Cost to date associated with Scottish Highly Protected Marine Areas: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Information requested

The costs associated to date in the Consultation Process relative to the plans to make at least 10% of Scottish Seas Waters Highly Protected Marine Areas.

Please state:

1. The Total Overall Cost to date.

2. The amount paid in Consultancy Fees to external consultants in connection with drawing up the consultation questionnaire etc.

As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.


1. I enclose a copy of all of the information you requested in a table below regarding the total overall cost to date of the consultation process.

Cost Value (including VAT)
Sustainability Appraisal £54,367
Publication Cost of Consultation Documents £6,656.29
Newspaper notice of Environmental Report publication £515.09
Total £61,538.38

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee and Nature Scot were also involved in advising during the consultation process, however there is no business requirement for officials to allocate their time spent working on tasks for Scottish Government between different tasks they perform for us, for example time spent on tasks relating to the consultation, or their work more generally. Given we do not hold details of the time spent by individuals undertaking these tasks, we are unable to provide details of the total costs that you have specified.

2. Nothing was paid to external consultants for drawing up the consultation questionnaire, this was done by Scottish Government officials.

3. Although you have not asked for this information as part of your request, you may also be interested to know that a contract is now in place for the analysis of the consultation responses. The contract will commence on 17 April 2023 and be completed no later than 5 July 2023 unless the contract is terminated in accordance with the Terms and Conditions. The contract value shall be £35,100.00 (exclusive of VAT). This is based upon 2569 substantive responses and 1846 campaign responses. Invoices shall be submitted within 10 days of the goods and/or services being provided, and payment shall be made within 30 days of a valid invoice being received.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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