Publication - FOI/EIR release

Social Security Scotland agreed contracts: FOI review

Published: 3 Jun 2021

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

Published:
3 Jun 2021
Social Security Scotland agreed contracts: FOI review
FOI reference: FOI/202100195510 review of 202100177840
Date received: 19 Apr 2021
Date responded: 18 May 2021
Information requested

Details of any contract that has been agreed with any third-party company or organisation for any type of work on behalf of Social Security Scotland for the tax years 2019 - 2020 and 2020 - 2021 and the fee(s) paid or to be paid by Social Security Scotland.

Response

I have reviewed your request and our response to your request and reached a different decision.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, I have decided that the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information would exceed the upper cost limit set out in Regulations made under Section 12 of Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. 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.

The reasons for concluding that the upper cost limit applies are that:
a) Social Security Scotland is an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government. This means we are not a separate legal entity and all contracts are entered into in the name of Scottish Ministers. Social Security Scotland began using its own supplier payment system in August 2019. Prior to this we used the core Scottish Government payment system and therefore to provide the fees paid to individual suppliers, we would need to search a significant number of payments made to suppliers to identify those incurred by Social Security Scotland.

b) We would need to interrogate our financial records since August 2019 to identify the payments made to suppliers and we do not hold information on which individual contract payments to suppliers are made under.

We have considered what information we could provide to assist you. I enclose a table of information which details the nature of the contracts with fees paid by Social Security Scotland in the period 1 August 2019 – 31 March 2020 and the financial year 2020 – 2021. This information has been collated based on invoices received and paid. It should be noted that details of fees paid by Social Security Scotland are not limited to the contracts listed in the first table because either the contract is with core Scottish Government or the contract was awarded by Social Security Scotland prior to the financial year 2019 – 2020.

In your review request, you correctly highlighted that contracts with Capita Resourcing Limited and TMP Worldwide were not detailed on the Public Contracts Scotland website as being awarded by Social Security Scotland. The reason for this is that these contracts are Scottish Government contracts that Social Security Scotland has access to and would not appear as contracts awarded directly by Social Security Scotland. You were previously provided with fees paid to both of these suppliers for the period 1 April 2019 - 31 December 2019 and we indicated at that time that these were not Social Security Scotland contracts. I have included further information on the fees paid to both of these suppliers for the period 1 January 2020 - 31 March 2021 and the nature of these contracts.

You may wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. For example, you could ask for fees paid to specific suppliers you are interested in 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 Freedom of Information and the Environmental Information Regulations' on their website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx.

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