Original request - 202300345498
Any information held by the Chief Medical Officer concerning the safety of humans swimming in the vicinity of an open-cage salmon farm, well-boat or other aquaculture installation that is releasing azamethiphos, deltamethrin, cypermethrin, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite or any other pollution that could be harmful to humans.
Further to my letter of 22 March I have now completed my review of our response to your request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for
"Any information held by the Chief Medical Officer concerning the safety of humans swimming in the vicinity of an open-cage salmon farm, wellboat or other aquaculture installation that is releasing azamethiphos, deltamethrin, cypermethrin, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite or any other pollution that could be harmful to humans."
I have concluded that a different decision should be substituted and offer the following explanation of the decision and how it was reached.
In your original request dated 27 February ’23 you advised that ‘We believe that this request falls under both the Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations’. The case was ultimately handled under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).
As the information you requested was ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we should have dealt with your request under those Regulations. I have therefore applied the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 regime to the review. In doing so I have applied the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we did 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.
In reviewing your case I also considered whether, in coming to the original response, procedures were properly followed and statutory obligations met. My assessment was that unfortunately this was not the case and apologise sincerely for this oversight.
The original response incorrectly applied the exemption under Section 17 FOISA - Information not held. The effect was that not all relevant information held by the office of the Chief Medical Officer was identified at the request stage. A new search was therefore commissioned as part of this review. This search located unreleased information which I attach with this response.
Substituted response to your original request
The annex provides copies of some of the information you have requested.
- Items 1 and 2 relate to correspondence from Salmon Scotland to the Scottish Government Director for Environment and Forestry – Sept ‘22.
- Items 3 and 4 relate to the transfer of your original correspondence (dated December ’22) from the office of the Chief Medical Officer to the relevant Scottish Government policy team.
- A pdf of a letter embedded in items 1 & 2 is provided separately.
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 11(2) – personal data of a third party also applies to some of the information you have 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.
As detailed in our original response ‘The Chief Medical Officer of the Scottish Administration’ is designated as a wholly separate public authority from the Scottish Government for the purposes of FOISA and EIR. Some of the information within the scope of your request may be held by the Scottish Government or elsewhere, rather than by the office of the Chief Medical Officer.
Therefore you may wish to contact the Scottish Government Central Enquiry Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org who may be able to direct you to the relevant policy team.
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
- 2 page PDF
- File size
- 153.1 kB
- File type
- 10 page PDF
- File size
- 345.3 kB
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
There is a problem
Thanks for your feedback