- 24 Nov 2020
Date received: 31 Jul 2020
Date responded: 12 Oct 2020
All and any information, minutes of meetings, emails, materials (including, but not limited to, reports and including the dates on which data/information were/was collected and reports written), dated correspondence, dates of diary appointments, notes of telephone calls etc that you have in relation to all and any communications between Michael Matheson and/or his staff, and Transport Scotland and/or their contractors concerning the A96 East of Huntly to Aberdeen dualling scheme between October 2018 and the present date.
As all of 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.
Following receipt of the clarification received on 05 August 2020, it was confirmed that your request is could limit the time range to between Jan 2019 and the present date. The information I am looking for is any information (as defined in my request) on the Huntly to Aberdeen section of the A96 dualling scheme.
Please refer to Annexes A to W in response to your request for information in relation to “communications between Michael Matheson and/or his staff, and Transport Scotland and/or their contractors concerning the A96 East of Huntly to Aberdeen dualling scheme between January 2019 and the present date”.
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(s) under regulation(s) 11(2) of the EIRs applies to that information.
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. This exception has been applied to Annexes C, D, F, G and P contained within this response.
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