Cost of catering provided at Ministerial Events: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/17/02676
Date received: 3 November 2017
Date responded: 29 November 2017

Information requested

  • 'Scottish Government spending on alcohol; spending on food and spending on non-alcoholic drinks in 2006, 2011, 2016 and 2017 to date. I would also like to submit this for ministerial spending.'


While our aim is to provide information wherever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested in relation to spend on alcohol, food and non-alcoholic drinks for the years 2006, 2011, 2016 and 2017. Refreshments served at Scottish Government events are normally part of a package provided by the venue or caterers including food, alcoholic and soft drinks and are not broken down to individual items. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information that you requested.

With regards to the second part of your request concerning Ministerial spend in these years, for 2006 and 2011 the costs of locating, retrieving and providing that information would exceed the upper limit cost of £600. The reason for this is that we recorded information differently so this would require us to check each record individually in order to extract any information. 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 Regulation made under section 12.

In respect of 2016 and 2017, we only hold information on Ministerial events planned and delivered by the Scottish Government's Visits and Events Team. The total cost of food and drinks provided at Ministerial Events for the past 2 years is:

2016 - £55,626.68
2017 to date - £69,886.03

Due to differing recording and invoicing procedures, it is not possible to split the cost of food and drink from the total event costs which can also include venue hire, additional staffing and technical set up.

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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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