FOIs cleared by Paul Johnston, ministers, and SPADs: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/03226
Date received: 29 October 2018
Date responded: 13 November 2018
Information requested

You asked for:

  1. The number of FOIs cleared by Paul Johnston from 1 to 30 September 2018.
  2. The number of FOIs cleared by Scottish Government ministers from 1 to 30 September 2018.
The number of FOIs cleared by Scottish Government special advisors from 1 to 30 September 2018.

I enclose some of the information you requested.

The answer to your first question is zero, Paul Johnston did not clear any FOIs from 1 to 30 September 2018. 

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in respect of question 2 the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. In order to comply with your request we would be required to individually review each case file concerning requests responded to in September.  Due to the number of cases involved we consider this to be in excess of the upper cost limit.  

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 restrict your request to a specific ministerial portfolio area of the Scottish Government or identify a particular subject in which you have an interest.

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:

In respect of question 3 the answer is zero as Scottish Government Special Advisors do not clear FOIs. If you had sought to ascertain how many FOI request responses were commented on by Scottish Government Special Advisors, the cost limit previously mentioned would also apply, and we would not be able to provide you with this information.

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