Publication - FOI/EIR release

Transport Scotland correspondence regarding the Swallow Roundabout (A90/A85 interchange): EIR release

Published: 25 Mar 2020

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

Published:
25 Mar 2020
Transport Scotland correspondence regarding the Swallow Roundabout (A90/A85 interchange): EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202000019145
Date received: 4 Mar 2020
Date responded: 24 Mar 2020
Information requested

You asked for:

"1. Please supply copies of any communications between Transport Scotland and Springfield Homes (and their agents) which relate to the implementation of the now approved changes to the Swallow Roundabout (A90/A85 interchange). From Jan 1st 2018 to date.

2. Please supply copies of any communications between Transport Scotland and Dundee City Council which relate to the implementation of the now approved changes to the Swallow Roundabout (A90/A85 interchange). From Jan 1st 2018 to date.

3. Please supply copies of any communications between Transport Scotland and BEAR Scotland which relate to the implementation of the now approved changes to the Swallow Roundabout (A90/A85 interchange). From Jan 1st 2018 to date."

Response

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.

To aid with this response I have retained the numbering in your request:

1. Please see Annex A to this response for copies of communications between Transport Scotland and Springfield homes. 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.

An additional 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 an unfinished document. 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. 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 or give a misleading impression of the Government’s view or position on the matter to which the information relates.

A further 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 would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial information provided by Springfield Properties PLC and thus cause substantial harm to their commercial interests. Disclosing this information would be likely to give Springfield Properties PLC's 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 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 tender for, or enter into Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

2. Please see Annex B to this response for copies of communications between Transport Scotland and Dundee City Council. 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.

3. Please see Annex C to this response for copies of communications between Transport Scotland and Dundee City Council. 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.

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