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Publication - FOI / EIR Release

Prestwick Spaceport proposal and commercial spaceflight: FOI release

Published: 1 Sep 2017

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/01567
Date received: 6 July 2017
Date responded: 31 August 2017

Information requested

Please release all recorded information held by your organisation dating from 1 January 2015 concerning the Prestwick spaceport proposal and the broader policy of supporting commercial spaceflight in Scotland which names or is in connection with:

1. Donald Trump Snr, Donald Trump Jnr, Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump or Jared Kushner 2. George Sorial of the Trump Organization 3. Stephen Walker of Trump Turnberry 4. Any arm of the US government, the White House or its representatives 5. Any other executive or representative of the Trump Organization or of Trump Turnberry or their associated companies or representatives.

Please release all recorded information dating from 1 January 2015 in connection with Glasgow Prestwick Airport or Glasgow Prestwick Spaceport which names or refers to:

1. Any member of the Trump family, including but not exclusively those named above 2. Any member of the Trump Organization, of Trump Turnberry or any associated company or their representatives 3. Any arm of the US government, the White House or its representatives

The recorded material for all parts of the request should include, but not exclusively, all email and written correspondence, internal memos, notes, reports or feasibility studies. I would request the search includes details of publicity events, stakeholders events, ministerial or office meetings or briefings and so on, as well as correspondence, memos, notes, reports or emails.

Response

I enclose a copy of some of the information that you requested. We have provided an extract document where it was more appropriate to extract the text within the scope of your request from other relevant documents we hold. We have also provided a second attachment containing full documents with redactions. Some of the information you have requested is available from Glasgow Prestwick Airport's Strategic Plan 2017 – 2022 available on their website at:

http://www.glasgowprestwick.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/GPA_Strat_Plan_16_AW3_Online_SinglePages.pdf.

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. 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 exemption under sections s.30(b)(ii) Free and frank exchange of views, s.32(1)(a)(i) Relations between UK and any other state, or s.33(1)(b) Commercial interests of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained below.

Reasons for not providing information

An exemption under section s.30(b)(ii) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. There are some instances of free and frank exchange of views when developing press lines and policy advice. An exemption under section s.32(1)(a)(i) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. The Scottish Government have information that if released could adversely affect policy development. An exemption under section s.33(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. In compliance with European Union State Aid rules, the Airport is operated on a wholly commercial basis at arm's length from the Scottish Government and therefore some of the information could adversely impact on the Airport's Commercial interests should it be released.

These exemptions are 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. We recognise that there is some public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government. However, given Prestwick Airport is operated on a commercial basis, the senior management team at the airport has been tasked with all aspects of taking the airport forward to generate new business and get the airport back to a position where it can be returned to the private sector. There is therefore greater public interest in keeping commercially sensitive information private to allow the senior management team at the airport space to develop the business in what is a competitive sector. Also, disclosure of full and frank discussions can limit policy developers by restricting the exploration of all possible options, as well as premature disclosure also likely to undermine frank discussions around the development and performance of the business. We also believe that in this case, information that could adversely affect policy development at a UK level should remain restricted at this time.

About FOI

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

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

Published:
1 Sep 2017
Prestwick Spaceport proposal and commercial spaceflight: FOI release