Correspondence regarding Pay Policy 2018 to 2019 : FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/00950
Date received: 21 March 2018
Date responded: 19 April 2018

Information requested

Scottish Government briefings and internal correspondence on the Scottish Government's 2018-19 public sector pay policy; for external and internal correspondence including with Patrick Harvie on the pay deal after 14 December 2017; for internal correspondence and briefings on the UK Government's pay deal and for all costings available on the Scottish Government's pay deal both before and after the Greens deal.


As part of your request, you asked for correspondence with Patrick Harvie MSP on pay after 14 December 2017. This information is attached:

  • 12/1/18 Patrick Harvie to Cabinet Secretary for Finance

  • 25/1/18 Cabinet Secretary for Finance to Patrick Harvie

  • 26/1/18 Patrick Harvie to Cabinet Secretary for Finance

  • 29/1/18 Cabinet Secretary for Finance to Patrick Harvie

  • 31/1/18 Patrick Harvie to Cabinet Secretary for Finance

  • 31/1/18 Cabinet Secretary for Finance to Patrick Harvie is otherwise available here:


Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.

Other information (correspondence with unions), which would also have been the subject to this request, has been disclosed in our response of 19 April to your request FOI/18/00973: /publications/foi-18-00973/.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the full information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. The reason for this is that to locate and retrieve that information we would need to conduct a search of all of the records of the Scottish Government. Initial high level searches suggest this may be well over 1000 items.

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. For example, you could break down your request to limit the range of information requested by specifying or narrowing down the types of correspondence; time periods, staff cohorts or labour market sectors, subjects or people, as this would allow us to limit the searches that would require to be conducted. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's "Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs" on her website at:

To assist your reconsideration of the scope of your request, I should draw your attention to some elements of your existing request which are not completely clear to us. Specific points which are unclear are references to the 'UK Government's pay deal' and 'the Scottish Government's pay deal' in the third and fourth bullets. These could be interpreted as relating to UK and Scottish general public sector pay policy, to pay for Scottish and UK civil servants or to the range of deals associated with different workforce groups in Scotland and the rest of the UK. If you wish to include these as elements of a future request, it would avoid delay if you could clarify which information you are seeking.

About FOI

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

FOI-18-00950 - correspondence - 25 January 2018.pdf
FOI-18-00950 - correspondence - 29 January 2018.pdf
FOI-18-00950 - correspondence - 12 January 2018.pdf
FOI-18-00950 - correspondence - 31 January 2018.pdf
FOI-18-00950 - correspondence - 26 January 2018.pdf


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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