Publication - FOI/EIR release

Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) staff working from home: FOI release

Published: 10 Sep 2020
Part of:
Public sector

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

Published:
10 Sep 2020
Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) staff working from home: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000069068
Date received: 30 Jul 2020
Date responded: 17 Aug 2020
Information requested

1. For the period of lockdown (between March 23rd – 4th July), please answer the following questions regarding the staff in (XXXX government department) – if a question isn’t possible to answer in the time allowed, please let us know:
a. a. What is the total number of civil servants (excluding third party contractors such as cleaners, security etc) in the department?

b. b. Of the department staff whose roles could have been performed from home – i.e. who did not have to be in the office in order to perform their jobs AND would not usually be expected to travel for work – how many couldn’t work from home during lockdown due to device or connectivity issues (such as insufficient or unreliable broadband connectivity at home, or not having access to a suitable laptop or smartphone)?

c. c. How many department staff were put on furlough for some or all of the lockdown period?

d. d. How many staff could not perform their roles from home and so had to come into their regular workplace during lockdown?

e. e. many staff were able to work from home during lockdown?

f. f. If possible, how many staff were restricted from full activities due to home devices not being capable of accessing secure information (such as information classified ‘Official Sensitive’, ‘Secret’ and ‘Above Secret’)

2. 2. The next questions relate to IT spending:
a. a. What was the department’s budgeted IT spend for the last tax year (April 2019 - April 2020)

b. b. How much was spent to get people online between March 23rd 2020 - July 4th 2020

c. c. Did the department have to request extra budget in order to respond to Covid-19?

d. d. If possible, how much extra budget did the department have to request?

e.e. If possible, how much was spent per person on internet and connectivity

3. 3. of the following services, please let us know: i) which (if any) were used by staff who were working from home, and which (if any) staff were not permitted to use due to security concerns?
a. a. Zoom

b. b. Skype

c. c. Microsoft Teams

d. d. BlueJeans

e. e. WebEx

f. f. Google Hangouts

g. g. Were any other technologies used not listed above

4. 4. For the same period as the other questions (i.e. March 23rd 202 – July 4th 2020), was the department’s minister ever unable to join meetings, virtual parliament or select committees as a result of technical issues such as device or connectivity problems? If yes please specify the number of occurrences.

5. If possible, how often did employees in your department experience the following during the lockdown (between March 23rd – 4th July) which affected their ability to communicate:
a. a. Connectivity failures that meant staff couldn’t communicate

b. b. Slow connection speeds

c. c. Lack of appropriate equipment where people were working – e.g suitable laptops or smartphones for secure video calls, or fast enough home broadband

d. d. Broader communications outages e.g. the virgin media outage on June 25th
 

Response

1. For the period of lockdown (between March 23rd – 4th July), please answer the following questions regarding the staff in (XXXX government department) – if a question isn’t possible to answer in the time allowed, please let us know:

a. a. What is the total number of civil servants (excluding third party contractors such as cleaners, security etc) in the department? - 296

b. b. Of the department staff whose roles could have been performed from home – i.e. who did not have to be in the office in order to perform their jobs AND would not usually be expected to travel for work – how many couldn’t work from home during lockdown due to device or connectivity issues (such as insufficient or unreliable broadband connectivity at home, or not having access to a suitable laptop or smartphone)? - 1

c. c. How many department staff were put on furlough for some or all of the lockdown period? - 0

d. d. How many staff could not perform their roles from home and so had to come into their regular workplace during lockdown? - 8

e. e. many staff were able to work from home during lockdown? - 295

f. f. If possible, how many staff were restricted from full activities due to home devices not being capable of accessing secure information (such as information classified ‘Official Sensitive’, ‘Secret’ and ‘Above Secret’) – 0

2. The next questions relate to IT spending:
a. a. What was the department’s budgeted IT spend for the last tax year (April 2019 - April 2020) - Revenue (excluding establishment costs) - £3,258,000 Capital - £3,651,000 

b. b. How much was spent to get people online between March 23rd 2020 - July 4th 2020 – There was no extra spend out with business as usual operations.

c. c. Did the department have to request extra budget in order to respond to Covid-19? - No

d. d. If possible, how much extra budget did the department have to request? - N/A

e.e. If possible, how much was spent per person on internet and connectivity - N/A

3. of the following services, please let us know: i) which (if any) were used by staff who were working from home, and which (if any) staff were not permitted to use due to security concerns?

a. a. Zoom - Staff were not permitted to use due to security approval

b. b. Skype – Used as Scottish Government Skype Service

c. c. Microsoft Teams - Used only when invited to Microsoft Teams

d. d. BlueJeans - Staff were not permitted to use due to security approval

e. e. WebEx – Used as Scottish Government approved service

f. f. Google Hangouts - Staff were not permitted to use due to security approval

g. g. Were any other technologies used not listed above - No

4. For the same period as the other questions (i.e. March 23rd 202 – July 4th 2020), was the department’s minister ever unable to join meetings, virtual parliament or select committees as a result of technical issues such as device or connectivity problems? If yes please specify the number of occurrences. If possible, how often did employees in your department experience the following during the lockdown (between March 23rd – 4th July) which affected their ability to communicate:

a. a. Connectivity failures that meant staff couldn’t communicate – No failures with colleague or customer impact

b. b. Slow connection speeds - No failures with colleague or customer impact

c. c. Lack of appropriate equipment where people were working – e.g suitable laptops or smartphones for secure video calls, or fast enough home broadband - None

d. Broader communications outages e.g. the virgin media outage on June 25th - No failures with colleague or customer impact

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