Information relating to the number of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests received by the Government and responses: FOI release

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

Information requested

How many FOI requests were received by the Scottish Government, how many responses were published on the Scottish Government website and how many responses were published only via direct communication to the requester in the calendar year 2021.


In the calendar year 2021 the Scottish Government received 5124 Freedom of Information requests. This is the combined total of requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004. We published 2080 responses on our website.

Not all responses are published on the Scottish Government website. We endeavour to publish all responses in which new information, not already otherwise accessible is released. If a response does not release the information requested and provides no insightful or helpful background information, there is deemed to be no value to the public in it being published. There have been a small number of exceptions, such as cases where it may be possible to identify the requester with the content of the response e.g. discussing a particular farmstead/property, therefore breaching Data Protection legislation, where publication would not be appropriate. 2277 responses were not published under the foregoing conditions.
The remaining requests were either withdrawn during processing or still have an aspect awaiting completion.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing some of the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. This is because there is no business need for us to record how many responses were published only via direct communication to the requester. Accurately confirming this figure would entail searching the records of all our responses not published.

Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12. You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner’s ‘Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs’ on his website at:

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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