Publication - FOI/EIR release

Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSAS) funding: FOI release

Published: 18 Feb 2021

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

Published:
18 Feb 2021
Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSAS) funding: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000106767
Date received: 3 Nov 2020
Date responded: 2 Dec 2020
Information requested

1) Scottish Government funding for the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey in each year from 2010 to date.

2) The commissions that the Scottish Government sends to ScotCen Social Research for each of the same years.

3) Any correspondence exchanged between ScotCen Social Research and the Scottish Government related to the 2019 survey.

Response

1) Scottish Government funding for the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey in each year from 2010 to date.

The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey is funded each year by a range of organisations purchasing modules/questions in it. Such organisations have included the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), NHS Health Scotland, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and various charitable and grant awarding bodies such as the Nuffield Foundation and Leverhulme Trust.

Some of the information on the value of the contracts for the questions procured by the Scottish Government since 2010 is publicly available in the Social Research contract registers:
https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Research/About/Social-Research/SR-Contracts; and via Public Contracts Scotland: https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/.

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. However, the details are collated below for your ease of reference:

Contract Contract value (excl VAT)
Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2009-2011 contract (included core module in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and a module on attitudes to discrimination and positive action in 2010) £327,240
(Scottish Government did not commission a public attitudes survey vehicle in 2012) n/a
Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2013-15 contract (included core module in 2013 and 2015; and modules on: attitudes to Mental Health in Scotland (2013); attitudes to violence against women in Scotland (2014); attitudes to Sectarianism in Scotland (2014); attitudes to Social Networks, Civic Participation and Coproduction (2015); and, attitudes to discrimination and positive action (2015). £483,705
Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2016 £79,342 (and an additional payment of £431.60 towards translation of survey materials and interpreting costs)
Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2017 £87,959
(Scottish Government awarded a contract for questions in the 2018 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, but the survey did not proceed and no payments were made) n/a
Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2019 (including core module, intra-household distribution of resources module and violence against women and girls module)(including cost of delayed fieldwork due to pre-election period for 2019 UK General Election) £258,648.47

2) The commissions that the Scottish Government sends to ScotCen Social Research for each of the same years.

The Scottish Government does not send commissions to ScotCen Social Research for the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey. Invitations to tender for the provision of a public attitudes survey vehicle have been put out to open competition, i.e. open to all suppliers who wish to tender.

The invitations to tender published covering the time period of the request (since 2010) are detailed below.

2009-2011
contract
See Annex A (p.1 onwards).
2012 The Scottish Government did not commission a public attitudes survey vehicle in 2012
2013-15
contract
All schedules to the 2013-2015 Invitation to Tender can be found in Annex B (see p.18 onwards).
2016 Publicly available at: https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx? ID=FEB235003
(see Invitation to Tender under ‘additional documents’)
2017 Publicly available at:
https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx? ID=FEB273256
(see Invitation to Tender under ‘additional documents’)
2018 The Scottish Government commissioned a public attitudes survey vehicle in 2018 (publicly available at:
https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx? ID=FEB310745
and https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx?
ID=JUN322074
)
(see Invitation to Tender under ‘additional documents’).
The contracts were awarded to ScotCen Social Research, but the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey did not ultimately proceed due to insufficient overall funding in 2018 so these contracts were cancelled.
2019-2020 Publicly available via: https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx? ID=MAR347061
(directs you to PCS tender: https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/info/InfoCentre.aspxID=2343).
ITT attached in Annex C (p.88 onwards), as registration for PCS tender is required to access the publicly available copy.

3) Any correspondence exchanged between ScotCen Social Research and the Scottish Government related to the 2019 survey.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, for this part of your request the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. This is because of the volume of correspondence. A number of Scottish Government analysts corresponded with ScotCen staff across the three modules commissioned in the 2019 survey and other 2019 survey outputs. This correspondence covers all elements of contract management and delivery from inception through to reporting and runs to several hundred emails. The number of hours it would take to retrieve and process them, including redacting correspondence containing not yet published Official Statistics (the Attitudes to Violence Against Women and Girls module report will be published on 10 December 2020) would exceed the upper cost limit of £600, as noted above. 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. You can do this by, for example, narrowing the timeframe or the focus of your 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:
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