Publication - FOI/EIR release

Complaints against former First Minister investigation: FOI release

Published: 10 Jun 2020

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

Published:
10 Jun 2020
Complaints against former First Minister investigation: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000032184
Date received: 25 Apr 2020
Date responded: 4 Jun 2020
Information requested

1. Please provide a copy of the memo or memos in which it is alleged that Ms Evans stated “We may lose the battle, but we will win the war.” Including details of whom the memo(s) were addressed and/or circulated.
2. Please confirm the total of fees and costs incurred by the Scottish Government in relation to the court case raised by Mr Salmond against the Scottish Government.
3. Please confirm what steps have been taken by the Scottish Government to investigate the allegations of bias by Ms Evans in her conduct.
4. Please confirm the dates on which the Scottish Government’s investigation into complaints against Mr Salmond commenced and ended.
5. Please confirm the date on which the Scottish Government first communicated with Police Scotland in relation to the complaints against Mr Salmond.

Response

In relation to your first and third requests the Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

In relation to your second request, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the total figure incurred by the Scottish Government because some of this information is not held because some of the lawyers involved in this case are civil servants employed by the Scottish Ministers. Dealing with this case was part of the normal range of duties undertaken by a number of different civil servants in the Scottish Government Legal Directorate. Civil servants receive a salary rather than being separately remunerated for dealing with particular matters.

In addition, they do not record the proportion of their time that they spend working on particular matters as a matter of course. It is therefore not possible to say how much was paid to lawyers employed by the Scottish Government for dealing with this matter. The Scottish Government does not have any business need to hold that information and therefore it is not held. While that information is not held the fees incurred for the judicial review have previously been published. The fees paid to Mr Salmond’s agents for legal costs arising from his petition for judicial review were published in correspondence with the Scottish Parliament in 2019. Our own legal costs paid to external lawyers and advocates have been published in a previous Freedom of Information response. This information can be accessed at following links:

https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/20190904PermSectoConvener_Web.pdf
https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-19-00501/

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

In relation to your fourth request the Scottish Government investigation started on 16 January 2018 and ended on 22 August 2018.

In relation to your fifth request the first recorded contact with Police Scotland on this matter was on 24 August 2018.

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