The Sunday National/The National newspapers in Scottish Government: FOI release

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

Information requested

1. All internal Scottish Government correspondence or documentation (including emails, attachments, typed or handwritten notes, letters, notes/records of phone calls, texts or instant messages, minutes of meetings, briefings or otherwise) including the phrase “the National” or “the Sunday National”. This should include Officials, Special Advisers, Ministers and Comms and other Staff. Please limit to the time period 5 March 2019 – present.

2. The number of copies of The National purchased and/or received by the Scottish Government daily – even if this is received as part of a larger pack of newspapers.

3. The number of copies of the Sunday National purchased and/or received by the Scottish Government every week – even if this is received as part of a larger pack of newspapers.

4. The weekly spend by the Scottish Government on copies of (a) The National and (b) The Sunday National.


Question 1.
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 of all of the records of the Scottish Government. 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, as this would allow us to limit the searches that would require to be conducted.  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:

Questions 2-4.
The Scottish Government subscribes to a broad range of newspaper and magazine publications to ensure of being kept informed of political events.   The details you requested in relation to subscriptions of The National are contained below:

Newspaper Copies per day Copies per week Total spend per week Comments
The National (Mon - Fri) 9 45 £37.87 Monday - Friday copies
The National (Saturday)   4 £3.37 Saturday copies
The National (Sunday)   4 £7.92 Sunday copies
      £49.16 Total

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 Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top