Information

Details of meetings with Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA): EIR release

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


Information requested

Please disclose all correspondence, agendas from meetings, minutes and details and attendees of meetings between the Scottish Government (including Marine Scotland, civil servants, ministers and special advisors) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), in relation to the following consultation: ‘Proposals for a risk-based framework for managing interaction between sea lice from marine finfish farm developments and wild Atlantic salmon in Scotland.’

The timeframe I am requesting is from Friday, August 20, 2021 to Friday, December 3, 2021.

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.

Enclosed is  the information you requested in the below table and in Annex A.

Attendees of meetings between the Scottish Government (SG) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

Date

Invited attendees

01/09/2021

Annabel Turpie (SG), John McNairney (SG), Sheila Voas (SG), Kevin Quinlan (SG), Donald Carmichael (SG), Aidan Grisewood (SG), Terry A’Hearn (SEPA), Linda Hanna (Scottish Enterprise), Robbie Kernahan (NatureScot), Simon Hodge (Crown Estate Scotland), Highlands and Islands Enterprise

23/09/2021

SG, SEPA

23/09/2021

SG, SEPA, Fisheries Management Scotland

14/10/2021

SG, SEPA

19/11/2021

SG, SEPA

Only Scottish Government Senior Civil Servant attendees and equivalent staff from relevant stakeholder organisations are listed, and it should be noted that while invited to such meetings individuals may not actually have attended.

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 exceptions under regulation 6(1)(b) (Information already publicly available), regulation 10(4)(d) (Material in course of completion etc.), and regulation 11 (2) (Personal data of a third party) apply. The reasons why these exceptions apply are explained below.

Reasons for not providing information
An exception under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs applies as some of the information you have requested is already publicly available. This material was in development during the timescales of your request, but has since been published. This information is as follows:

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.

An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (Unfinished or Incomplete information) applies to some of the information you have requested because it is draft material which was still in the course of completion. 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 exemption. 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. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which was still being developed 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. Draft versions allow space for officials to exchange views in order to come to a settled version and now that the final versions have been agreed and published, any draft versions may be misleading to the public.

An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party 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 exception 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 exception.

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.

FOI202100265693 - Annex A

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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