Publication - FOI/EIR release

Statistics on Scottish Government Car Service: FOI release

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

Published:
11 Dec 2020
Statistics on Scottish Government Car Service: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000103801
Date received: 27 Oct 2020
Date responded: 24 Nov 2020
Information requested

You asked for:

  1. The amount the Scottish Government spent on the Government Car Service in each year from 2010/11 to 2020/21 (to the date of this request).
  2. Number of cars in the Scottish Government, Government Car Service in each year from 2010/11 to 2020/21 (to the date of this request).
  3. The number of FTE staff working in the Scottish Government, Government Car Service in each year from 2010/11 to 2020/21 (to the date of this request).
  4. The amount spent by the Scottish Government on ministerial taxi journeys in each year from 2010/11 to 2020/21 (to the date of this request).
  5. The amount spent by the Scottish Government on expenses for ministers for travel in their own cars while on Scottish Government business in each year from 2010/11 to 2020/21 (to the date of this request).
Response

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

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because of exemptions under sections s17(1) (information not held), s25(1) (information otherwise accessible) and s27(1) (information intended for future publication). The reason why these exemptions apply are explained in the Annex to this letter.

Annex
Government Car Service (GCS) total cost of service, number of staff employed, and number of vehicles used.

Year Total cost of service (1) Number of cars (2) Total number of staff (3)
10/11 £974,678 24 21
11/12 £1,074,714 28 21
12/13 £1,204,864 35 21
13/14 £1,156,208 31 21
14/15 £1,184,851 28 21
15/16 £1,145,521 25 21
16/17 £1,092,375 25 21
17/18 £1,177,398 27 21
18/19 £1,323,131 33 21
19/20 £1,344,978 41 25
20/21 £500,565 (4) 33 25

Notes
(1) Total costs include staff salaries, employer’s contributions, fuel, vehicle maintenance, private hire and travel and subsistence.
(2) The number of vehicles fluctuates as and when vehicles are procured and disposed of.
(3) Includes drivers and office staff
(4) Total cost up until end of September 20. Complete figures from 01 to 27 October are not currently available.

Ministerial personal car travel expenses April 10 to April 16.

Year Total cost
12/13 £26.55
13/14 £7,036.45
14/15 £5,321.15
15/16 £2,230.53
16/17 £938.25
17/18 £132.30
18/19 (1) Nil

Notes
(1) Period covered April – July 18.

The Scottish Government does not have some the information you have asked for. Records relating to Ministerial car travel expenses prior to 2012/13 have been routinely destroyed in accordance to our records management practice, before the date of your request.

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

Ministerial car travel expenses from July 18 to August 20 and taxi costs from April 10 to August 20, can be accessed via the following links: https://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20170104133254/http://www.gov.scot/About/People/14944/travelhttps://www.gov.scot/collections/ministerial-engagements-travel-and-gifts/#2016.

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some the information you have requested because an exemption under section 27(1) (information intended for future publication) of FOISA applies to that information.

An exemption under section 27(1) of FOISA applies to some the information you have requested. The exemption allows public authorities to refuse to disclose information if they already plan to publish it within the next 12 weeks. Ministerial taxi and car travel expenses are routinely published, and therefore, in line with our regular proactive publications, September and Octobers data will be published within the next 12 weeks.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is some public interest in release because there is public interest in the taxi and other travel expenditure incurred by Scottish Government Ministers. However, there is a greater public interest in the proper use of public resources. Since providing this information would create a duplication in work, we have determined this would not be a responsible use of public resources and therefore not in the public interest.

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