Information

Information regarding Whiteshore Cockles since July 2021: EIR release

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


Information requested

Information on Whiteshore Cockles since 26 July 2021 including any Cabinet Secretary, internal correspondence, complaints, photos, videos, emails, letters and any other information.

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 the information 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 an exception under regulation regulation 10(4)(e), internal communications, of the EIRs applies to that information. The reasons why that exception applies are explained in the Annex.

Marine Scotland response

In relation to your request, we may hold some relevant information through the inspections conducted as part of Scotland’s aquatic animal health surveillance programme. The results and outcomes of these inspections, including any information collected and retained, are published by Scottish Government, as part of an active publication plan -

https://www.gov.scot/collections/publication-of-fish-health-inspectorate-information/

Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format.

Annex

An exception applies:

An exception under regulation 10(4)(e) of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested. Regulation 10(4)(e) of the EIRs allows a Scottish public authority to withhold internal communications. In this case a submission, a document which has been circulated internally.

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 a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in allowing a private space within which officials can provide free and frank advice and views to Ministers in submissions. It is clearly in the public interest that Ministers can properly and robustly defend the Government’s policies and decisions. They need full and candid advice from officials to enable them to do so. Disclosure of this type of information could lead to a reduction in the comprehensiveness and frankness of such advice and views in the future, which would not be in the public interest.

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.

FOI202100254831 - Information released

FOI202100254831 - Annex 1

FOI202100254831 - Annex 2

FOI202100254831 - Annex 3

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

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