Scottish Government overseas offices: FOI release

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

Information requested

1. How many and in what countries are these Offices situated.

2. What is their operating brief and how are the results of their operation assessed.

3. How many people are employed in these Offices and what is the total cost of their remuneration and financial outlay in premises/office expenses/living allowance etc.

4. Who appoints these employees and are they Civil Servants already working for the Scottish government.

5. Are these employees accompanied by their families.

6. For what length of time are these overseas postings for.

7. What powers and responsibilities do these people have.

8. Do they work in conjunction with British Embassies or are they autonomous in their workings.


Each point of your request has been responded to below.
1. How many and in what countries are there offices situated
3. How many people are employed in these offices and what is the total cost of their remuneration and financial outlay in premises/office expenses/ living allowance

The table below details where our international offices are situated including number of staff in each office and annual budget allocation. The budget includes salary costings, upkeep and day-today running.


BUDGET FOR (2022-23)


Beijing, China



Berlin, Germany



Brussels, Belgium



Copenhagen, Denmark



Dublin, Ireland



London, England



Ottawa, Canada



Paris, France



Washington DC, United States



* 2 of these posts are funded by a combination of Ministerial Portfolios due to the nature of their roles.
**2 of these posts are part time.

2. The international offices deliver and support our activity, agencies and public and private partners in key locations outside Scotland, building on established expertise. The network provides a focus for Scottish partners needing presence in a country, capital or continent and play a critical role in supporting international collaboration which delivers economic benefits and helps address societal and global challenges.

The scale, scope and focus of this activity varies depending on the specific opportunities in a particular location. However, as a whole, the network will make connections in the development of policy priorities for us to exchange good practice.

Specifically the network is tasked with:

  • improving Scotland’s international profile
  • attracting investment to Scotland
  • helping businesses to trade internationally
  • promoting and securing Scottish research and innovation capability, partnerships and funding
  • protecting and enhancing Scotland’s interests in the EU and beyond

Each Scottish Government International Office submits a monitoring and evaluation report for each financial year in order to monitor the offices’ effectiveness; to ensure they are achieving their objectives; and that they provide value for money. Five shared outcomes, as agreed by the International Board, inform the activity and evaluation of the network. The five outcomes, against which the External Network reports, are as follows: 1) Scotland’s international reputation is improved; 2) Scottish businesses are trading internationally more effectively; 3) Scottish research and innovation capability is promoted and further partnerships and funding secured; 4) Investment to Scotland has increased; and 5) Scotland’s interests in the EU and beyond are protected and enhanced. When reporting against these outcomes,

offices use a range of both qualitative and quantitative indicators to measure their performance.

4. The offices are staffed by Civil Servants and Country Based Staff. Civil Servants are appointed to represent Scotland in our international offices by a recruitment panel including the posts line manager. Appointees can be recruited from existing Scottish Government roles or to within the Scottish Government from wider UK Government departments. The Country Based Staff are recruited using the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office recruitment processes in each country.

5. Yes, post holders can be accompanied by their families if they wish. The cost of doing so is incorporated in the overall budget of the office.

6. Civil Servants are on 3 year postings however this can be extended if necessary. Country Based Staff are recruited on either permanent or fixed term contracts depending on the individual circumstances of the role and location.

7. Each International Office is responsible for delivering the five strategic outcomes however, you may find it useful to see a previous FOI where we released the job descriptions for each member of staff. You can find this at Scottish Government international offices: FOI release - (

8. The Scottish Government offices, excluding Brussels and London are located within British Embassies/High Commissions this allows them to maintain close working relationships with our UK Government counterparts and support wider UK priorities if/when it is needed.

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


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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