Number of public relations, media and press officers: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/00939
Date received: 21 March 2018
Date responded: 18 April 2018

Information requested

1. The number of public relations, media and press officers/staff employed by the Scottish Government. This should only include civil servants, and not special advisers or political spokesmen/women.

2. The amount of money the Scottish Government has spent paying the salary of these staff in the last three years.

2a. Could you please break this down by each individual.

3. The amount paid in pension contributions to public relations, media and press staff in the last three years. Again, could you break this down by year and individual.


1. The Scottish Government does not employ any 'public relations' staff. The number of FTE frontline communications staff/press officers for the last three years is:

Year FTE
2014-15 40.9
2015-16 43.7
2016-17 38.6

Numbers of FTE staff vary throughout the financial year and the figures represent staff numbers on just one day of each year, March 31st. This means that these figures are a 'snapshot': they do not represent either a total number or average number of staff employed in the year. Figures for 2017-18 are still being processed and will be available within 12 weeks.

2. The cost of frontline communications staff/press officers in the last three years to the most recent financial year is available at Scottish Government website. We intend to publish the costs for 2017-18 on the Scottish Government website within 12 weeks.

2a & 3. An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. individual salary information and pension contribution, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. This exemption is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

Back to top