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BiFab, the offshore wind sector and Scottish Supply Chain

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Dear Scottish Government,

Having read the Scottish Parliament’s BIFAB report - BIFAB, THE OFFSHORE WIND SECTOR AND SCOTTISH SUPPLY CHAIN – I’d like to make a FOI request. I would be obliged if you would respond to the following questions and provide the requested information.

Has the Scottish Government had access to the BiFab 2019 statutory accounts in draft form or final signed form?

Provide all correspondence held regarding BiFab’s 2019 statutory accounts.

Is the BiFab pre-acquisition business plan (as referred to in the Scottish Parliament’s report BIFAB, THE OFFSHORE WIND SECTOR AND SCOTTISH SUPPLY CHAIN) covered by the Mutual Confidentiality and Non-disclosure Agreement effective 23 February 2018 between DF Barnes and Scottish Ministers?

Provide a copy of the pre-acquisition business plan.

Provide a copy of the last BiFab’s monthly management accounts held by the Scottish Government prior to the company entering administration on 14 December 2020.

Provide all letters of comfort issued by the Scottish Government to DF Barnes (or other of its group companies) regarding future finance for BiFab in the period pre-acquisition until the business was put in administration.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

M. Brown

Scottish Government

Our Reference: 202100155873

Dear M. Brown ,

Thank you for your correspondence sent on 12/02/2021. Your query will be
passed to the relevant area for consideration and has been given a
reference number of 202100155873. Please quote this number in all
correspondence. The Scottish Government aim to respond, where necessary,
as quickly as possible and within the stated timescale as indicated on our
website
(http://www.gov.scot/about/contact-inform...).

Yours sincerely
MiCase
Correspondence system for SG and partner agencies

The Scottish Government takes your privacy seriously. You may have written
to us because you have a question or want to make a complaint. Our privacy
notice
(https://beta.gov.scot/publications/conta...),
available on our website, sets out how we use your personal data, and your
rights when communicating with us. It is made under Article 13 of the
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
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1 Attachment

Please find attached a response to your correspondence.
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Dear Chris Parks of Strategic Industrial Assets

Your ref - 202100155873 Bifab information

Thank you for your correspondence of 12 March 2021 informing me of a delay in responding to my foi request. I trust that you will be in a position to respond shortly.

Yours sincerely,

M. Brown

Scottish Government

Dear M Brown,

Unfortunately, it is taking longer than expected to deal with your request. I apologise for this delay and should be able to send you a response shortly.

Kind regards

Chris

show quoted sections

Scottish Government

2 Attachments

Please find attached a response to your correspondence.
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This e-mail (and any files or other attachments transmitted with it) is
intended solely for the attention of the addressee(s). Unauthorised use,
disclosure, storage, copying or distribution of any part of this e-mail is
not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient please destroy the
email, remove any copies from your system and inform the sender
immediately by return.
Communications with the Scottish Government may be monitored or recorded
in order to secure the effective operation of the system and for other
lawful purposes. The views or opinions contained within this e-mail may
not necessarily reflect those of the Scottish Government.
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Please forward to: Reuben Aitken, Director at the Directorate for Covid Business Resilience and Support

Dear Mr Aitken

Requesting an Internal Review of FOI response, your ref: 202100155873

Please pass on my thanks to Chris Park of the Strategic Industrial Division for responding to my freedom of information request. I am requesting an internal review because a number of the responses don’t seem to tally with other information in the public domain and believe that some information is held.

Chris’ responses to Q1 and Q2: I would like to draw your attention to the Shareholders Agreement between Scottish Government with BiFab dated 17 April 2018 and clause 3.1 [c] which specifically requires the accounts to be made available to the Scottish Government. If BIFab did not provide the information to the Government then they would be in breach of contract under Scots Law. If is therefore difficult to imagine that there is no correspondence at all on the subject. Correspondence includes any notes attached to any letters or emails.

Chris’ response to Q4 (taking account of what he said in response to Q3): if the business plan is covered by the Mutual Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreement between DF Barnes and the Scottish Ministers effective 23 February 2018 then clause 9 applies and it is for Scottish Ministers to determine if information should be released to the public. As Chris has released some information from the business plan then it would appear that an actionable breach (if one can exist) has just occurred. It is noticeable that the information redacted relates to the Scottish Government. For clarity, I am not seeking release of any general commercial information related to DF Barnes unconnected with the BiFab deal, such as their operations outside of Scotland. Furthermore, it would not seem credible under FOI legislation for a public authority to enter into a significant commercial deal then hide the associated business plan underpinning the deal from the public.

Chris’ response to Q5: I would like to draw your attention to the Shareholders Agreement between Scottish Government with BiFab dated 17 April 2018 and clause 3.1 [b] which specifically requires the management accounts to be made available to the Government. If BIFab did not provide the information to the Government then they would be in breach of contract under Scots Law. I therefore believe some information is held.

It is important to consider Chris’ responses to questions 1,2 and 5 both in the context of the Scottish Government’s significant commercial deals with DF Barnes / BiFab and the associated public interest. It would be gross mismanagement if the government did not hold (as is currently claimed) the information in my request. It is therefore likely that some information is held.

With regard to Chris’s response to Q6 I would be grateful if you would double check that there were no Letters of Comfort provided to DF Barnes regarding future finance for BiFab.

I look forward to receiving you reply to my request for review and thank you in advance.
Yours

M. Brown

Scottish Government

Our Reference: 202100195063
Your Reference: BiFab, the offshore wind sector and Scottish Supply Chain

Dear M Brown,

Thank you for your correspondence received on 18/04/2021. Your query will
be passed to the relevant area for consideration and has been given a
reference number of 202100195063. Please quote this number in all
correspondence. The Scottish Government aim to respond, where necessary,
as quickly as possible and within the stated timescale as indicated on our
website
(http://www.gov.scot/about/contact-inform...).

Yours sincerely
MiCase
Correspondence system for SG and partner agencies

The Scottish Government takes your privacy seriously. You may have written
to us because you have a question or want to make a complaint. Our privacy
notice
(https://beta.gov.scot/publications/conta...),
available on our website, sets out how we use your personal data, and your
rights when communicating with us. It is made under Article 13 of the
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
********************************************************************** 
This e-mail (and any files or other attachments transmitted with it) is
intended solely for the attention of the addressee(s). Unauthorised use,
disclosure, storage, copying or distribution of any part of this e-mail is
not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient please destroy the
email, remove any copies from your system and inform the sender
immediately by return.
Communications with the Scottish Government may be monitored or recorded
in order to secure the effective operation of the system and for other
lawful purposes. The views or opinions contained within this e-mail may
not necessarily reflect those of the Scottish Government.
**********************************************************************
 

Scottish Government

1 Attachment

Dear M. Brown

 

Please note the attached acknowledgement letter regarding your recent FOI
review request.

 

Regards

James Simpson

 

 

 

James Simpson   |   Project Lead   |   Strategic Industrial Assets
Division   |   Scottish Government | 5 Atlantic Quay | Glasgow | G2 8LU

 

(    01382 9(31743)      * [email address]

 

 

********************************************************************** 
This e-mail (and any files or other attachments transmitted with it) is
intended solely for the attention of the addressee(s). Unauthorised use,
disclosure, storage, copying or distribution of any part of this e-mail is
not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient please destroy the
email, remove any copies from your system and inform the sender
immediately by return.
Communications with the Scottish Government may be monitored or recorded
in order to secure the effective operation of the system and for other
lawful purposes. The views or opinions contained within this e-mail may
not necessarily reflect those of the Scottish Government.
**********************************************************************
 

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are M. Brown please sign in and let everyone know.