Publication - FOI/EIR release

Freedom of Information requests 2013 to 2017: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
Published:
12 Mar 2018
Freedom of Information requests 2013 to 2017: FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/18/00569
Date received: 21 February 2018
Date responded: 6 March 2018

Information requested

1. Total number of FOI requests to ScotGov in each of 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

2. Total number of requests in each of these years in which Special Advisers were involved (ie by commenting on draft responses)

3. Total number of requests in each of these years which were deemed to require ministerial input/sign-off

Response

1. Information on the number of FOI requests received by the Scottish Government has recently been published in response to a parliamentary question and is available from:

http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S5W-14204&ResultsPerPage=10

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(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

2. 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. It may help if I explain that our FOI database does not hold a central record of who is involved in considering FOI requests. Whenever a new FOI request is registered, a new casefile is created on our Electronic Records & Data Management system for information relating to that request. Therefore in order to determine the number of requests in each of the years stated above in which Special Advisers were involved we would need to open and review the information contained in over 11,000 case files for each individual request received to ascertain whether we hold any information relevant to this part of your request. We would also need to ask every individual involved in answering the FOI request in order to check for information which may not have been saved in the casefile. 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. You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600.

The Scottish Government publishes responses to requests for information where information is released; details of these requests are available from the Scottish Government Website:

https://beta.gov.scot/publications/?publicationTypes=foi

You may wish to identify, specific request(s) or a particular topic which requests relate to that you are interested in. You may also wish to note that if you can identify a particular topic, it is unlikely that we would be able to provide this information over the 5 year period you have requested. Therefore if a particular topic is of most interest to you, you may also wish to consider if there is a specific time period in which you are most interested.

3. 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. It may help if I explain our FOI database does not hold a central record of who is involved in considering FOI requests. Whenever a new FOI request is registered, a new case file is created on our Electronic Records & Data Management system for information relating to that request. Therefore in order to determine the number of number of requests in each of the years stated above which were deemed to require ministerial consideration we would need to open and review the information contained in over 11,000 case files for each individual request received to ascertain whether we hold any information relevant to this part of your request. We would also need to ask every individual involved in answering the FOI request in order to check for information which may not have been saved in the case file. 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.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600.

The Scottish Government publishes responses to requests for information where information is released; details of these requests are available from the Scottish Government Website:

https://beta.gov.scot/publications/?publicationTypes=foi

You may wish to identify, specific request(s) or a particular topic which requests relate to that you are interested in. You may also wish to note that if you can identify a particular topic, it is unlikely that we would be able to provide this information over the 5 year period you have requested. Therefore if a particular topic is of most interest to you, you may also wish to consider if there is a specific time period in which you are most interested.

You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on his website at:

http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx

About FOI

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

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG