FOI reference: FOI/17/01781
Date received: 2 August 2017
Date responded: 18 August 2017
Information about the appointment of a Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) Commissioner by Scottish Ministers, specifically:
Please disclose the business case or other documents/correspondence/letters/emails relating to the creation and approval of the appointment in line with FOISA.
Is there a plan to merge Northern Lighthouse Board, Marine Scotland and Transport Scotland to form the Scottish version of the Department for Transport? Has this option been considered and if so, please disclose the relevant business case and outcome papers.
Firstly this is not a new post as you suggest. The Smith Commission Report http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20151202171017/http://www.smith-commission.scot/ determined that Scottish Ministers should be able to appoint one of the Commissioners to the NLB. The Scotland Act 2016 amended the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 to achieve that, however the appointment replaced one of the posts previously elected by the Commissioners so that the total number remains the same.
The arrangements for the appointment including considering and interviewing candidates is being handled by Transport Scotland on behalf of Scottish Ministers as the agency has policy responsibility for liaison with NLB and a recommendation to the Minister for Transport and the Islands on the appointment will be made in due course.
There is no change in the reporting of the NLB to the UK Department for Transport as it remains a reserved body, nor are there any plans to merge the NLB with either Marine or Transport Scotland as you suggest.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. The reasons why we don't have the information are explained in the Annex to this letter.
Reasons for not providing information
The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because there is no business case or other documents/correspondence/ letters/emails relating to the creation of the appointment due to the fact that it is not a new post. Additionally, as there is no change in the reporting of the NLB to the UK Department for Transport, there is no business case or outcome papers in that regard.
This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
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 Andrew's House