You asked for information about the 'Private Water Supply Working Group.
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.
Response to your request
There are two sets of groups we are aware of dedicated to discussing private water supplies (PWS) – one run by local authorities to promote knowledge sharing and another by the Scottish Government to consider alignment with the EU’s recast Drinking Water Directive. We do not hold information on the former but I can provide the information you have requested on the Scottish Government-run group. This was named the Private Water Supply Steering Group and it sat above three topic-specific working groups. Historically, there have been other Scottish Government-run groups dedicated to PWS. We assume that the request is about the most recent group and information is provided below as such.
1. The Private Water Supply Steering Group had its first meeting on 16 November 2021.
2. The Private Water Supply Steering Group consisted of members from the following organisations:
- Scottish Government
- Drinking Water Quality Regulator
- Argyll and Bute Council
- Aberdeenshire Council
- Scottish Environment Protection Agency
- Scottish Water
- Water Industry Commission for Scotland
- Citizens Advice Scotland
- Public Health Scotland (corresponding member)
3. The costs associated with the group were staff time; all meetings were held via MS Teams and therefore there were no costs associated with travel or subsistence.
4. No costs were associated with catering for this group given all meetings were held via MS Teams.
5. No remuneration was provided to members beyond their usual salaries from their employers.
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.
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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