Capital Acceleration Programme: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/17/02016
Date received: 28 August 2017
Date responded: 22 September 2017

Information requested

  1. If all of the £100 million Capital Acceleration Programme was assigned to projects.
  2. What the impact of the Capital Acceleration Programme on the timescale of the projects which were assigned funds was.
  3. If any estimation has been made of the number of jobs that were created by funding from the Capital Acceleration Programme.
  4. If any estimation has been made for the number of jobs that were protected by funding from the Capital Acceleration Programme.
  5. What happened to staff and businesses on contracts for projects that received funding from Capital Acceleration Programme where said funding allowed for the project to be completed early.
  6. For the business cases of applications to the Capital Acceleration Programme.
  7. Whether the Capital Acceleration Programme will be funded for another year.


1. Yes, the full £100 million was allocated, and was used to speed up delivery of health and other infrastructure projects.

2. The impact was to bring forward delivery of those projects and, in the case of maintenance projects, to bring forward additional work.

3&4. It is estimated that the overall the programme has created or supported over 950 full time equivalent Scottish jobs. Further information on the projects created or supported by the programme was provided in the answer to S5W-09849 on 7 July 2017. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at: Parliamentary Business

5. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because this was not gathered by the relevant procuring bodies nor was it collated centrally. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. It is understood that the allocation of the additional funding has supported jobs and benefitted local supply chains as well as the Scottish economy including, where the programme allowed, for projects to be completed early. A number of the projects taken forward within the programme were part of longer term maintenance programmes which will continue to be taken forward using existing contractors.

6. The business cases of all applications to the Capital Acceleration Programme are included in the attached document 'Business Case Applications, Capital Acceleration Programme'.

However, an exemption under section 30(b)(i) of Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (free and frank provision of advice) applies to some of the information requested. This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of advice, recognising the need for officials to have a private space within which to provide free and frank advice to Ministers and senior officials before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. Disclosing the content of free and frank advice on the business case in question would substantially inhibit the provision of such advice in the future, particularly because these discussions are still ongoing and decisions have not been taken.

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. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in allowing a private space within which officials can provide full and frank advice to Minister and senior officials, as part of the process of exploring and refining the Government's position on investment priorities, until the Government as a whole can make a decision that is sound and likely to be effective in due course as part of the annual budget setting process.

This private thinking space is essential to enable all options to be properly considered, based on the best available advice, so that good decisions can be taken. Premature disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues between Ministers and officials, which in turn will undermine the quality of the decision making process, which would not be in the public interest.

7. There are no current plans to repeat the Capital Acceleration Programme in 2017-18. However, we are continuing to use all the levers at our disposal to maximise investment to support economic growth. Our spending plans will continue to ensure that spending is targeted as effectively as possible.

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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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