Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Ferrygate - The Cover-Up Continues
Not that there's anything you could consider 'information' in it!
Thank you for your communication received on 20th May 2013 in which you requested information about the council's dealings with Transeuropa Ferries.
The information you request relates to meetings and other communications with Transeuropa since March 2011and this information would be directly relevant to legal action taken by the council to recover the outstanding debt. Premature release of information relevant to a potential legal action could be significantly prejudicial to a legal case taken by the council.
It is almost certain that this information would be released into the public domain and lead directly to the prejudice to any potential case.
The council is owed over £3 million and any prejudice to legal action it may take would be significantly prejudicial to its commercial interests. The application of a public interest test in relation to this under Section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act relating to commercial interests has been applied to this situation and it is considered that the balance of public interest lies on the side of not releasing the information you have requested as the wider public interest lies in retaining the confidentiality of this information at this stage. This will remain the case until the issue with regard to the legal action to recover the Transeuropa debt is resolved.
However, I would wish to clarify a misunderstanding in your request as this seems to be based on an assumption that sums were being paid to Transeuropa, which was not the case. The council is owed money by the company and this sum remains payable. Given the position of the company the council is going to have to seek this sum from any assets owned by the company through legal action.