FOI reference: FOI/17/02939
Date received: 30 November 2017
Date responded: 20 December 2017
I write under Freedom of Information legislation to request a copy of all correspondence including background notes, briefings, letters, minutes and agendas of meetings or other forms of communication provided to the Minister for Transport and the Islands relating to the Queensferry Crossing between 1st June 2017 and 30th November 2017 inclusive by officers of Transport Scotland and/or their designated representatives.
Following clarification, you confirmed that you are requesting specific information as follows:
changes or alterations to build or construction specifications and budgetary implications of these changes
the timescale for opening of the bridge to public vehicles
all correspondence relating to 'snagging' or other works, the timescale and costs of these and the implications of this work on closure/partial closure or any other restrictions these may cause
An exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (commercial interests) applies to requests 1, 2 and 3 of the information requested.
Reasons for not providing information
This exemption applies because disclosure of this information would (or would be likely to) prejudice substantially and have a detrimental effect on the commercial interests of the contractors - Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC).
Disclosure of this information may also give advantages to competitors in future similar tendering exercises.
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. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial interests of companies which enter into Transport Scotland contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.
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