Publication - FOI/EIR release

Information regarding Janey Godley appearance on Covid-19 advert: FOI release

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

Published:
16 Dec 2021
Information regarding Janey Godley appearance on Covid-19 advert: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100237091
Date received: 7 Sep 2021
Date responded: 17 Nov 2021
Information requested

1. An overview of the procurement process used for this communications campaign.

2. All communications between officials in regards to the selection process in which Ms Godley was identified as the face of this campaign (or indeed any other), including any concerns raised at any level within the Scottish Government as to her political stances or past controversies.

3. All communications between officials and ministers in relation to this campaign.

4. Any communications containing a ministerial direction or suggestion in relation to the recruitment of Ms Godley for any communications campaign (or similar) by the Scottish Government.

5. The value in £ sterling of any remuneration package received by Ms Godley.

Response

1. The campaign was developed by the Leith Agency who were appointed to provide creative services to the Scottish Government health portfolio in relation to Marketing campaigns. Leith were appointed for an initial period of 12-months following a competitive tender process under the Creative Services Framework https://www.gov.scot/publications/creative-services-framework/.

2-4. Please refer to attached documents containing communications relating to the development of this campaign.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption under section S.30(b)(ii) – formulation or development of government policy of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption applies are explained below.

Reasons for not providing information

An exemption under section 30(b)(ii) of FOISA (free and frank exchange of views) applies to some of the information requested.

This exemption applies because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. This exemption recognises the need for officials to have a private space within which to discuss issues and options before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view. Disclosing the content of these discussions will substantially inhibit such discussions in the future, because there will be a reluctance to provide views fully and frankly if those views are likely to be made public, particularly while these discussions are still ongoing and decisions have not been taken.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in allowing Ministers and officials a private space within which to communicate. Premature disclosure is likely to undermine the full and frank discussion of issues, which in turn will undermine the quality of the decision making process, which would not be in the public interest.

5. Ms Godley received a fee of £10,000 + VAT for participation in the campaign. This payment is in-line with the industry standard for such a high-profile campaign. Ms Godley has agreed to donate her fee to charity.

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