Adran yr Economi, Gwyddoniaeth a Thrafnidiaeth
Department for Economy, Science and Transport
Eich cyf/Your ref
Ein cyf/Our ref ATISN 10230
Thomas Gallard request-318128-
23 March, 2016
Dear Mr Gallard Request for Information – ATISN 10230
I wrote to you on 25 February regarding your request for information. You asked for details
of the financial support agreed with Aston Martin to create 750 jobs at St Athan.
I can confirm that we hold information relating to your request. However, I have concluded
that the information requested relating to details of funding is exempt from disclosure
under Section 43 – commercial interests of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Full
reasoning for applying this exemption is given at Annex A to this letter.
If you are dissatisfied with the Welsh Government’s handling of your request, you can ask
for an internal review within 40 working days of the date of this response. Requests for an
internal review should be addressed to the Welsh Government’s Freedom of Information
Information Rights Unit, Welsh Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NQ or [email address].
Please remember to quote the ATISN reference number above.
You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until
it has been through our own internal review process.
EST FOI Team
Treforest – QED Centre
Treforest Industrial Estate
Rydym yn croesawu derbyn gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg. Byddwn yn ateb gohebiaeth a dderbynnir yn Gymraeg yn Gymraeg ac ni fydd
gohebu yn Gymraeg yn arwain at oedi.
We welcome receiving correspondence in Welsh. Any correspondence received in Welsh will be answered in Welsh and corresponding
in Welsh will not lead to a delay in responding.
Deputy Director, Business Solutions
ATISN 10222 - Consideration For and Against Disclosure of Information
Decisions relating to non-disclosure have been taken with due consideration of the
exemptions identified under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(FOIA). This states that information is exempt information if its disclosure under
this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any
person (including the public authority holding it).
Section 43 is a qualified (public interest tested) exemption. This means that in order
to engage it, I must show that the public interest in withholding the information is
greater than the public interest in releasing it. I have therefore given consideration
to the effects of disclosure of the information to the world at large as the
information is made available to anybody and everybody, not just the requestor. As
such, when considering your request I have considered the wider effects of
disclosure rather than any personal interest you may have in being provided with
Public Interest Test
There is a public interest in openness and transparency within government,
particularly in terms of ensuring transparent and accountable government by
disclosing how the Welsh Government spends public money and that the money is
However, information about funding details is commercially sensitive to the
company. It reveals historic commercial information, proposed activities and
business development proposals that would be likely to prejudice Aston Martin’s
service offering. We believe that to place this information into the public domain
would be likely to put this company at a commercial disadvantage in what we
recognise is a very competitive market. It would also be likely to allow a
commercial advantage to potential competitors were it to be disclosed as it would
undermine the competitiveness of their products and adversely affect the way they
manage product investment. Whilst this information would be of interest to the
company’s competitors, I do not believe that it would be of interest to the wider
public and would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of the business. I
do not believe that facilitating this type of unfair competitive advantage would be in
the wider public interest.
Whilst I accept that, as a public body, the public will always have an interest in the
work of the Welsh Government and that release of this information would engender
our willingness to be open and transparent in the way that we work, I do not believe
there is any pressing public interest in the release of the funding details.
I believe that the balance of the public interest therefore falls in favour of
withholding the information relating to funding details.