Covered cost of staff Christmas parties and other festive arrangements: FOI release

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

Information requested

You asked for:

The allocated budget for each Scottish Government department to cover the cost of their staff Christmas parties (in whatever form they might take) and other festive arrangements for 2020.

Please could you provide the per-head Christmas budget for each department, as well as the total for each (i.e. A dept with 10 employees and a Christmas budget of £100 would have a per-head budget of £10, but a dept with 200 employees and a budget of £1,000 would only have a per-head budget of £5).

I would also like the same information for 2019 and 2018 if at all possible.


While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested.

We do not have the information you have requested on staff Christmas parties because it is not Scottish Government policy to pay for such social events from public funds, so no funds are allocated from Scottish Government budgets for them. Where staff take part in Christmas festivities, they are paid for by staff themselves.

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

With regard to "other festive arrangements", I can confirm that the Scottish Government does purchase, from the Bethany Christian Trust, Christmas trees for display in some of the main buildings in our estate. The budget allocated to this for 2020 (and for both 2018 and 2019) was £1,800, but of course, is not allocated on a departmental per-head basis. However, no trees have been purchased this year as buildings are closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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