contain information on ‘state aid’, these are marked up as State Aid Documents 1 -7.
Within these documents there are exchanges on the interpretation of the state aid rules and the STTF guidance. For completeness officials who now administer the STTF scheme confirm that the scheme did meet the state aid rules as the application contained two beneficiaries (Forest Estate and Forest Enterprise Scotland) and did not subsidize normal forest operations.
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested. Reg 11(2) (Personal data relating to third party).
An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some 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.
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