- 6 Nov 2020
Date received: 14 Sep 2020
Date responded: 8 Oct 2020
You asked for the following:
"1. I asked who in contracts is responsible for the BEAR Scotland contract. My understanding of Treasury rules is if there is a significant change in the terms or scope of a contract then the whole contract should be reappraised. BEAR Scotland were contracted as a road maintenance company to deal with tarmac, crash barriers and signage repairs. The move to nets and pits is serious civil engineering for which I do not think they were competent.
2. I asked who is the engineer responsible for BS and in particular the A83, I know who is in post now but am interested in who was in post when the ideas for nets and pits was hatched. I am informed by one of my local councillors that BEAR Scotland was instructed by Transport Scotland to carry out work as directed if this is true then the initial engineering decisions were taken and documented by TS.
3. While my later comments were not strictly part of my initial FOI request I do not see why they cannot be answered. I mean in terms of actual and projected amounts of money spent and scheduled to be spent. A statement "will be included in costings of future term maintenance contracts" Does not cut it."
As 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.
To aid with our response I have retained the numbering from your request above.
1) I can advise that the Director, in this case the Roads Director, is empowered to act on behalf of the Scottish Ministers in respect of all their powers and duties under the 4G NW Contract. In turn the Director is permitted to authorise other staff members to carry out duties of the Director under the Contract.
2) I can advise that the landslide mitigation works for the A83 Rest and be Thankful were progressed by a team of engineers and specialists. The lead official being the Director as noted above. Following a landslide at Rest and Be Thankful on 1 August 2012, the A83 Rest and Be Thankful Taskforce was established to provide leadership, direction and oversee the delivery of the A83 Rest and Be Thankful emergency diversion route and the wider study into the permanent solution to landslides at this area. The minutes of Taskforce meetings are available online and contain useful background information.
With respect to the development of mitigation measures, Transport Scotland commissioned engineering consultants Jacobs to undertake a study to examine the landslide problem at Rest and Be Thankful and consider options to minimise the effects of road closures on the local communities and road users in the area. The methodology agreed for this study combined the process set out in the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) and transport appraisal in line with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG).
3) This question is being considered separately and a response will be issued as part of the review requested by you in relation to your previous application (202000074860).
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