Programme for Government 2023 to 2024: FOI release

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

Information requested

  1. All draft versions of the 'Programme for Government 2023 to 2024' report sent to the Scottish Government before publication of the final document.
  2. All communications between the Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care and/or supporting Ministers and/or officials and the First Minister's office and officials regards these draft documents and the final document.


Regarding your first request, the drafting and development of the Programme for Government (PfG) 2023-24 was undertaken by a central team of Scottish Government officials, with input from a wide range of colleagues from across the organisation. As a Scottish Government document, instances whereby a version of the PfG was ‘sent to the Scottish Government before publication’ relate only to correspondence with the production company. This is therefore not considered as a ‘draft version’ being sent to the Scottish Government as these exchanges focused exclusively on the formatting and design of the document and did not include any textual edits. Subject to this caveat, I can therefore confirm that no ‘draft versions of the Programme for Government 2023 to 2024 report’ were ‘sent to the Scottish Government before publication of the final document’.

Regarding the second element of your request, the complex and cross-government nature of the exercise, the lengthy drafting and production processes, and the large numbers of officials directly involved from all Cabinet Secretary portfolios means there is a significant amount of communications material. As you may be aware, 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. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600 and as such this material will not be provided.

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:

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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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