Scottish Government Ministers’ personal accounts: FOI release

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

Information requested

For the past three months:

A) number of emails from Scottish Government Minister’s personal accounts received by the Scottish Government; broken down by named minister
B) a copy of all emails, sent to the Scottish Government by the following Ministers using their personal email accounts (including

Nicola Sturgeon
Jeane Freeman
Shirley Anne-Somerville


With regards to part A of your request for the number of emails from Scottish Government Minister’s personal accounts received by the Scottish Government; broken down by Minister for the period between 01/04/2020 and 01/07/2020. It may be helpful to note that any email sent by a member of the public to Minister’s private email addresses (including emails sent to accounts) must be forwarded to the Scottish Government to action. This occurs frequently and accounts for a large number of the emails within the scope of this request. In addition, Ministers sometimes email from their personal email addresses regarding social media posts and with queries for their Private Office about, for example, diary and travel. 

Please see results from your request in the below table:

Scottish Government Minister

Number of Emails Received

First Minister


Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport


Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform


Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Tourism


Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans


Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People


In relation to part b of your request for a copy of all emails, sent to the Scottish Government by Nicola Sturgeon, Jeane Freeman and Shirley Anne-Somerville using their personal email accounts (including 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.
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 narrow the scope of emails you are requesting as this would limit the number of emails within the scope of the request. 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:

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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