Mr Watson requested from the Scottish Ministers (the Ministers) ‘any correspondence, internal or external, in which there is any specific threat made to . . impose infraction proceedings on the Scottish Executive that is related to the [Nitrate Vulnerable Zone] issue’. Mr Watson’s request was refused on the basis that the requested information had been supplied by a department of the UK Government and held in confidence, and therefore was not held by the Ministers for the purpose of the EIRs.
Following a review, Mr Watson remained dissatisfied and applied to the Commissioner for a decision. During the investigation, Mr Watson narrowed the scope of information sought to the Article 226 letters of formal notice and reasoned opinion issued by the European Commission. Following an investigation, the Commissioner found that, insofar as Mr Watson’s request related to these particular items of information, the Ministers had dealt with that request in accordance with the EIRs, in that the information was not held for the purposes of the EIRs. In light of that conclusion, the Commissioner required no further action on the part of the Ministers.
 ScotIC 009 – 2008
Updated: 22 November 2021; Ref: scu.434107