- 30 Nov 2017
FOI reference: FOI/17/02487
Date received: 22 October 2017
Date responded: 29 November 2017
I am interested in finding out more about the operation of the Help to Buy (Scotland) Affordable New Build Scheme.
In particular I am interested in the following information:
1. For all current registered builders on the scheme, please supply a copy of the registration form and participation agreement that builders must use to register as participating builders on the scheme. If there are variations in the participation agreement, please send me copies of each variation, redacted as required to mitigate against commercial confidentiality or data protection concerns.
2. Details of the numbers of homes, and the total value of the homes purchased by people participating in the scheme, broken down by participating builder.
3. Copies of any reports, research, or other work conducted on behalf of the Scottish Government that evaluates the impact the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme in Scotland, undertaken since its inception.
4. Copies of any correspondence held by the Scottish Government from representatives of Homes for Scotland, or the Scottish Property Foundation, that relate to the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme.
Where possible, please provide data broken down by financial year, from the first year that Help to Buy support became available to the public.
Where possible, please provide the requested information in Microsoft Excel format files. I would prefer not to receive the requested information in pdf format files.
Upon request for clarification regarding point 4 of the request the clarification below was provided;
With regards to my request for correspondence from these groups, I am interested in any written responses, or data provided by these groups, that may have informed the development of the initial policy or the decision to extend the policy in subsequent years.
This may include direct correspondence, but also meeting notes from face to face meetings or responses from representatives of these groups in minuted meetings where the Help to Buy policy was discussed.
I am unable to put a timescale on this aspect of my request because I do not know when Scottish Government officials first engaged with these groups on this policy.
Should this aspect of my request push my whole FOI request over the "cost threshold", I'd be happy to limit it to communications with these groups over the last 24 months, although I'd obviously prefer to receive ALL correspondence relating to this matter.
Reasons for not providing information
The Scottish Government does not have the information.
The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for regarding reports, research or other work as no evaluation of the impact the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme has been undertaken on behalf of the Scottish Government.
This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. Due to the volume of searches, documents and time it would take to redact information out-with the scope of the request. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.
After seeking clarification on your request you narrowed the scope in relation to point 4 and we have provided the information requested for the past 24 months.
I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. The reasons why we don't have the information are explained in below.
We have provided a copy of the registration form and participation agreement that builders must use to register for Help to Buy (Scotland). All home builders receive the same contract and must adhere to the same terms and conditions to participate in the scheme.
We have provided details of the numbers of homes, and the total value of the homes purchased by people participating in the scheme, broken down by participating builder.
We have located and provided four documents which are within the scope of your request, three of which contain redactions as the content is out-with the scope of your request (i.e. it is not information provided by Home for Scotland or the Scottish Property Foundation, that may have informed the development of the initial [Help to Buy] policy or the decision to extend the policy in subsequent years).
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
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House