Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland costs and Ministerial Papers: FOI release

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

Information requested

A breakdown of the costs associated with organising and conducting Citizens assemblies in Scotland; any papers provided to Mike Russell MSP, Angus Robertson, George Adam MSP or any other relevant Minister regarding Citizens Assemblies and; any briefings, minutes, pre agenda papers, policy papers, notes, emails etc. related to Citizen’s assemblies.


Citizens’ Assembly for Scotland: breakdown of costs

The final cost of the Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland was £0.938 million over two financial years compared to an original budget of £1.37 million.

The original budget with breakdowns is published in Annex Five of Doing Politics Differently: the report of the Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland. The final costs of the Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland were published by Scottish Government in Annex A of the document Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland – Doing Politics Differently report: Scottish Government response in November 2021.

Climate Assembly: breakdown of costs


Itemisation (if applicable)


Members and conveners

Gifts, travel and subsistence


Contracts, grants and services

Member Recruitment, Design and Facilitation, Media, Website and Advertising, Post Assembly Members Support, Integration of Children, Evidence Base


IT, Office Costs and Administration



Publications and Engagement

Pre-Assembly Dialogue; COP 26, Printing the Interim and Full Report










We do not have figures for indirect staff costs associated with the Citizens’ Assembly for Scotland and Scotland’s Climate Assembly. Sponsorship teams supported the delivery of Assemblies and some staff provided expertise as and when necessary. These were existing Scottish Government staff - their time spent working on Assemblies was not specifically recorded and their roles were not paid for by Assembly budgets.

Ministerial Briefings

The information you requested in relation to Ministerial papers regarding Citizens’ Assemblies is enclosed with this letter in documents 1 - 63.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance, exemptions under Section 29(1)(a) (Formulation of Scottish Administration policy), Section 30(b)(i) (Free and frank provision of advice), Section 30(c) (The effective conduct of public affairs), Section 33(1)(b) (Commercial interests), Section 35(1)(a) (Prevention or detection of crime), Section 36(1) (Confidentiality in legal proceedings) and Section 38(1)(b) (Personal information) of FOISA apply to some of the information requested. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained in the Annex of this letter.

You should note that on 10 May 2021, Scottish Government released a number of documents in response to an FOI request for ‘all briefings to date from civil servants to ministers on the Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland’. These are also included within this release.

All materials related to one or both Citizens’ Assemblies

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance, the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested under ‘any briefings, minutes, pre agenda papers, policy papers, notes, emails etc. related to Citizen's assemblies’ would exceed the upper cost limit of £600, including the retrieval of information for only one citizen assembly. The reason for this is that to locate and retrieve that information we would need to conduct a search of all the records of the Scottish Government. 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. For example, you could specify the subject matter(s) of the correspondence you are interested in as this would allow us to limit the searches that would require to be conducted. 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:

Due to the size of the files we are unable to upload the documents referred to above. If you wish to consider, please contact us at the address below and we will be happy to provide.

About FOI

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

FOI 202200334314 - Information Released - Annex


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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