Your request, reference 202100228098
A copy of the signed agreement(s) between Scottish Government (or Transport Scotland) and consultant(s) for the review of the tripartite agreement between Transport Scotland, CMAL and Calmac Ferries. If not included within the contract, please supply the contract value and the scope of the work, including any limitations.
Your review request, reference 202100236582
The response to my FOI request isn't satisfactory so I am requesting that you carry out an internal review.
The reasons are:
- The information provided is incomplete.
- The exemptions claimed do not apply.
- The use of exemptions has not been properly explained as required by FOISA.
- The public interest test has not been properly carried out.
- The public interest favours disclosure.
I have now completed my review of our response to your request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for a copy of the signed agreement(s) between Scottish Government (or Transport Scotland) and consultant(s) for the review of the tripartite agreement between Transport Scotland, CMAL and Calmac Ferries.
I have concluded that a different decision should be substituted.
I am now releasing the agreement you have requested. However, exemptions under section 33(1)b and 38(1)b of FOISA apply to some sections of the document.
I am satisfied that substantial prejudice to commercial interests under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. In this case, it is the commercial interests of Ernst and Young LLP that would be prejudiced as the document in question contains highly sensitive commercial information on the day rates that they charge. Providing this information could also compromise the reputation of Transport Scotland in the eyes of companies that may be interested in bidding for future such contracts. I am satisfied that there is a significant probability that disclosure of the information noted would likely cause substantial prejudice to Ernst and Young LLP.
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 a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial interests of EY to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, for example, names/contact details of individuals, 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 exemption 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 exemption.
Since the response to your original request was issued, the Scottish Government has responded to a Scottish Parliament question that asked for information on the contract value. The Minister stated: “The contract between Transport Scotland and the appointed consultant, Ernst & Young, is valued at £156 000 exclusive of VAT.” You have already been provided with a copy of the statement of requirements document provided to all interested bidders, which outlines the original scope of the review.
Please note that paragraph 2.1 of the contract states: “Services required: Set out in Appendix B Statement of Requirements and below in schedule 2 to this call off order form.” For the avoidance of doubt, the information referred to in paragraph 2.1 is contained in the statement of requirements document, not in the contract.
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
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