Scottish Government international offices: FOI release

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

Information requested

Can you provide for each of the international offices ( Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Dublin, London, Ottawa, Paris and Washington DC) the following information:

1. How many staff work for each office.
2. The title and job description for each member of staff.
3. The salary of each member of staff.
4. The costs of running each office – rent, IT etc.
5. The estimated economic benefit of each office to Scotland.


Each point of your request has been responded to below.

1. & 4. The table below details staff headcount including the current annual budget allocation for the Scottish Government’s overseas offices, including salary costings, upkeep, day-today running and hospitality costs.


BUDGET FOR (2021-22)


Beijing, China



Berlin, Germany



Brussels, Belgium



Dublin, Ireland



London, England



Ottawa, Canada



Paris, France



Washington DC, United States



2. The attached document provides details of job titles and job descriptions for our overseas posts advertised by the Scottish Government. In addition there are 10 posts that are advertised and recruited locally through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. These are more junior roles recruited locally in each of the overseas posts rather than internationally. The role profiles are involved in finance, administration and communication and engagement support. As these are recruited by the

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office directly they are the holders of this information. This is therefore a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you are requesting. This information is however covered by the (UK) Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, may have the information you are looking for in relation to locally employed staff. You can contact them at

3. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide a small amount of the information you have requested because an exemption under section 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information. This is because it is personal data of a third party, specifically the salaries of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018.

This exemption is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

Staff salaries have been included in the total running costs of each office in the table above. As part of our commitment to be an open and transparent government we do disclose salary details of senior civil servants, salaries for those in our overseas offices are below.

Director of Brussels

£95,930 - £103,495

Deputy Director of Brussels

£77,340 - £83,233

Deputy Director – Head of Scotland House, London

£77,340 - £83,233

5. The Scottish Government does not estimate the economic benefit of each of our individual overseas offices. The Scottish Government overseas offices measure activities, output and successes using a range of qualitative data, such as feedback provided by stakeholders, media articles or case studies, and quantitative data such as social media performance, event statistics and investment data. This data allows offices to report against the five shared strategic outcomes (Reputation, International Trade, Research and Innovation, Investment, Scotland’s interests.

Additionally colleagues both in Scotland and in our overseas offices across Scottish Government and Scottish Development International contribute together towards trade and investment measures for international sales and jobs. Our offices work across geographies and on a sectoral basis to engage in the wide range of activities which contribute to trade and inward successes.

This is reflected in the Ernst and Young Scotland Attractiveness Survey 2021 which shows foreign direct investment into Scotland has increased by 6% in 2020, compared to a 12% fall across the UK as a whole.

About FOI

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

FOI - 202100227934 - Information released


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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