Publication - FOI/EIR release

Freedom of Information Unit staff details and publications: FOI release

Published: 15 Nov 2019

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
15 Nov 2019
Freedom of Information Unit staff details and publications: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/201900005523
Date received: 22 Oct 2019
Date responded: 14 Nov 2019
Information requested

You asked for;

1. Do you have a dedicated staff team or department to deal with FoI requests?

2. If yes, does this staff team also:
a. Deal with environmental information requests? Yes/No
b. Deal with data protection and GDPR? Yes/No

3. How many members of staff (Full/Whole Time Equivalent), currently (latest available) work principally on delivering on your legal responsibilities under Freedom of Information legislation?

4. Please provide their job titles and grades.

5. In September 2014 and September 2011, how many members of staff (Full/Whole Time Equivalent) worked principally on delivering on your legal responsibilities under Freedom of Information legislation?

6. Please provide their job titles and grades.

7. How much money did you spend in your financial years 2018/2019, 2013/2014, and 2010/2011 on delivering obligations under FOISA – which includes answering individual requests, identifying and proactively publishing information, maintaining a disclosure log and staff training?

8. Do you currently publish a disclosure log of your FOI responses?

9. If so, how often is it updated?

10. Does it include the text of all questions and all responses? Please provide a link to the Disclosure Log?

11. If no to question 8, did you previously publish one?

12. If you previously published a disclosure log, when did you stop publishing this?

13. If you previously published one, did it include the text of all questions and all responses?

14. If yes to question 12, when did you stop publishing the text of all your FOI responses?

Response

1. Do you have a dedicated staff team or department to deal with FoI requests?

FOI(S)A requests are dealt with by staff across the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government also has a FOI Unit which offers support and advice to any member of staff dealing with an FOI request, review or appeal. The unit also tracks and monitors performance across the Scottish Government, publishes FOI/EIR responses and implements improvement and training across the Government.

2. If yes, does this staff team also:

a. Deal with environmental information requests? Yes/No

As with FOI(S)A requests, EIR requests are also dealt with across the Scottish Government, and the FOI Unit offers support and advice to any member of staff dealing with an EIR request.

b. Deal with data protection and GDPR? Yes/No

There is a separate Data Protection Team within the Scottish Government which deals with data protection and GDPR primarily. However the FOI Unit deals with data protection and GDPR when considering a FOI(S)A Section 38(1)(a) or 38(1)(b) (personal information) exemption or an EIR Regulation 11 (1) or 11(2) (personal information).

3. How many members of staff (Full/Whole Time Equivalent), currently (latest available) work principally on delivering on your legal responsibilities under Freedom of Information legislation?

As explained in the answer to question 1, staff across the Scottish Government contribute to delivering our legal responsibilities under FOI. However the FOI Unit has 14.65 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff whose principal role is to deliver on our legal responsibilities under Freedom of Information legislation.

4. Please provide their job titles and grades.

Job Title Grade FTE
Head of FOI Unit C2 1
Head of Policy and Casework C1 1
Head of Improvement and Engagement C1 1
FOI Manager B3 3
FOI Adviser B2 5.65
FOI Support Officer B1 3

5. In September 2014 and September 2011, how many members of staff (Full/Whole Time Equivalent) worked principally on delivering on your legal responsibilities under Freedom of Information legislation?

In September 2011, the (FTE) headcount in the FOI Unit was 7.62.
In September 2014, the (FTE) headcount in the FOI Unit was 7.86.

6. Please provide their job titles and grades.

We do not retain historic job titles. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

The (FTE) of the staff and grades on those dates are:

2011 B1 (1.95) B2 (1.86) B3 (2.81) C1 (1.0)
2014 B1 (2.0) B2 (3.86) B3 (1.0) C1 (1.0)

7. How much money did you spend in your financial years 2018/2019, 2013/2014, and 2010/2011 on delivering obligations under FOISA – which includes answering individual requests, identifying and proactively publishing information, maintaining a disclosure log and staff training?

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not hold this information as we do not routinely record the cost of an FOI request. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

However, it may be helpful to note that the Scottish Government did undertake research in 2012 which sought to ascertain the ‘cost’ of responding to a request in terms of staff time. At that time this was estimated to be an annualised cost of £216. The full research report can be accessed by following the link below:
https://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20170701145354/http:/www.gov.scot/About/Information/FOI/Reporting/CostingExercise2012 

Allowing for adjustments for inflation we now estimate this cost to be around £234 (adjusted in December 2018).

8. Do you currently publish a disclosure log of your FOI responses?

Yes, we publish responses where information has been disclosed.

9. If so, how often is it updated?

FOI responses are published as soon as reasonably possible after the response has been issued to the requester.

10. Does it include the text of all questions and all responses? Please provide a link to the Disclosure Log?

The Scottish Government publishes the questions and responses of FOI requests where information is released in the response.

You can find published responses by following the link below and selection ‘FOI/EIR release’ as the publication type: https://www.gov.scot/publications/

11. If no to question 8, did you previously publish one?

N/A.

12. If you previously published a disclosure log, when did you stop publishing this?

N/A.

13. If you previously published one, did it include the text of all questions and all responses?

A previous iteration of the disclosure log only included a summary of the request and advised that further information could be requested.

14. If yes to question 12, when did you stop publishing the text of all your FOI responses?

N/A.

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG