Upon what basis it was determined that requiring project partners* to provide a “declaration providing written, formal assurance that they have not been convicted of unlawful activity in relation to a range of requirements, including corruption, bribery, fraud and human trafficking, within the last five years” was deemed a sufficient check of partners’ human rights records.
Which procurement regulations this FOI response refers to when stating, “This is also consistent with Scottish Government’s procurement regulations.”
Whether the Crown Estate will be providing any further checks upon or investigations into project partners to determine whether false information has been provided in these declarations, which the FOI response notes would be a basis for the Crown Estate “to void any application or agreement”
Further to your response FOI 199 (attached), please tell me whether it was (a) the Crown Estate, (b) the Scottish Government or (c) any other body that decided upon or recommended the period of five years for the review. Please provide all documentation supporting the decision to choose the period of five years and any other time periods considered.
Confirm whether the Crown Estate has maintained a record of checks carried out on Scotwind project partners*, in line with the requirements detailed in the Scottish Government publication, Guidance on due diligence: human rights. **
Provide a complete copy of the record of checks carried out on Scotwind project partners.
What initial checks were undertaken into Scotwind project partners*, in line with requirements in the Scottish Government publication, Guidance on due diligence: human rights, that “Initial checking should take place at the outset of the engagement, prior to any formal meeting or discussion.”
The determinations or findings of any initial checks into Scotwind project partners.
Whether the Crown Estate, in line with the publication, Guidance on due diligence: human rights, conducted checks into any of the following regarding Scotwind project partners:
a) “governance and internal control systems of the potential investor - does the organisation have policies or mechanisms in place that address its human rights obligations, e.g. through ethics, equalities or corporate social responsibility committees or programmes? Have steps been taken to improve its record and/or provide redress for any prior human rights issues?
b) “ability to deliver – has the organisation a track record of delivering similar projects or investments of the type, size and complexity of the one proposed? Does it have staff and resources with both capacity and capabilities to deliver? Does it have a previous record of working successfully with Governments and agencies etc?
c) “financial stability – can the organisation or investor provide assurance on financial viability? Does it have any past record of financial wrongdoing, for example bribery or corruption? Are financial controls are in place and are operating effectively? Does it have a robust internal or external audit function?
d) “downstream delivery - is there evidence that the organisation carries out its own due diligence checking on its partners, joint ventures, subsidiaries etc? How does it monitor, evaluate and control the risk of existing projects? Is there a record of any human rights concerns of any subsidiary or partner organisation?”
The determinations or findings of any such checks into Scotwind project partners.
*For clarity, ‘project partners’ refers to the following organisations: https://www.crownestatescotland.com/resources/documents/scotwind-list-of-successful-project-partners-170122
** For clarity, this request refers to the requirement that a record be maintained of all the checks undertaken as part of the required due diligence, as laid out in the section of the document titled “The need to record the due diligence undertaken”
Please find attached a Word document containing our response to your questions.
We have also provided a Word document with some further information on our due diligence and a PDF of our ScotWind Leasing Guidance Notes.
Section 33(1)(b) – Commercial Interests
This section allows information to be withheld where its disclosure under the Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person. “Person” includes a public authority, company, and partnership.