- 29 Mar 2019
Date received: 13 Mar 2019
Date responded: 29 Mar 2019
You asked for estimated, non-recurring costs (leasehold, buildout, furnishings and I.T. equipment) of establishing large new offices in Glasgow and Dundee to accommodate the organisation. You also asked what the key milestones in the roll out schedule are and what is the overall timeline.
The Agency currently occupies interim properties in Dundee and Glasgow, increasing its space in line to support the increase in headcount as further benefits are devolved; the timeline for this can be found in the Ministerial Statement on the devolution of benefits. Whilst we increase our interim accommodation, work is underway to develop the Agency’s longer-term Property Strategy.
Some of the information you have requested is available in the Social Security (Scotland) Bill Financial Memorandum, specifically paragraphs 54 – 58 (inclusive); these paragraphs provide high-level financial estimates for the implementation of the Agency, including IT and estates costs. Further details of these costs are not available because an exemption under section 33(1)(b) (commercial interests) of FOISA applied to that information.
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test
An exemption under section 33(1)(b) (commercial interests) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of Social Security Scotland.
This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House