Publication - FOI/EIR release

Sustrans Scotland quarterly report and other questions: FOI release

Published: 30 Nov 2020

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
30 Nov 2020
Sustrans Scotland quarterly report and other questions: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000089683
Date received: 18 Sep 2020
Date responded: 13 Oct 2020
Information requested

You asked for:

1. The government document(s) which stipulate the design and delivery standard specifications and guidelines that must be conformed to in work funded by Sustrans. The framework also states: “A requirement of [Sustrans] grant offer is to provide a quarterly report for Transport Scotland on delivery of their programmes and performance against this criteria and the outputs detailed in their grant offer”. “Sustrans grant offer details the terms of program delivery”.

I understand Sustrans is paid by the Government to be able to offer training and advice services to local authorities and that Sustrans has staff embedded in GCC. Yet quality design and delivery and rectification of inappropriate past provision isn't being done effectively. In this context, how is funding the effectiveness of training and advice monitored?

2. A copy of the last quarterly Sustrans grant offer report. I wish to know whether Sustrans reports difficulties achieving quality. Please let me know if this is the case.

And, with regards one of many inappropriate designs, also provide me with:

3. A copy of the Sustrans grant offer report that covers the period of design and delivery of the aborted hazardous link path between Garrioch Drive and the Kelvin Way paths.

4. The government requirement(s) that stipulate(s) the basis of “the terms of programme delivery” and performance assessment to be met when undertaking a funded project.

Response

I enclose some of the information you requested – attached is the latest Sustrans Scotland quarterly report. Sustrans have not reported any issues achieving design standard specifications. The information you have requested relating to design and delivery standard specifications and guidelines is available from: https://www.sustrans.org.uk/media/3782/3782.pdf and https://www.sustrans.org.uk/ourblog/projects/2019/scotland/places-for-everyone/.

The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for relating to a grant offer report for the path between Garrioch Drive and the Kelvin Way.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. However, you may wish to contact Sustrans Scotland at scotland@sustrans.org.uk who may be able to provide you with details on the delivery of this path at the time.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the information you have requested related to “the terms of programme delivery” because an exemption under section 33(1)(b), Commercial Interest, of the FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.

Annex - Reasons for not providing information
An exemption(s) under section33(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some the information you have requested.

The terms of programme delivery that you request are agreed between Sustrans Scotland and Transport Scotland and detailed in their grant offer letter which is then monitored and evaluated to assess delivery performance. We consider this information to be a commercially sensitive document and to release this could potentially prejudice any future grant awards and the integrity of Sustrans as an organisation.

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. We recognise that there is some public interest in understanding the detail of the Sustrans programme. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring the sustained delivery of active travel infrastructure and the integrity of Sustrans Scotland in order to achieve this.

In addition, the active travel outcome framework is publicly available via: https://www.transport.gov.scot/publication/active-travel-framework/ in order to provide more understanding of how our delivery partners align with the Active Travel outcomes, Strategic Objectives and National Performance Framework outcomes.

About FOI
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.

Contact

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG