Publication - FOI/EIR release

Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) accountability: FOI release

Published: 2 Jun 2020

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

Published:
2 Jun 2020
Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) accountability: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000030070
Date received: 16 Apr 2020
Date responded: 28 May 2020
Information requested

My first additional question
To whom is the Scottish Government Accountable?
The Scottish Parliament or The SNP executive?

My second additional question
It would appear that <> 411 MM has or is being spent to set up the organization 
Please provide an accounting of expenditures to date.  

My Third additional question  
The banks sole shareholder is the Scottish Government
The shareholders of the Scottish Government are the People of Scotland represented by the Scottish Parliament.
My question does the Scottish Government consider itself accountable the the people of Scotland through the Scottish Parliament, or to the S.N.P executive.

Final question
As the Government has no money and can only spend money collected from the people of Scotland, is it not fair and proper to the people of Scotland that any appointments for the Bank, and any major expenditures MUST be approved by the Scottish Parliament?

Response

In response to your first request around the accountability of the Scottish Government, may I direct you to the Scotland Act 19981 which outlines the democratic responsibilities of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Administration under parts 1 and 2 of the Act.
In response to the second part of your request, surrounding accountability of expenditure, information on the capital to be provided for the Bank by Scottish Ministers can be found in the Financial Memorandum which is available here:
https://www.parliament.scot/S5_Bills/Scottish%20National%20Investment%20Bank%20Bill/SPBill43FMS052019.pdf.  There is further updated financial information in a letter to the Scottish Parliament in January 2020 that can be found here: 
https://www.parliament.scot/S5_EconomyJobsFairWork/Inquiries/20200110-CabSecFEFW-SNIB.pdf.  
Over 2018-2021, and part of the £2 billion that is to be provided, the Scottish Government is making £490 million available for pre-Bank investment. This £490 million is included within the 3 most recent budget  settlements agreed by the Scottish Parliament and includes the £150 million Building Scotland Fund and £340 million in other funding for a pipeline of investments focussed on the Scottish Government’s climate change ambitions, as set out in the 2019 Programme for Government. Provision of the remaining £1.5 billion for the Bank will be part of future budget settlements to be agreed by the Scottish Parliament.
In response to your third part of your request around the accountability of the Scottish Government can I please again refer you to the Scotland Act 19981. This Act outlines the relationship between the Scottish  Administration and the Scottish Parliament.
In addressing the final part of your request around Scottish Parliament approval of appointments and major expenditures can I refer you firstly to the Scottish National Investment Bank Act 20202. Within this  legislation it is outlined that:

  • All of the Bank’s directors must be appointed by Scottish Ministers.
  •  In regards to approval of major expenditure the Scottish Government expects; 
    The Bank to act in-line with the missions set and approved by Scottish Ministers
    Any Investment to be approved by a director led investment committee.

The Scottish Governement expects these measures will ensure any investments made by the Bank will be in-line with the wishes of Scottish Ministers.

About FOI

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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