Publication - FOI/EIR release

Phase 2 Marine Protected Area (MPA) meeting: EIR release

Published: 25 Feb 2021

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

Published:
25 Feb 2021
Phase 2 Marine Protected Area (MPA) meeting: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202000107207
Date received: 2 Nov 2020
Date responded: 26 Nov 2020
Information requested

Could I please request notes from the 20 January 2020 meeting of Phase 2 MPA and PMF management measures held at NAFC Marine Centre Scalloway, Shetland, as well as any subsequent correspondence relating to the meeting or action points taken at it.

Response

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.

Attached is a copy of some of te information you have requested. 

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 of exception 10(4)(d) under the Regulations (material in the course of completion, etc.). The reasons why this exception applies is explained below.

REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION

An exception applies – 10(4)(d) - Material in the course of completion, etc.

An exception under regulations 10(4)(d) of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested. This is because some of the information you requested is material which is still in the course of completion. Marine Scotland have as yet been unable to complete the drafting process for the minutes of the meeting held in NAFC on 20 January 2020. These are expected to be completed and published in early 2021 and will be available on the Scottish Government website; officials will send you a link to the meeting minutes when they are published.

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 some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government and this will be met by our planned publication in early 2021. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which is still in being worked on is not disclosed when it might misinform the public or give a misleading impression of the Government’s view or position on the matter to which the information relates.

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