First Minister’s Questions briefing papers regarding ChargePlace Scotland: FOI release

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

Information requested

Any briefing papers prepared for First Minister’s Questions from July 1 to the present day concerning the ongoing issues with the ChargePlace Scotland.


In response to your request, I enclose some of the information you have requested in Annex A.

Elements of the FMQ brief in Annex A below have been redacted under exemption 30(b)(i) and 30(b)(ii) (free and frank provision of advice and free and frank exchange of views) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 apply to that information.

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 a private space within which officials can provide free and frank advice and views to Ministers in briefing notes. It is clearly in the public interest that Ministers can properly answer MSP’s questions and provide sound information to Parliament about the Government’s policies and decisions. They need full and candid advice from officials to enable them to do so. Premature disclosure of this type of information could lead to a reduction in the comprehensiveness and frankness of such advice and views in the future, which would not be in the public interest.

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 for specific elements of the advice. However, we recognise that there is some public interest in release and the following material has therefore been provided.

Annex A
Briefing 1 - 30 August 2021

  • By Friday last week, over 1800 charge points were available on the network, with plans in place for the final 200 to come on-line as a matter of urgency.
  • We continue to work with our new contractor to resolve any difficulties as soon as possible.
  • We will continue to work with our contractors to improve the situation, and will issue regular updates to those that rely on this infrastructure.
  • We have invested over £45 million since 2011 in the ChargePlace Scotland network, which now has over 1800 publicly available charge points.
  • Scottish drivers benefit from almost 40 charge points per hundred thousand people compared to fewer than 30 in England and 20 in Wales and N. Ireland.

Breifing 2 - 01 November 2021

  • Last week 95% of the charge points on the CPS network were functional and available to Scotland’s EV community.
  • The network recently migrated to a new service provider and there was some disruption to provision at this time.
  • Officials have worked closely with the contract provider to improve services and will continue to do so.
  • Moving to a new service contract was a major undertaking, and the largest venture of its kind anywhere in the world.

Breifing 3 - 11 November 2021

  • Recent data shows 90-95% of charge points are available on the ChargePlace Scotland network.
  • On a network of now over 2100 units in size, an average of 30 faults a day are raised – that’s less than 2% of the network.
  • Most faults are closed within 48 hours and in the majority of cases require no physical intervention, meaning a high proportion are rectified swiftly and effectively.
  • The network continues to grow and we are also funding resilience to ensure warranty and maintenance contracts are in place.

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