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Publication - FOI / EIR Release

Wellboat licence applications: EIR release

Published: 27 Oct 2017

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

FOI reference: FOI/17/02190
Date received: 29 September 2017
Date responded: 25 October 2017

Information requested

Full information, including correspondence and application documents, concerning the following two applications, as advertised on your public register, in the weekly report of 4th September: applications 06524 and 06525.

Response

I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested.

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 exceptions under regulations 10(4)(d) (unfinished or incomplete information), 10(5)(f) (substantial prejudice to interests of person who provided the information) and 11(2) (personal data) of the EIRs apply to that information. The reasons why these exceptions apply are explained below.

Reasons for not providing information

Exceptions that apply.

Exceptions under regulation 10(4)(d), 10(5)(f) and 11(2) of the EIRs apply to some of the information you have requested.

Unfinished or incomplete information.

An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to some of the information you have requested because it is an unfinished document.

This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which is still in being worked on or is under active consideration is not disclosed when it might misinform the public or give a misleading impression of the Government's view or position on the matter to which the information relates.

Interest of the person that provided information.

An exception under regulation 10(5)(f) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to interests of person who provided the information) applies to some of the information you have requested. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the interests of Dawnfresh Farming Ltd. who provided that information to the Scottish Government. They:

  • were not under any legal obligation to give us that information;

  • did not supply it in circumstances in which it could, apart from the EIRs, be made available; and

  • have not consented to disclosure.

This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the interests of anyone, such as Dawnfresh Farming Ltd., who provides the Scottish Government with information on a confidential basis. Disclosing such information against the express wishes of the stakeholder is likely to undermine their trust in the Government and make them reluctant in future to share information with us on issues such as bank account details. This would significantly impair the Scottish Government's ability to develop policies and make decisions on the basis of fully informed advice and evidence. This would not be in the public interest.

Personal data.

Regulation 11(2) – personal data.

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 Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. 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.

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

FOI-17-02190 related documents part 1.pdf

134 page PDF
1.9MB

FOI-17-02190 related documents part 2.pdf

5 page PDF
1.4MB

FOI-1702190 - related documents part 3.pdf

14 page PDF
1.7MB

FOI-17-02190 - related documents part 4.pdf

14 page PDF
2.4MB

FOI-1702190 - related documents part 5.pdf

89 page PDF
2.1MB

FOI-17-02190 related documents part 6.pdf

6 page PDF
2.2MB

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:
27 Oct 2017
Wellboat licence applications: EIR release