Publication - FOI/EIR release

Relative cost-effectiveness of Sea Lice Treatments for farmed salmon production: EIR release

Published: 4 Aug 2020

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

Published:
4 Aug 2020
Relative cost-effectiveness of Sea Lice Treatments for farmed salmon production: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202000042854
Date received: 4 Jun 2020
Date responded: 14 Jul 2020
Information requested

The Scottish Government commission the following study: "Understanding the Relative Cost-effectiveness of Sea-lice Treatments for Farmed Salmon Production"
https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=MAY353735
This study was completed by SRUC and finished on 31/03/20
https://pure.sruc.ac.uk/en/projects/understanding-the-relative-cost-effectiveness-of-sea-lice-treatme

Please provide a copy of this study and email communications related to the decisions to commissions contract and communications with SRUC from the period Jan 2018 to date.

Response

On the first part of your request in relation to providing a copy of the study, we are unable to provide this. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the information you have requested in relation to providing a copy of the study because an 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 material which is still in the course of completion. 

The project as stated in the original contract was due to complete by 31 March 2020, however there have since been two contract extensions, with the latest project completion date expected by 31 July 2020. The project had been extended to mid-May in early March to allow for more time for data collection and for the steering group to review the final report. Then with Covid-19 disruptions severely impacting on the steering group’s ability to engage with the project a further extension to the end of July was agreed in late-April.

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, and this will be met by our planned publication within 12 weeks of receipt of the final report. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished information which is still in being worked on or is under active consideration 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.

On the second part of your request (email communications related to the decision to commission contract), I have interpreted this as the email communications within Scottish Government in relation to receiving the bid from SRUC, reviewing it, and awarding the contract. I enclose a copy of most of the information related to this. 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 the EIRs applies to that information.

This exception 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.

On the third part of your request (email communications with SRUC), I have interpreted this as any email communications in relation to this study between the Scottish Government and SRUC. I enclose a copy of most of the information related to this. An exception under regulation 11(2) (personal information) of the EIRs 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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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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