Publication - FOI/EIR release

Amazon.com, Inc - assistance grants or any other grants: FOI release

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

Published:
29 Aug 2019
Amazon.com, Inc - assistance grants or any other grants: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/201900003503
Date received: 22 Aug 2019
Date responded: 28 Aug 2019
Information requested

You asked for:

  • The full details of any selective assistance grants or any other development grants paid and/or approved to the private company Amazon in relation to the siting of its commercial premises in Scotland or any connected grants around the UK.
  • Within the response, please cite which premises received the grant and in which council.
  • If the grant is connected to a grant on any Government grants register or other government database, please provide the name of the grant, grant identifier, title information and description of the grant, and amount that was given to Amazon from that grant application.
  • The details of any rate relief or any other financial assistance given to Amazon in relation to its commercial sites.
  • Copies of any contracts (including any indexes, appendices or supplements) between the government and/or councils and Amazon.
  • Copies of any other documents held by the government relating to the above or to any other commercial transactions between Amazon and the Government.
Response

The full details of any selective assistance grants or any other development grants paid and/or approved to the private company Amazon in relation to the siting of its commercial premises in Scotland or any connected grants around the UK.
Within the response, please cite which premises received the grant and in which council.

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested:

  • In February 2004, £1,655,000 was offered under Regional Selective Assistance for a project in Gourock (Inverclyde). This grant was paid in full.
  • In July 2004, £250,000 was offered under Regional Selective Assistance for a project in South Queensferry (West Lothian). £200,000 of this grant was paid.
  • In July 2005, £250,000 was offered under Regional Selective Assistance for a project in Glenrothes (Fife). This grant was paid in full.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. This is because responsibility for managing Regional Selective Assistance funds within Scotland was transferred to Scottish Enterprise, who may be able to assist you further. Please see below for contact information.

Furthermore, the Scottish Government does not hold information relating to funding managed by other UK administrations or local authorities. Please see below for contact information.

If the grant is connected to a grant on any Government grants register or other government database, please provide the name of the grant, grant identifier, title information and description of the grant, and amount that was given to Amazon from that grant application.

The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because we do not hold a central register of grants.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

The details of (A) any rate relief or (B) any other financial assistance given to Amazon in relation to its commercial sites.

(A) The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because Business Rates Relief is managed in Scotland by local authorities. However, you may wish to contact the relevant local authority who may be able to help you. Please see below for contact information

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

(B) 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. It may help if I explain that we file our information according to the subject matter, not by reference to specific company names. 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 specify the subject matter(s) of the financial assistance you are interested in or 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: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx.

Copies of any contracts (including any indexes, appendices or supplements) between the government and/or councils and Amazon.

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. It may help if I explain that we file our information according to the subject matter, not by reference to specific company names. 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 specify the subject matter(s) of the contracts you are interested in or 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: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx.

Copies of any other documents held by the government relating to the above or to any other commercial transactions between Amazon and the Government.

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. It may help if I explain that we file our information according to the subject matter, not by reference to specific company names. 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 specify the subject matter(s) of the commercial transactions you are interested in or 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: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx.

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https://www.scottish-enterprise.com/contact-us  or pressoffice@scotent.co.uk

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http://www.assembly.wales/en/abthome/about_us-commission_assembly_administration/abt-foi/Pages/abt- Freedom_of_Info.aspx

Local Authorities – Scotland: https://www.cosla.gov.uk/scottish-local-government

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Local Authorities – Northern Ireland https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/contacts/local-councils-in-northern-ireland

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
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Email: ceu@gov.scot
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