Publication - FOI/EIR release

Acorn Carbon Capture Project: FoI release

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

Published:
11 Jan 2022
Acorn Carbon Capture Project: FoI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100250858
Date received: 26 Oct 2021
Date responded: 24 Nov 2021
Information requested

Any correspondence between or involving senior civil servants, the Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, the First Minister, Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work, and/or the Minister for Environment and Land Reform, or their respective ministerial offices, on the topic of the Acorn carbon capture project, from 01 September 2021 to 26 October 2021.

Response

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested. Some of the information you have requested is available online. Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy. Please see below links to where you can access this information:


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 exemptions under the FOISA apply to that information. The application of these exemptions is explained below.

An exemption under section 29(1)(a) of the FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. Section 29(1)(a) exempts information from release if it relates to the formulation or development of government policy. 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 release because of the general public interest that information is accessible. However, in this instance, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring government can fully explore all options in formulating or developing policy.

An exemption under section 29(1)(b) of the FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. Section 29(1)(b) exempts information from release if it relates to Ministerial communications. This includes communications relating to proceedings of the Scottish Cabinet (or of any committee of that Cabinet). 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 release because of the general public interest that information is accessible. However, in this instance, this is outweighed by the importance of ensuring the confidentiality of Ministerial communications on the formulation of Scottish administration policy. An exemption under section 29(1)(d) of the FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. Section 29(1)(d) exempts information from release if it relates to the operation of any Ministerial private office.

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 release because of the general public interest that information is accessible. However, in this instance, this is outweighed by ensuring the effective operation of Ministerial private offices in the Scottish Government.

An exemption under section 33(1)(b) of the FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. Section 33(1)(b) exempts information from release if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person. 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 release because of the general public interest that information is accessible. However, in this instance, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring release does not substantially prejudice legitimate commercial interests.

An exemption under section 38(1) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested because it relates to personal data of a third party. This exemption applies to information if disclosure 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.

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