Former First Minister inquiry documents: FOI release

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

Information requested

'All documentation you are in possession of pertaining to the Scottish Government's investigation into the allegations made against Former First Minister Alex Salmond. This includes evidence, minutes of meetings, emails between staff, etc'.


While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. The reason for this is the significant volume of documents which would require to be located, retrieved and appropriately redacted. 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. For example, you could restrict your request by specifying a focused time period if there is a specific date or dates that you are interested in and/or combining this with more specific subject matter, as this would allow us to limit the searches that would require to be conducted. 

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:

While we cannot prejudge the application of exemptions to any future requests, you may wish to be aware that much of this information would likely be exempt information in terms of section 36(1) of FOISA (confidentiality in legal proceedings) because disclosure would breach legal professional privilege; we consider it is likely that this exemption might also apply to a request which is narrower in scope. You may therefore wish to consider this if you are considering making a further request.

Outwith FOISA, you may be aware that a Parliamentary Inquiry into the Scottish Government's Handling of Harassment Complaints has been established, details of which can be found here.

Specific information regarding the Scottish Government Investigation of Complaints has already been published by the Scottish Parliament and this may be helpful to you.
Phase 2 - Complaints Handling - Parliamentary Business : Scottish Parliament

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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