Correspondence regarding MV Pentalina ferry contract: FOI release

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

Information requested

“Information in correspondence to and from Transport Scotland over the proposed contract for Pentland Ferries to operate the MV Pentalina on behalf of CalMac.

The time period is from whenever discussions started over the potential for the vessel to be operated on a CalMac route, until now. I'm looking for information about the potential terms of such a contract, and considerations to be addressed over the vessel being used in such a way.”


The information requested can be found in Annex A.

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 the following exemptions under FOISA apply:

  • Section 38(1)(b) information relating to personal data (UK GDPR), data relating to names of Scottish Government officials and others have been redacted. This exemption applies because the information is personal data of third parties and disclosing it would contravene data protection principles.
  • Sections 30(b)(i)(ii) relates to Ministerial communications i.e. substantial inhibition of free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views, where this would impact on the process of deliberation. This exemption recognises the need to have a private space within which to provide advice.
  • Section 33(i)(b) relates to commercial interests, where disclosure would be likely to prejudice substantially the commercial interests of the organisation(s) concerned.

Public Interest Test

These exemptions are 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 exemptions. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemptions. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the discussion and commercial process of providing additional tonnage for ferry services and ensuring that the Scottish Government is able to conduct this aspect of its business effectively.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI - 202100219169 - Information Released - Annex A


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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