Are civil servant’s actions classified as actions by the Scottish Government: FOI release

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

Information requested


“In light of the court case Salmond versus SG, and the statement made by Leslie Evans , what investigations are being conducted to understand how details of these complaints were leaked to the Daily Record by civil servants within the “Scottish Government “?

Why are the actions of civil servants being classified as actions by the Scottish Government , rather than the civil service ? I am sure you will agree that actions by Westminster civil servants would never be classified as the actions of the Conservative Party but this seems clearly to be the inference in this instance in terms of the SNP, rather than an agency of government , especially when the ultimate management of that service is vested in the cabinet secretary and not with the First Minister.”




In response to your first point, as a precaution and in line with our legal obligations, we instructed a detailed review into our handling of Mr Salmond’s data in August 2018. We are satisfied that information relating to this case has been processed in accordance with our legal and information handling obligations, and that there is no evidence of any data breach. We are in correspondence with the Information Commissioner.

In response to your second point, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
The reasons why we don’t have the information are explained in the Annex to this letter. However, information on the role of the civil service is available at


Annex A – Reasons for not providing information

The Scottish Government does not have the information
The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because Civil Servants are employed by the Scottish Government, and therefore their actions can be described as those of the Scottish Government. No exception to this approach has been made for this issue.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.


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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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