The report, 'Wrong With The Wind' : EIR release
- Energy and Climate Change Directorate
- Part of
- Public sector
Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
On 9th November 2022, These Islands published a report - Wrong With The Wind - concerning the Scottish Government's frequently cited statistic that Scotland has 25% of Europe's potential offshore wind resource. Please provide:
(1). All internal Scottish Government correspondence (including between Ministers, Civil Servants, Special Advisers, and Press Officers) discussing the These Islands report, and the Scottish Government's response to it, 7th November 2022 - date.
(2.) All Scottish Government (including Ministers, Civil Servants, Special Advisers, and Press Officers) correspondence with external parties discussing the These Islands report and the Scottish Government's response to it, 7th November 2022 - date.
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.
I attach a copy of most of the information you requested.
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.
An exception under regulation 10(4)(e) (internal communications) of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested. The reasons why that exception(s) applies is because it is internal communication between civil servants and Special Advisors relating to development of press lines and policy.
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 have free and frank discussions about policy. It is clearly in the public interest that policy decisions are robustly debated and scrutinised.
Premature 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.
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.
- File type
- 34 page PDF
- File size
- 586.1 kB
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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