Publication - FOI/EIR release

Christmas cards sent by First Minister in December 2020: FOI release

Published: 18 Feb 2021

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

Published:
18 Feb 2021
Christmas cards sent by First Minister in December 2020: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100133363
Date received: 7 Jan 2021
Date responded: 4 Feb 2021
Information requested

1. The number of Christmas cards sent by the First Minister in December 2020 to individuals who are in the ‘shielding’ category with regards to COVID-19.

2. The number of Christmas cards sent by the First Minister in December 2020 to other individuals.

3. Whether Christmas cards were sent by first or second class mail.

4. The total costs of printing and postage of all of those Christmas cards sent.

Response

1) The number of Christmas cards sent by the First Minister in December 2020 to individuals who are in the ‘shielding’ category with regards to COVID-19.

The total number of cards sent was 178,353.

The primary function of the cards was to provide urgent Christmas bubbling advice. In order to make the format more engaging, the mailing was generated in the style of a Christmas card to provide context for the mailing. The Shielding directorate asked that FM provide a note to the recipients to formally thank them for their sacrifices through the year, in acknowledgement of how difficult this had been for so many.

2) The number of Christmas cards sent by the First Minister in December 2020 to other individuals.

1991 were sent.

3) Whether Christmas cards were sent by first or second class mail.

Shielding list mailing was sent First Class Royal Mail.

All the post issued from the FM’s office is sent First Class Royal Mail.

Full breakdown as follows:

  • Royal Mail UK: 1000
  • Royal Mail Overseas: 85
  • Internal Mail: 216
  • FM Personal: 300 – the FM issued these personally so they were not sent via SG post room
  • FM Constituency: 250 – these were issued by the FM’s constituency office and not via SG post room
  • Electronic version of the card sent via email: 140

4) The total costs of printing and postage of all of those Christmas cards sent.

  • Shielding list total cost was £180,929.76 (ex VAT)
  • Printing for FM’s direct cards £1,505.06 (ex VAT)
  • Postage for FM’s direct cards £973.76 (ex VAT)

Total: £183,408.58

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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
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