Independence in the Modern World white paper: FOI release

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

Information requested

Independence in the Modern World White paper

I note the above White Paper has this week been published. Earlier this year, I recall reading that a team of 11 civil servants were working on the independence blueprint. I presume this document is the first result of their work.

Can you tell me please (a) the current size of that team, and (b) the cost so far to the taxpayer.

It has also been reported - if correct - that the picture on the front cover of the document is in fact of a wind farm in Yorkshire. Given the number of wind turbines in Scotland, I find this hard to believe. Perhaps you can tell me please if that was indeed the case, and how it came about.


Part A
At 16 June 2022, the Scottish Government’s Constitutional Futures Division, who are co-ordinating the work on the independence prospectus series, was comprised of one Senior Civil Servant and nineteen other officials.

Work to prepare the prospectus for an independent Scotland will be carried out in a range of portfolios and, in most cases, this is just one part of an individual’s role. In line with usual practice, details of individual tasks carried out by civil servants, including the number of hours spent on them, are not routinely recorded because there is no business need to do this.

Part B

At 16 June 2022, we had not received details of final costs incurred for the publication of Independence in the Modern World. Wealthier, Happier, Fairer: Why Not Scotland? from our contracted publishing print and design agency taking forward this work on behalf of the Scottish Government. This is a formal notice under Section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

Document front cover
Turning to your final query, the front cover of the document on the Scottish Government website shows a wind farm near Pease Bay in Berwickshire.
On initial publication, our contracted publishing print and design agency used a reputable stock image website to source a picture a Scottish wind farm for the paper. While the image used was tagged on the stock image website as being in Scotland, we now understand that image may have been mislabelled and, as a result, we updated our publication online.

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