FOI reference: FOI/18/00179
Date received: 22 January 2018
Date responded: 16 February 2018
Can you please tell me the latest estimated opening date of the AWPR.
Please send me a copy of the highest level project plan with major milestones, including the completion of the River Don bridge. Will it be opened in sections?
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.
Reasons for not providing information
An exception under regulation 10(5)(e) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to confidentiality of commercial information) applies to your request for a high level project plan.
This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial information provided by Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL), the contractor for the project, and thus cause substantial harm to its commercial interests. Release of this information is likely to prejudice substantially the commercial interests of Scottish Ministers in light of the commercial deal in place with ARL for the delivery of the project and would, or would likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial information provided by ARL. Disclosure of this information may give advantages to competitors in future similar tendering exercises.
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, 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 Scottish Government contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.
Notwithstanding this, the first section of the project, at Aberdeen International Airport (between Craibstone and Dyce) opened to traffic on 29 August 2016 and numerous side roads have also been opened since this time. The intention is to open the remaining sections of the project roads (Balmedie to Tipperty and the remainder of the project) in Spring 2018 in line with the initial timescale announced by Ministers in 2012.
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