Publication - FOI/EIR release

Number of core Scottish Government employees and contractor staff: FOI release

Published: 2 Mar 2020

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

Published:
2 Mar 2020
Number of core Scottish Government employees and contractor staff: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000014317
Date received: 31 Jan 2020
Date responded: 2 Mar 2020
Information requested

You asked for:

The number of Scottish Government employees by year from the commencement of the Scottish Government to 2019 excluding NHS Boards, Local Authorities, Police and other such bodies

The number of individual contractors contracted to work for the SG by year for the same period and the costs of such contractors by Department

The cost of all central IT system developments and enhancements funded in the same period by Department

Following a request for further clarification and specification about 'central IT systems' on 6th February, you responded on the 18th February with a request to cover the following:

The spend on new IT systems since 2007 and estimates to complete for any system relating to devolved areas of government including: agriculture; forestry and fishing (eg payments to farmers and landowners); taxation including SLDT and variations to income tax - whether incurred by the SG or as a charge from the UK government; housing; law and order including systems for Police Scotland; the projected cost of the changes to the Social Care system; Health - total expenditure on new IT systems for NHS 24 since 2008 and any estimates to complete; Finance - financial modelling, financial planning and budgetary control systems including GERS used by the SG; and any other IT systems related to the Parliament or any devolved powers.

Response

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested in relation to: the number of Scottish Government employees by year from the commencement of the Scottish Government to 2019
excluding NHS Boards, Local Authorities, Police and other such bodies; and the number of individual contractors contracted to work for the SG by year for the same period and the costs of such contractors by Department.

The answer to your question is: Please see the below table of headcounts for directly employed staff in Scottish Government core directorates, as at the 31st December of each year from 1998 to 2011. Data for 1997 is not available, and therefore has not been provided. From March 2012 onwards total staff numbers for the Scottish Government are published quarterly on the Scottish Government website https://www.gov.scot/publications/workforce-information/

Date Headcount*
31 December 1998 3,719
31 December 1999 3,877
31 December 2000 4,189
31 December 2001 4,154
31 December 2002 4,402
31 December 2003 4,552
31 December 2004 4,640
31 December 2005 4,687
31 December 2006 4,676
31 December 2007 4,419
31 December 2008 5,030
31 December 2009 5,737
31 December 2010 5,599
31 December 2011 5,258

* Between 2007 and 2010 staff from Communities Scotland, Scottish Building Standards Agency, Disclosure Scotland, Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture, Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency and Fisheries Research Services were absorbed into the core Scottish Government.

With regards the number of individual contractors contracted to work for the SG by year for the same period and the costs of such contractors by Department, contractor staff have only been separately identifiable within our electronic HR system since summer 2011. Please see the below table of headcounts for contractor staff for three quarters of 2011. From March 2012 onwards total numbers of contactor staff in the Scottish Government are published quarterly on the Scottish Government website https://www.gov.scot/publications/workforce-information/

Date Headcount
30 June 2011 3
30 September 2011 54
31 December 2011 68

On the cost of contractor staff, whilst our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. The reason for this is that costs for some worker categories are not separately identifiable within our central finance systems. 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.

Further information relating to your request:
For further information on Scottish Government pay the public sector pay policy is available online at http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Government/public-sector-pay/staff-pay

For further Scottish Government workforce statistics please see our quarterly publication available at http://www.beta.gov.scot/publications/workforce-information/

In relation to your question about central IT systems and your response to the request for clarification, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. The reasons why we don't have the information are explained below.

However, you may wish to contact the following organisations who may be able to help you in relation to your queries about NHS Scotland, Police Scotland and the Scottish Parliament:

NHS National Services Scotland FOI https://nhsnss.org/how-nss-works/freedom-of-information/
NHS24 FOI  https://www.nhs24.scot/get-in-touch/freedom-of-information/foi-our-policy/
Police Scotland FOI https://www.scotland.police.uk/access-to-information/freedom-of-information/
Scottish Parliament FOI https://www.parliament.scot/abouttheparliament/13590.aspx

Our aim is to provide information whenever possible, however, 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. This would also require a manual search of individual files for associated financial information going back over a decade. 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, in relation to central IT systems in the Scottish Government, this could relate to Human Resources, IT services and/or Finance and Accounting. 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.

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