Business dealings with Janey Godley: FOI review

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

Information requested

Your request, reference 202100237623
You asked for information in relation to the Scottish Government's business dealings with the comedian Janey Godley, including;

  • A copy of all contracts and agreements.
  • A list of all payments of (a) fees and (b) expenses, by date.
  • A copy of all communications with JG or her agent.
  • For each contract / agreement, a copy of all selection and vetting processes undertaken.

Your review request, reference 202100248243
I am requesting an internal review of the above FOI as I am very surprised so little information appears to be held.  Furthermore, the response appears to be written in the style of a media response rather than a response to a FOI request.  I would therefore be grateful if you would examine my original request and provide the information I am seeking.


I have been asked to look at your request afresh, to decide whether the original response should be confirmed, with or without modifications, as appropriate, or that a fresh decision should be substituted.

I have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed, with one modification.

I can confirm that the Scottish Government do not hold a copy of contracts or agreements with Janey Godley. Nor do we hold information relating to the payment of fees or expenses by date. All contract negotiations, paperwork , communications, estimates and payments are managed by the Scottish Government appointed creative services agency responsible for this campaign.

I am therefore satisfied that our initial response correctly advised you that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested. The modification required to the initial decision is to provide a formal notice to that effect.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

You may find it helpful to note that the Scottish Government provided approval to the appointed creative services agency as part of the overall campaign budget approval. This included the fee paid to Janey Godley, which has been published previously and was supplied within our response to your request. For complete clarity that fee was £10,000 + VAT for Ms Godley’s time to make the advert and to cover usage across TV, radio and digital channels for the period of three months. We understand that Ms Godley has donated this fee to charity.

Your final request for information relates to the selection and vetting process undertaken. In terms of a selection process our creative services agency was briefed by telephone to identify suitable celebrities who would appeal to key audiences in Scotland, particularly those who were non- compliant with Covid-19 restrictions. A number of celebrities were suggested during a Teams call which was not recorded including Ms Godley for consideration. Ms Godley was available to film the commercial immediately and confirmed that there was no reason why her involvement would bring disrepute to the Scottish Government or campaign.

From my review I can confirm that analysis of Ms Godley’s social media channels was carried out by the creative services agency, covering the period from the start if the pandemic to the campaign launch.

The Scottish Government was aware that Ms Godley’s content was sensitive and controversial at times. Having reviewed the social media platforms from the start of the pandemic it was clear however that Ms Godley was supportive of the necessary restrictions and public health measures required to keep the public safe. The ‘Stop the Spike’ campaign intention was to use a number of different celebrities across different executions who would appeal to different audiences.

However, the Scottish Government does not hold recorded information which relates to the selection and vetting process undertaken. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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