Information

Details of Scottish Government official presence at the COP26 conference: FOI Review

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


Information requested

1) What are the plans for the Scottish Government's official presence at the COP26? By this I mean the location, duration, and physical staff presence?
2) Please provide the overall financial cost of the Scottish Government's official presence at COP26.
2a) This should include the cost of hiring any venue as part of the official presence as the Scottish Government initially did with the Glasgow Science Centre.
2b) Please break this down by expense type, this should include but not be limited to accommodation costs, venue hire, food and drink provision, AV provision, or any other expense linked to the Scottish Government's official presence at COP26.
3) Can you confirm whether this cost will be covered by the UK Government's Cabinet Office as per the terms of the memorandum of understanding between the Scottish Government and the Cabinet Office, or whether this will come from the Scottish Government's budget and not be reimbursed?

Response

I have concluded that the original decision should be upheld, with modifications. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding which is due to resource constraints and workload pressures.

Responses to your questions:


1) In the course of my review I found that relevant information held at the time in respect of plans should have been released to you. The information you asked for is as follows:

Planned Staff Attendance at COP26

The following tables detail the number of Scottish Government staff who were scheduled to cover shifts across the various venues we controlled during COP26. You should note that a shift pattern was in place, to allow us to manage and facilitate busy days and ensure staff had adequate breaks and travel time. This means that the numbers provided below are head count for the day, not individuals on shift at any given time.

Pre COP Planning Period

 

18-Oct

19-Oct

20-Oct

21-Oct

22-Oct

23-Oct

24-Oct

25-Oct

26-Oct

27-Oct

28-Oct

29-Oct

30-Oct

31-Oct

SGCC

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

5

Lighthouse

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

Edinburgh Castle

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Stirling Castle

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Atlantic Quay

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Blue Zone

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

Total

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

11

COP Fortnight

 

01-Nov

02-Nov

03-Nov

04-Nov

05-Nov

06-Nov

07-Nov

08-Nov

09-Nov

10-Nov

11-Nov

12-Nov

SGCC

4

5

5

5

5

5

2

5

5

5

5

5

Lighthouse

5

5

5

5

5

5

0

6

5

4

4

1

Edinburgh Castle

0

0

2

0

0

0

2

0

0

2

0

0

Stirling Castle

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

Atlantic Quay

2

3

3

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Blue Zone

4

4

4

4

4

4

0

3

4

3

3

4

Total

15

17

19

17

17

16

4

14

14

14

12

10

Post COP Wash Up Period

 

 13-Nov

14-Nov

15-Nov

16-Nov

17-Nov

18- Nov

SGCC

3

3

3

3

3

3

 

Lighthouse

0

0

0

0

0

0

Edinburgh

Castle

0

0

0

0

0

0

Stirling Castle

0

0

0

0

0

0

Atlantic Quay

0

0

0

0

0

0

Blue Zone

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

3

3

3

3

3

3

Planned Ministerial Attendance at COP26 Events

The information below provides the number of planned Ministerial events over the COP fortnight, along with the number of individual Ministers who were planned to present, attend or take part in these events. Unfortunately our People and Logistics team have not yet been able to publish the confirmed Ministerial events break down for November due to recent staff absences. However, they have advised that this will be published as soon as possible. You will be able to find that information at the following link when it is published.
Ministerial engagements, travel and gifts - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

 

01 Nov

02 Nov

03 Nov

04 Nov

05 Nov

06 Nov

07 Nov

08 Nov

09 Nov

10 Nov

11 Nov

12 Nov

Ministerial Events Planned

34

34

44

46

41

30

28

48

57

54

49

19

No. of Ministers involved

10

10

13

13

12

11

12

15

12

15

12

10

I apologise for not providing this information to you at the time, and I have fed back my review findings to the case handler.

2) a) & b) In the course of my review I found that the overall financial cost you asked for was not known at the time, and so could not have been released to you. Therefore, I am upholding the application of s17(1) (information not held) in relation to our original response to parts 2(a) and (b) of your request. Although it was not made explicit in the original response, where a response to part 2) in its entirety was given along with a response to part 1), the notification under s17(1) did apply to part 2 in full. I understand that you believe that some information on costs would have been held, but your request asked for the total cost, which was not known at the time your request was made. However, It remains the Scottish Government's intention to proactively publish information relating to COP26 as soon as possible and we are currently working with Cabinet Office colleagues to finalise this. Once completed the information will be made available via the Scottish Government website under 'Publications'.

I am satisfied that question 3 was answered in our original response, i.e., “Scottish Government programme of events at COP26 will be covered by the Scottish Government’s budget and will not be reimbursed by the UK Government’s Cabinet Office”.

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

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