Can you please tell me how many civil servants are currently working on a Scottish Independence Referendum Bill compared to the reformation of the Gender Recognition Act?
The Gender Recognition Bill Team is a team of four civil servants in the Scottish Government’s Directorate for Justice. Work on the bill, policy, briefing, correspondence, engagement, support for Ministers in relation to the Gender Recognition Bill is led by this team. A small number of other civil servants have been involved in the wider work on the Gender Recognition Bill, but as civil servants are not required to record the time spent on individual tasks we cannot provide an exact figure. Every member of staff who contributed to the development of the bill did so as part of their wider duties.
The Referendums Scotland Bill Team is a team of two civil servants in the Scottish Government’s Constitution and Cabinet Directorate. Work on the 2021 PfG commitment to take forward a referendum within the term of this Parliament is led by this team. A small number of other civil servants have been involved in the wider work on referendum legislation, but as civil servants are not required to record the time spent on individual tasks we cannot provide an exact figure. Every member of staff who contributed to the development of the bill did so as part of their wider duties.
Information provided outwith FOISA
The Referendums (Scotland) Act 2020 set out detailed conduct and campaign rules that can be used for any referendum on a devolved subject-matter. The timing and the question posed at such a referendum would be set by a further Act of the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Government published a draft Independence Referendum Bill on 22 March 2021: Draft Independence Referendum Bill - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
Work on a bill is distinct from work to develop a prospectus for independence. Information provided in other recent FOI responses indicated that the work to prepare an independence prospectus will be coordinated by a team in the Constitution and Cabinet Directorate, but will draw on other officials across a range of portfolios who will contribute to varying extents as part of their wider responsibilities in supporting the Scottish Government. It also indicated that the co-ordinating team currently comprises one Senior Civil Servant and ten other officials (5 graded C2, 4 graded C1 and 1 graded B3). The recent FOI releases are available:
- Preparation of detailed prospectus for independence: FOI release - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
- Independence prospectus post budget announcement: FOI release - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
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.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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