Disclosure Scotland, overtime, pay and productivity targets: FOI release

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

Information requested

1.  Confirm the number of hours and cost for overtime during the period April 2018-March 2019, split by core SG staff and Contract workers 

2.  Confirm the productivity rate and volumes delivered during the overtime periods versus normal working hours split by SG staff and contract workers 

3.  Confirm the cost of paid breaks at premium rate during overtime periods over the periods or SG staff and Contract workers 

4.  Confirm the average weekly cost to tax payers of paid breaks for staff at Disclosure Scotland working core shifts - please clarify the core hours

5.  Confirm why typically each employee received 30 minutes of paid breaks per shift and why the tax payer funds non‑working time for Civil Servants and Contract workers at Disclosure Scotland 

6.  Confirm the cost overrun and current period of delay against initial project plan for the new Safeguarding system as part of Business Transformation. 

On the 10th June 2019 clarification was sought on some of the questions raised: 

1.   Does your request for information apply to Disclosure Scotland as a whole? 

2.   Please clarify your definition of “contract workers”?

3.   In relation to your request to: Confirm the productivity rate and volumes delivered during the overtime periods versus normal working hours split by SG staff and contract workers.

Not all areas in Disclosure Scotland have, or work to productivity targets so there is no productivity data for the whole organisation. Our large operational areas do have productivity data but as yet we do not process an application end to end. The process is broken down to 30+ sub processes with each sub process having its own productivity rate. To collate the information requested for every sub process over a twelve month period would be extremely resource intensive and the cost would exceed the £600 limit under Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. However we could provide the productivity data for our key sub processes for both normal working hours and overtime. Please let me know if that would be helpful.  Also, at operational level we do not differentiate productivity data between SG staff and contract/agency workers so we’re unable to provide that split.  

3.  Could you please clarify what your enquiry on productivity rate and volumes is based around? 

4.  Could you please clarify what you mean by “non-working time”?  

On the 12th June 2019 confirmed clarification as below:  

1.  Yes, response applies to all areas of Disclosure Scotland.

2.  Temporary staff or agency sourced workers - don’t directly employed by Disclosure Scotland, excluding those involved in your IT transformation project.

3.  Productivity data for your operational areas as outline in your response will be sufficient - thank you.

4.  I would assume you have a measure on throughout (volume) expectations and a productivity measure per administrator/processor (applications processed per day/hour) type thing?

5.  Non work time - paid breaks, which appear to be unique to Disclosure Scotland.


Question 1

The cost of overtime for core SG staff for the period April 2018 to March 2019 was £237,158.

In terms of providing any correspondence relating to hours this is not currently recorded in an easily accessible way.  In order to produce it we would need to search through a substantial number of individual records.

Therefore, we calculate that to do so would take us beyond the upper cost limit of £600.  (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 agency staff for the same period this was £82,470 for 3,324 hours.  The hours for this are readily available, having been generated from the time sheets we receive from the supplier for individual people.

Question 2  For our core queues measured in average cases per hour – 18/19

See Table 2


Productivity rate during normal hours on weeks overtime worked. 

Productivity rate during Overtime

Volumes Processed during Normal hours on weeks overtime worked

Volumes Processed during overtime

Data Matching





Record Match*





Confirm Application





* Part year stats due to new solution in 18/19

Question 3

The cost of paid breaks at premium rate during overtime periods over the period April 2018 to March 2019 is £12,458, further broken out to core SG staff, £6,995 and agency staff, £5,463.

Paid breaks are part of the Scottish Government’s terms and conditions for overtime.  As agency staff have pay parity with SG core staff these terms and conditions also apply to agency staff.

Question 4

The average weekly cost of paid breaks by staff at Disclosure Scotland based on Full Time Equivalent (FTE) numbers is £7,541.

Core hours are 7am to 7pm, Monday to Friday.

Question 5

Disclosure Scotland (DS) work was previously undertaken by Strathclyde Police. In 2007 relevant staff transferred to DS under TUPE regulations (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006).  At the point of transfer  paid breaks were ‘custom and practice’ so continued under DS.  The paid breaks are not typical across all of DS.  Due to the nature of the work most Call Centre and Data processing staff take breaks from their PC.  This also supports Display Screen Equipment (DSE) regulations.

Question 6 

DS originally planned to exit the contract with BT, and be fully on the new safeguarding system, by 31 March 2018.  The programme has proven to be more complex than was originally understood, both technically and functionally, which is not unusual for such a large technology-enabled programme, replacing an old, complex and bespoke solution with a completely new platform.

The replacement system started to process basic disclosures in June 2018 and now processes 50% of all applications received into DS.  We will be processing 100% of disclosures on the new safeguarding service by 30 September 2019.  The additional costs to develop the new safeguarding system are estimated to be £10.32 million.

About FOI

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
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top