Consultation on the Gender Recognition Reform Bill: FOI release

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

Information requested

Please provide the consultation responses to the Government's consultation on its GRA Reform Bill, which closed in March 2020, and which is overseen by the Family Law Team.


As outlined in more detail below, 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.

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. 

In this instance, I am not able to offer you advice on reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. You may, however, find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs'.

Reasons for not providing information

I will now set out an estimated cost of responding to your request. In preparing this estimate, I have based the cost on an hourly rate of £15.00 for staff time. We consider that 2 staff members are required to carry out this work. 

Locating, retrieving and providing

The were 17,058 responses to the consultation on the draft Bill. There are 337 hard copy responses located in the Scottish Government’s offices at St Andrew’s House and 16,835 responses located in Citizen Space, the Scottish Government’s digital platform for consultations. A small number of responses are duplicates or are empty (ie the response contains no content at all). 

Two staff members would go to retrieve the documents located in St Andrew’s House. Once located, we would need to scan each response to produce an electronic record. Once each response is held electronically, exemptions would be applied to these documents under FOISA.

We assume exemptions under section 38 relating to personal information would be applied to all documents (e.g. to redact the names and contact information of respondents) and other exemptions under FOISA may be applied to some documents.  We estimate it would take 8 minutes per document to locate, retrieve, and provide the documents located in hard copy in St Andrew’s House. 337 documents at 8 minutes per document for £15.00 per hour = £674

Therefore, the estimated cost of locating, retrieving and providing the documents located in hard copy in St Andrew’s House is £674.

However, the costs of locating, retrieving, and providing the information requested would exceed this estimated figure. This is because that figure only relates to information held in hardcopy in St Andrew’s House. As indicated above, there are a further 16,835 responses in Citizen Space and so the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the estimated figure of £674. In particular, we consider that staff would need to examine each of the responses held in Citizen Space to determine whether exemptions under FOISA, such as the exemption under section 38, should be applied.

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

Back to top