- 20 Apr 2020
Date received: 27 Mar 2020
Date responded: 16 Apr 2020
“… any and all correspondence, no matter how related, email (or any other electronic means), telephone records and letters sent and received by Marine Scotland in relation to a project titled "West Coast Salmon Smolt Tracking Project" being undertaken by the Atlantic Salmon Trust and Fisheries Management Scotland.
Additionally please provide all correspondence (as previously defined) between Marine Scotland and the Atlantic Salmon Trust and Fisheries Management Scotland within the context of this project from 27 Oct 2019 to date.”
I have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed with modifications.
In your request for review you expressed dissatisfaction in our application of exceptions under regulation 11(2), regulation 10(4)(e) and regulation 10(5)(e). In conducting my review I have considered all of the information withheld under these exceptions afresh. I have addressed each exception in turn below.
I note your comments in your request for review in relation to the information previously withheld under regulation 11(2) (personal data). In conducting my review, I have re-examined all of the information previously withheld under this exception and in doing so I have determined that this exception would only apply to the personal data of more junior staff who have a higher expectation of privacy and not to instances where the personal data is that of more senior Scottish Government staff or third party organisational representatives.
I have therefore enclosed a further release of the documents which discloses personal data to which regulation 11(2) does not apply.
There are a number of documents (e-mail chains) within the pdf document titled “EIR – West Coast Salmon – E-mails – Doc1 – Final” which contained personal information that was redacted for a number of persons, both within the Scottish Government at the level of Senior Civil Servant (SCS) and above as well as other individuals out-with the Scottish government whose details are freely available on their respective websites. I have looked at all the emails and have re-processed and redacted in line with guidance and these are attached.
In addition, taking account of the points raised in your request for review, I have also reconsidered all of the information which was previously withheld under regulation 10(4)(e) (internal communications). While I am satisfied that this exception continues to apply to some information previously withheld for the reasons given in our initial response, I am however releasing some information as I have concluded that the public interest test was not applied correctly and that the public interest lies in favour of releasing additional documentation (redacted as required). The information consists of internal emails exchanges between Ministers and officials which have not been shared with any other third party out-with the Scottish Government.
Finally, having reviewed all the documents withheld under exception 10(5)(e) I am satisfied that the exception applies in some cases because the withheld information contained within these documents was specifically supplied as part of a tendering or procurement process and the information is of a commercial nature where there is evidence that the disclosure may cause harm. However, I have also concluded that some information was incorrectly withheld and I have re-processed and redacted where necessary and included the information in the attached response.
For information, I have redacted personal information by over writing with “[Redacted – Personal Details]”, I have redacted information which has been withheld under exception 10(4)(e) as “[Redacted – Internal Communications]” and for information withheld under exception 10(5)(e) as “[Redacted – Commercially Sensitive]” In addition where information within individual e-mails is out of scope of the initial EIR request, I have marked this as “[Redacted – e-mail out of scope]” or “[Redacted – out of scope]”.
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