Questions relating to the ePIMS database: FOI release

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

Information requested

ePIMS database

  1. What property is included in this register?
  2. I see 2 groups – occupation usage and land usage – am I right in assuming these are separate entities – i.e. buildings and land?
  3. I could not decide whether public parks are included or recycling centres. We do not want to duplicate material we already have for example on open space so I need to check this.
  4. I did not see a category for unused/vacant property. As our interest in this data arises from thinking about community wealth this existence of unsed property matters.
  5. Access to data – who is allowed to access ePIMs, how does one access it and how user friendly is it?


The answer to your questions are as follows:

  • Scottish Government currently use ePIMS as a property database. All of our current and historic properties or occupied space in shared properties (owned and leased) are entered in the database. ePIMS is available to use by all public sector bodies covered by the Scottish Public Finance Manual however, while most do use it, it is not mandated as long as another form of database is used to store property information. Scottish local authorities, health boards and other publicly funded bodies sometimes also have data on ePIMS, though it may not be regularly maintained.
  • ePIMS has 3 holdings types: Building Only, Land Only and Land & Buildings. There are separate options to define the usage of the land or building. For example offices, courts, hospitals etc. for buildings or whether or not the land is agricultural, a car park, a radio site etc.. There are also options to upload holdings that are Waste Disposal Site and Public Open Spaces which may form as recycling centres or public parks.
  • ePIMS has the option to declare a holding as vacant and a further option of advertising vacant space. However, as per the Scottish Public Finance Manual, Scottish Government do not hold surplus land unnecessarily and will look to dispose of it at the earliest opportunity.
  • ePIMS is operated and managed by the Cabinet Office. I am not aware of their policy on who can/cannot access ePIMS and you would be best to contact who would be able to confirm. That being said, access to Scottish Government property data is restricted to the Property and Construction Division due to the sensitive nature of the information.

I hope you find the above response helpful. If you work within the Scottish Public Sector then we may be able to arrange a call to discuss further - my email is if you wish to contact me.

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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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