Receipt of external freedom of information (FOI): FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/03264
Date received: 6 November 2018
Date responded: 12 November October 2018
Information requested
  • Please confirm whether or not the Scottish Government receives reports / information from other organisations / bodies regarding the content of FOI requests and/or responses
  • If so, please provide names of organisations / bodies which provide this information to the Scottish Government
  • Please also provide any examples of such reports / information received by the Scottish Government in the last 6 months. 


In response to the first part of your request, while the Scottish Government does not require other organisations/bodies to provide us with reports/information regarding the content of FOI requests and/or responses, we understand that this may happen on occasion, for example we may be consulted as a third party, in line with the Section 60 code of practice.

If the Scottish Government were to receive information of this nature it is likely that external organisations or bodies would correspond with their respective sponsor teams rather than through the central FOI Unit. We would need to identify all sponsor teams; contact them directly; and ask them to conduct thorough searches of their own records before compiling the information centrally.

Accordingly, in regards to the second and third parts of your request, 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.  The reason for this is that to locate and retrieve that information we would need to conduct a search across the Scottish Government. Additionally, we file our information according to the subject matter, not by reference to whether or not the organisation or body with which we might correspond regarding FOI is an external one. 

Furthermore, you have not specified a timeframe for the first second part of your request.  Sponsor teams would therefore need to examine records going back as far as the implementation of FOISA which greatly increases the cost implications of responding to the request. 

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 business area of the Scottish Government or specific external organisations or bodies as this would allow us to limit the searches that would require to be conducted. Narrowing the timeframe would likely also be a necessary component of bringing your request below the cost limit. 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:

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