FOIs from media and political sources and cost of responding: FOI release

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

Information requested


1. How many FOI requests were made to you, and responded to, by you, in each the last ten years, from:

a) TV News broadcasters based in Scotland

b) Radio News broadcasters based in Scotland

c) Newspapers based in Scotland

d) Political blogs on Scottish politics

e) Political Parties, other than the SNP, with MSPs in the Scottish Parliament

2. What has been the total cost of such activity by you in each of the last ten years?

3. How many staff have you employed to do this work in each of the last ten years?

4. What has been the cost of responding to me?




1. In response to your request, a table is provided at Annex A showing the number of FOI requests the Scottish Government has recorded for each of the organisation types you have named. You will wish to note that FOISA does not require individuals requesting information to identify whether they represent a particular organisation. Accordingly, the Scottish Government does not require this information to be recorded in our FOI tracker.While we do provide indicative figures categorising requesters, we cannot confirm that the information we hold in relation to your request is both accurate and complete.

2. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not hold this information as we do not routinely record the cost of an FOI request. However, it may be helpful to note that the Scottish Government did undertake research in 2012 which sought to ascertain the ‘cost’ of responding to a request in terms of staff time. At that time this was estimated to be an annualised cost of £216. The full research report can be accessed by following the link below:
Allowing for adjustments for inflation we now estimate this cost to be around £234 (adjusted in December 2018).

3. In this instance the Scottish Government does not hold this information as we do not employ staff whose sole duties are to reply to FOI requests, nor do we routinely record the numbers of staff attending to certain FOI requests. By way of background the Scottish Government operates a devolved model for FOI handling. When an FOI is received into the organisation, it is assigned to a policy expert within the relevant policy area. That case handler may seek advice and input from colleagues to progress the FOI until it is issued.

4. In this instance the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested. However, as noted above, we currently estimate the average cost to reply to an FOI request to be £234.


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-19-00357 Annex A


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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