Financial and work detailing of Scottish Government offices and embassies abroad: FOI release

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

Information requested

1. The complete costs of running all of the offices abroad

2. The total sum in trade or investment (backed by evidence) that can be attributed to these offices.

3. I would like, as an example the US or Canadian office, a list of meetings and work undertaken by that particular office.


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

Beijing, China 550,000
Berlin, Germany 555,000
Brussels, Belgium 2,310,000
Dublin, Ireland 596,000
London, England 2,197,000
Ottawa, Canada 570,000
Paris, France 556,000
Washington DC, United

2. We capture a range of information on performance of our offices, but have not done a full exercise to establish the entire attributable trade and investment impact of our network. 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 and relevant data is collected by SDI. The Scottish Government does not specifically link trade and investment to 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 and event statistics. In specific cases where the office was involved, investment data is captured as well. These data allow offices to report against the five shared strategic outcomes (Reputation, International Trade, Research and Innovation, Investment, Scotland’s interests).

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.

3. Attached to this response you will find the meetings undertaken by our Washington DC office for the month of October.

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 names 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.

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

FOI202100247358 - 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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