State-owned ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne ("Calmac") recently
complained to the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Information
Commissioner ("SIC") that it was receiving an excessive amount of
Freedom of Information ("FOI") requests from potential rivals for
details of its operations. Of around 1,000 FOI requests made to CalMac,
approximately 900 were from other ferry operators.  While CalMac
state their support of the principles of freedom of information, they
suggest that the way in which the FOISA is being used in this case does
not achieve these principles. However, Deputy Finance Minister, Tavish
Scott stated that there will be no exemption for CalMac and it shall
remain covered by the regime.   This case may be of direct
interest to other public sector organisations which fall under the FOI
regime and which compete, to some extent, with the private sector in
the provision of goods and services.

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