- 22 Jul 2020
Date received: 15 Jun 2020
Date responded: 2 Jul 2020
Correspondence received by Kate Forbes (from 1 March to date) by representatives of garden centres, construction businesses or recycling centres.
We appreciate the time taken to reduce the scope of your original request. This has allowed us to conduct a thorough and specific search of our systems with the aim of providing information relevant to your query.
We have found a number of relevant documents in relation to your request. These documents have been listed in Annex B of this letter and have been provided in two separate attachments accompanying this response.
This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for in relation to recycling centres.
You will note that certain information has been redacted and I can confirm that this has been done under both section 38 and section 33 of FOISA. (Further information regarding both sections can be found in Annex A).
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
Section 38(1)(b) – Personal data
This exemption applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. names and contact details, 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 exemption 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 exemption.
Section 33(1)(b) – Commercial Interest and the Economy
An exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested because it is likely to prejudice substantially the commercial interests. This exemption is subject to the Public Interest Test. We have applied the Public Interest Test specific to the redacted information in this case and I have outlined the result of the test below:
Public Interest Test
Taking into 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.
We recognise that there is some public interest in release to ensure full transparency. However, this is outweighed by the public interest as there is a risk to the companies commercial interests.
LIST OF DOCUMENTS SUPPLIED
Annex A-F Correspondence received by Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, from construction representatives
Annex G Correspondence received by Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, from Garden centre representative
Further correspondence received by Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, from construction representatives
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