Autism Network Scotland (ANS): FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/01066
Date received: 5 April 2018
Date responded: 25 April 2018

Information requested

Information requested related to the Scottish Government-funded organisation Autism Network Scotland (ANS), under the provisions of The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

1. What action has the Scottish Government taken in response to the criticisms detailed in the independent review published in 2016?

2. How often are ANS required to provide reports to the Scottish Government, and what form do the reports take?

3. How does the Scottish Government measure ANS's performance?

4. Does the Scottish Government plan to commission any further independent reviews of ANS?

5. How was ANS's leadership appointed?

6. How are funding awards to ANS decided?

7. What is the end date on the current funding award?

8. Has the Scottish Government received any complaints regarding ANS within the past twelve months, and if so, how many?

9. Did the Scottish Government take any role in setting the agenda for the Scottish Strategy for Autism Sixth Annual Conference (Wednesday 28th March 2018), or select any/all of the conference speakers.


Answer 1. Since the publication of the independent review, Scottish Government Officials have listened to key stakeholders views about the role and remit of the Autism Network Scotland. The Outcomes and Priorities 2018-2021 for the Scottish Autism Strategy notes in the final section of the report that we will establish an Autism Policy Review Group which will replace the former Governance Group which had been chaired by ANS. Scottish Government officials will chair this new group.

The review highlighted that the administration role by ANS in convening strategy meetings and taking minutes was thought to be valuable and to be done well on the whole. For this reason ANS will continue to do this role.

Answer 2. Scottish Government and the ANS Director meet regularly to discuss ANS activities and priorities. ANS also provide regular reports to the Scottish Government and Governance Group these are made available on the following website:

In the past the Network also provided regular Newsletters to the Scottish Government and stakeholders these can be accessed here:

These have been replaced by monthly news and events bulletins which you can subscribe to.

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

Answer 3. There are no specific indicators or targets set for ANS, however, all activities are discussed at regular review meetings which review activities and priorities.

Answer 4. There are no plans to commission any further independent reviews.

Answer 5. ANS staff are employees of the University of Strathclyde, who are responsible for all appointments.

Answer 6. Funding is based on agreed priorities for the year ahead and available budget.

Answer 7. March 2019

Answer 8. One

Answer 9. The Scottish Government took the lead role in setting the agenda for the Strategy for Autism Sixth Annual Conference (Wednesday 28th March 2018), and selected all of the conference speakers. ANS acted as administrators in the organisation and planning of the conference.

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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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