Questions concerning technological funding within prisons and carehomes: FOI release

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

Information requested

You asked:

"Prisoners in Scotland are to receive a mobile phone. How is this funded? By the Scottish government? And how much is the total cost of this.

Another article mentioned that a care home will receive 1 iPad? Can you clarify if this is the case?"



How is this funded? By the Scottish Government?

All public bodies are subject to the annual Budget process set by Parliament. During the summer of 2019, SPS completed a comprehensive 4 year Spending Review, in accordance with the SG timetable. SPS have been allocated a 2020-21 resource budget of £374.4 million (£342.2 million
excluding capital charges) and a capital budget of £67.8 million.

Work is now in progress to review the impact of COVID-19 on the internal budget allocation, taking cognisance of additional costs/cost reductions associated with COVID-19, which amongst other considerations include investment in digital technology.

How much is the total cost of this?

The approximate cost of phase 1 of the mobile phone project is circa. £2.7 million, which is inclusive of all necessary infrastructure work, set up costs, running costs and handsets.

Obviously there will be additional costs to maintain the service, however as most of the set up costs have already been met during the first phase of the project, any ongoing costs will be significantly less than those already incurred.

Care Homes

In response to your points on care homes the answer to your question is as follows: The information you have requested is publicly available on the Connecting Scotland Website. However for ease I can confirm that on 16th November the Digital Inclusion – Connecting Residents in Scotland’s Care Homes Initiative launched to provide IPads and internet connectivity in residential care settings. More information can be found on the website link above.

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.


About FOI

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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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