Deposit return enquiries and FOI requests response statistics: EIR release

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

Information requested

  1. The number of employees assigned to deal with deposit return enquiries and FOI requests in each of the past 24 months along with a breakdown of their payscales.
  2. The number of deposit return relates (a) enquiries and (b) FOI requests received in each of those months.
  3. The number of deposit return FOI requests answered (a) on time and (b) late in each of those months.

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.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.


Question 1:

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested as prior to April 2023 the role of responding to enquiries, EIR and FOI requests relating to the Deposit Return Scheme was the responsibility of policy officials within the Circular Economy Division in addition to their other policy responsibilities. Therefore, this is a formal notice under Regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs confirming that the Scottish Government does not hold this information.

However, in April 2023 due to influx of correspondence, Parliamentary Questions (PQs), Environmental Information Requests (EIRs) and Freedom of Information (FOI) Requests, a correspondence hub was introduced as part of the newly established Deposit Return Scheme Division to lead on these workloads. I have included a breakdown of the hub’s staffing below:

Grade Number of Staff Full Time Equivalent
C1 1 1.0
B3 2 2.0
B2 3 2.2
B1 5 4.5

With effect from 1 April 2022 the pay ranges (in £) within the Scottish Government Main (SGM) pay bargaining unit are:

Pay step

A3 A4 B1 B2 B3 BF C1 C2 C3
Max-3     29,102 33,520 41,642 32,847 52,355 68,540  
Max-2 22,182 25,713 29,447 34,725 42,855 35,944 54,867 70,923 79,360
Max-1 23,335 26,595 30,440 36,330 44,888 38,016 58,849 74,002 80,255
Max 24,888 27,735 31,941 38,329 49,860 40,603 65,276 79,109 80,434

Further information regarding public sector pay that you may find helpful can be found here.

Question 2 and 3:

I have included statistics relating to the correspondene, EIRs and PQ workloads in Annex A.

It is important to note that the information contained in Annex A has been generated using our corporate systems and may not contain all relevant information due to limitations. The hub is also responsible for a number of enquiries which are not recorded on corporate system and therefore we cannot supply statistics for work handled in this way.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

Annex A - 202300360466


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top