Scottish Government - transformation of IT systems for SG 2020: FOI release

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

Information requested

You asked for information relating to how the Scottish Government was transforming some of its systems for 2020. You asked if the system is ready yet and what tangible impact will this commitment have when completed? Specifically you were interested in the effect of this initiative across the Scottish Government as a whole and in particular its impact and effect on HR, staffing levels, IT equipment and environmental and health systems.


I enclose below a copy of the response with the information you requested.

In addition to this some of the information you have requested is available from,, and

You enquired on the 26th July to the Scottish Government’s Central Enquiry Unit in relation to the Scottish Government’s transformation of its systems. Following further correspondence on 30th July, you provided further clarity in relation to your query, detailing that you wished to learn about the effect of this initiative across the Scottish Government and its impact on HR, staffing levels, IT equipment and environmental and health systems.

The Scottish Government embarked upon its SG2020 vision in 2016. The transformation was to become the organisation we needed and wanted to be, to respond to new powers being transferred and to respond to changes in the world around us. The vision was that the Scottish Government would become more open, capable and responsive to continue to deliver for all of Scotland.

One of the changes towards this vision has been to improve our handling of Freedom of Information requests. This has included the introduction of the MiCase system that is currently being piloted which will help with the tracking and management information in relation to Freedom of Information requests. The new system has been supported by the Freedom of Information Case Handlers network which brings together those handling Freedom of Information requests to share their experience and learn from one another. Details in relation to the ‘FOI improvement project’ can be found online here -

These changes have already improved our performance in relation to how quickly the Scottish Government respond to Freedom of Information requests. In the Information Commissioner’s recent report it was commented that ‘In terms of overall Scottish Government performance, the picture has been positive, moving from just 63% of cases being responded to within the statutory timeframe in April 2017 to a 91% performance in 2018’. (

Windows 10 (known internally as SCOTS X) was rolled out to close to 13,500 devices.  This updated the SCOTS operating system and the Microsoft Office suite and delivered significant performance improvements, with reduced login and log off times (in testing by 86% and 84% respectively), better functionality and an enhanced user experience.  In addition the Scottish Government has:

  • updated its data hosting strategy updated and reduced server infrastructure to enable a greater move to the cloud;
  • improved its video conferencing capability and provided new online collaboration tools to support new ways of working; and
  • enhanced its cyber security operations and use of cutting edge tools and emerging threat intelligence information to help protect the Scottish Government network from the increasing threat of cyber-attack.

In relation to our environmental improvements the Scottish Government has introduced new solar panels on the Victoria Quay building, changed our policy on single use cups to eliminate approximately 14 tonnes of waste per year, and introduced  LED lighting across our estate reducing electricity usage. This has led to the Scottish Government being awarded the Carbon Trust Triple Standard certification for our year on year carbon, waste and water reduction. The Scottish Government remains the only government in the world to hold the triple standard.

One final transformation to highlight in response to your query was that of the change in the promotion process that has contributed towards our SG2020 vision. This changed our approach to promotions from having promotion boards to post specific appointments.

The impact of these changes can be viewed in our People Survey results, that show us reaching the highest ever engagement score since 2009. The surveys are available online at Other workforce data including staffing levels can be found within our workforce publications that are available at

These are just a sample of the improvements that have been underway across the Scottish Government towards the SG2020 vision, as well as each Directorate making local improvements within their teams.

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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