A copy of the report prepared by CMAL following a visit to Orkney, which included an assessment of the expected cost of replacement ferries and infrastructure which has been provided to the OIC.
I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.
Exemptions under sections 38(1)(b), 33(1)(b) and 30(b)(i) and (ii) of FOISA applies to some the information you have requested.
Section 38(1)(b) – Third party personal data
Some information has been redacted as an exemption under section 38(1)(b) (third party personal data) of FOISA applies to that information. It is personal information of living third parties and disclosing it would contravene the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018. 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.
Section 33(1)(b) – Substantial prejudice to commercial interests
An exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (substantial prejudice to commercial interests) applies to some of the information requested. Information about certain ongoing discussions contain a lot of highly commercial information, with much of the information considered being commercially sensitive.
This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of the case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of an open, transparent and accountable government to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, in this instance, and on balance, we consider that there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial interests of the ferry network.
Section 30(b)(i) and (ii) - Substantial inhibition to free and frank exchange of advice and exchange of views
An exemption under section 30(b) of FOISA (substantial inhibition to free and frank exchange of advice and exchange of views) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of advice and views. This exemption recognises the need for officials and/or a third party to have a private space within which to provide free and frank advice and views amongst each other. This is essential to enable all options to be properly considered, based on the best available advice and views, so that sound decisions can be taken. Disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues between Government officials, third party representatives, which in turn will undermine the quality of the decision making process, 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.
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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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