Civil servants complaints against Ministers and complaint procedures: FOI release

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

Information requested

  1. The number of formal complaints made by Scottish Government staff about a minister or former minister’s behaviour under the Scottish Government procedure published on their website since 24 February 2022.
  2. Where complaints have been made, please list the minister (or former minister) complained against, the type of behaviour that was the subject of the complaint, the date of the complaint and whether the complaint has been resolved and if so what the resolution was.
  3. The reason why the date of the procedure’s operation changed from 24 February 2022 to 22 December 2022. This change can be viewed via the wayback archive.


In relation to your first and second request, while our scope is to provide information, when possible, the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

This is a formal notice under Section 17(1) FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you requested. Having conducted appropriate and proportionate searches for information regarding the complaints, the Scottish Government holds no recorded information within the scope of your request because no complaints about Ministers’ or former Ministers’ behaviour were made under the procedure for handling complaints by civil servants since 24 February 2022.

Outwith FOISA, you may wish to be aware that the Scottish Government now publishes the number of complaints received about a current or former Minister’s behaviour. The first publication covered the period from when the procedure was made live in February 2022 to December 2022, and an update was published on 21 June 2023. This information will be updated every six months. Scottish Government Ministers: complaints - (

In relation to your third request, in December 2022, the Scottish Government updated the Procedure for handling complaints made by civil servants about the behaviour of current or former Ministers in order to better balance the public interest with considerations of privacy and confidentiality, and to ensure we strengthen confidence in the process. This is why the date of the procedure’s operation changed from February 2022 to December 2022.

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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