Number of civil servants working on reserved matters: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/17/01643
Date received: 11 July 2017
Date responded: 27 June 2017

Information requested

The number of Scottish Government civil servants that are currently working on policy areas that are reserved to the UK Government under the devolution settlement. I would also like to ask what broadly specific work civil servants are carrying out on policy in reserved policy areas and what the Scottish Government rules are, if there are any, on civil servants carrying out work on policy in reserved areas.


The policy areas which civil servants in the Scottish Government work on, as part of their normal duties supporting Scottish Ministers, cover a wide range of issues. This includes matters where the Scottish Parliament has primary legislative competence, matters where legislative competence is reserved to the UK Parliament but Scottish Ministers have executively devolved powers or administrative responsibilities (for example civil service pay), and other matters that are reserved but relevant to the interests of Scotland. There are many civil service jobs featuring elements of all of these as part of their normal duties.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have a record of the number of civil servants that work on reserved matters. In line with usual practice, details of individual tasks carried out by staff, including the number of hours spent on them, are not recorded because there is no business need to do this. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

The rules governing government activity are set out in the Scottish Ministerial Code and the Civil Service Code, links for which can be accessed at:

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

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Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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