Publication - FOI/EIR release

Civil servant witnesses at Harassment Committee: FOI release

Published: 5 Feb 2021

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

Published:
5 Feb 2021
Civil servant witnesses at Harassment Committee: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100144996
Date received: 14 Jan 2021
Date responded: 4 Feb 2021
Information requested

"having read that the ScotGov spent 55k on coaching for witnesses at the Alex Salmond enquiry I would like to obtain the following information.

  • Which witnesses received this coaching.
  • Why it was thought they need coaching to tell the truth under oath.
  • Who decided that coaching was needed or appropriate.
  • How much in total has been spent on coaching witnesses."
Response

You ask about the Alex Salmond enquiry, which I have understood to be the Scottish Parliament Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because Scottish Government Committee witnesses were not coached.

I can advise that the sum you refer to from the media was £54,378 (see FOI/202000106713) and was spent on legal advice. No other external advisors were consulted by civil servants in their individual preparations. In accordance with the Civil Service Management Code published by the Cabinet Office, civil servants involved in a formal inquiry as a consequence of their employment may be entitled to receive individual legal advice, and a number of the witnesses did as part of their preparation. 

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

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