- 26 Aug 2020
Date received: 2 Jul 2020
Date responded: 30 Jul 2020
A list of incidences of in-person meetings, emails or phone calls between employees, representatives or contractors working for Summit Power Group, LLC on the Caledonia Clean Energy Project and members of the Scottish Parliament from Jan 1 2017. You also asked, where available, the full text of any email exchanges or minutes of in person meetings.
I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested in Annex B.
Some of the information you have requested is available from https://summitpower.com/wpcontent/uploads/2018/06/CCEP-Feasibilility-Final-Report-MAY-2018-SUMMARY-VERSION.pdf .
Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.
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 exceptions under regulation 10(5)(e) (substantial prejudice to confidentiality of commercial or industrial information) and regulation 11(2) (personal data of third party) of the EIRs applies to that information. The reasons why these exceptions apply are explained in the Annex A to this letter.
The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. Most documents supplied by the Scottish Government will have been produced by government officials and will be Crown Copyright. You can find details on the arrangements for re-using Crown Copyright material here.
Information you receive which is not subject to Crown Copyright continues to be protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from which the information originated. You must ensure that you gain their permission before reproducing any third party (non-Crown Copyright) information.
ANNEX A – EXEMPTIONS APPLIED
An 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 Caledonia Clean Energy Project and thus cause substantial harm to their commercial interests. Disclosing this information would be likely to put into the public domain detailed information about how the company plans to operate the project, which would give its competitors an advantage in future similar exercises, which would substantially prejudice its commercial interests.
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 work with the Scottish Government, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money. We also observe that the public interest in disclosing this information has largely been served by the publication of the summary report mentioned above.
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.
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