Information regarding the 2019 Northern Isles Ferry Contract. Specifically,
a. How much of the money awarded is for crew wages, does the subsidy cover 100% of crew wages and is there any allocation for yearly pay increases, if so at what rate?
b. Security has been taken 'in house' for this contract, I would like to know if the company made any commitments to keep staffing levels the same as they were previously. Is there any commitment to have a certain number of security operatives onboard at all times?
c. Information on the publication of the contract.
a. The grant subsidy paid to the operator represents the difference between the costs of operating the service and the income generated. We are unable to provide a breakdown of the financial components of the contract as this information is commercially confidential.
Adjustments to the Operating Costs in respect of increased wages or salaries will be limited to Index Linking of the wages and/or salaries allowed for in the applicable Service Year where agreed with the Scottish Ministers.
In this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption under section s.33(1)(b) (Commercial interests and the economy) of FOISA applies to that information. An exemption under section s.33(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. We are unable to provide a breakdown of the financial components of the contract as this information is commercially sensitive. This is covered by Section 33 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) (ii) disclosure would (or would be likely to) prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person or organisation s.33(1)(b). 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.
b. In their bid for the contract Serco NorthLink Ferries included that they would transfer the current security staff to become NorthLink employees from September 2021 and integrate them with the wider customer service team. With regards to the number of security operatives onboard at all times, we do not hold this information as operational requirements for security operations are handled by Serco NorthLink Ferries.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested as this is operational information that may be held by Serco NorthLink Ferries. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. However, you may wish to contact Serco NorthLink Ferries at Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org who may be able to help you.
c. The contract is yet to be published, it is expected to be available early 2022. The contract will be published on the Transport Scotland Ferries Page https://www.transport.gov.scot/publictransport/ferries
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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