First Minister’s visit to the United States and Canada: FOI release

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

Information requested


Regarding the First Minister’s visit to the US and Canada, you asked for:

1. What was the full size of the party?

2. How long was the visit?

3. Was there a dedicated photographer?

4. What were the flight costs and ticket class of First Minister?

5. What were the accommodation costs and FM Costs?

6. What were the hospitality costs?

7. What were the local transport costs?

8. Did she meet anybody actually important?

9. How many speeches did she make about independence?

10. What were the overall costs to the taxpayer of the visit?

11. Lastly, was a special adviser involved in any way in this response?




1. Details of the delegation has previously been published under this Freedom of Information Request –

2, 8. Please see Annex A for the dates of the visit and the engagement list, showing who the First Minister met with.

3. A member of communications staff who attended as part of the delegation was responsible for taking photographs during the visit.

4. – 7, and 10. The total costs and breakdown for the visit has previously been published in the following Freedom of Information Request:

9. There was one speaking engagement at Georgetown University which referenced independence in the context of Scotland, Brexit and the Future. The full transcript is published here

11. Yes. As has been recognised by the Scottish Information Commissioner, Special Advisers, who are civil servants, have a legitimate role to play in considering some FOI requests.


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-19-00466 Information release


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top