Publication - FOI/EIR release

Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) operational statistics: FOI release

Published: 1 Aug 2019

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

Published:
1 Aug 2019
Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) operational statistics: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/19/01815
Date received: 15 Jul 2019
Date responded: 30 Jul 2019
Information requested

You asked for the following information in relation to the Student Awards Agency Scotland:

1. Number of Sites

2. Number of Employees

3. Number of IT Staff

4. Annual IT Budget for current financial year

5. Number of Datacentres and locations, owned or third party

6. What storage vendor(s) and model do you currently use?

a. When was the installation date of above storage vendor(s)?
b. When is your planned (or estimated) storage refresh date? (Month/year)
c. What is your estimated budget for the refresh?
d. What date does your storage support contract end? (Month/year)
e. What is the value of your storage support contract?
f. What is the capacity of the storage data in TB?
g. Is your storage hosted by a third party or onsite?

7. What backup software and hardware do you use?

a. How much data do you backup in TB?
b. When is your planned (or estimated) backup software refresh date? (Month/year)
c. What is the estimated budget for your backup software refresh?
d. When does your backup support contract end? (Month/year)
e. What is the value of your backup support contract?
f. Is your backup hosted by a third party or retained onsite?

8. What compute vendor(s) and model do you currently use?

a. Number of servers?
b. What operating system(s) do you use?
c. What percentage is virtualised?
d. Virtualisation platform?
e. When is your planned (or estimated) compute refresh date? (Month/year)
f. When does your compute support contract end? (Month/year)
g. What is the value of the compute support contract?
h. Is this hosted by a third party or onsite?

9. If you outsource your IT works, please provide who it is with and when the contract started and ends.

10. In addition, please provide a copy of your current IT Strategy and an organisation chart depicting the IT department with contact names and telephone numbers.

Response

Please see below the response to each point of your request.

1. SAAS operate from one geographical business site.

2 & 3. In 2017-2018 the average number of full-time equivalent staff employed during the year was 266. This can be found in our annual reports at https://saas.gov.uk/_forms/saas_annual_report_1718.pdf.

4. Budget information  Scottish Budget 2019-2020 - gov.scot

5. SAAS host services on a number of distinct geographical public sector data centres.

6. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible in this instance an exemption under section 30(c) of FOISA (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) applies to your request. Please see the Annex of this letter for more information on this exemption.

(a) Between 2015 & 2019.
(b) 2022.
(c) Our annual report can be found at https://saas.gov.uk/_forms/saas_annual_report_1718.pdf.
(d) 2022.
(e) Our annual report can be found at https://saas.gov.uk/_forms/saas_annual_report_1718.pdf.

7. Scottish Government backup as a service.

(a) 8TB.
(b) There are no current published plans.
(c) See reply at 7(b).
(d) See reply at 7(b).
(e) We do not hold specific backup cost breakdowns. The backup support costs are aggregated within the Scottish Government SCOTS as a Service cost.

8. See reply at 6.
(a) 350 virtual servers.
(b) See reply at 6.
(c) 100%.
(d) See reply at 6.
(e) 2022.
(f) 2022.
(g) Our annual report can be found at https://saas.gov.uk/_forms/saas_annual_report_1718.pdf.
(h) Onsite.

9. We do not outsource.

10. Our IT Strategy is being drafted and has not been published. Our Corporate Strategy can be found at https://saas.gov.uk/_forms/corporate_strategy.pdf and our corporate plan year 2019-2020 can be found at https://saas.gov.uk/_forms/corporate_plan.pdf. SAAS governance board details can be found in our annual report at https://saas.gov.uk/_forms/saas_annual_report_1718.pdf.

Reasons for not providing information - Annex
An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test

An exemption under section 30(c) of FOISA (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. Disclosing this information would substantially prejudice our ability to carry out the effective conduct of public affairs.

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.  We recognise that there is some public interest in release because the Scottish Government is committed to being transparent in relation to our processes.  However, this is outweighed by the public interest in protecting the information contained in our systems.

Providing details about the information you have requested into the public domain could be used by threat actors for reconnaissance to evade any mitigation controls we may have in place. Therefore this could enable them to target specific types of attack or data exfiltration methods and would constitute substantial prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs.

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.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG