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Publication - FOI / EIR Release

SG's spend on Uber fares and taxis 2014-2017: FOI release

Published: 10 Aug 2017

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

FOI reference: FOI/17/01707
Date received: 25 July 2017
Date responded: 9 August 2017

Information requested

  • How much has the Scottish Government spent on Uber fares in each of the last three financial years

  • How much has the Scottish Government spent on taxis in total in each of the last three financial years

Response

Civil servants travel for a range of reasons including ensuring that the people of Scotland are effectively represented and ensuring that Scotland's voice is heard on important issues. In many instances, travel is necessary to allow civil servants to attend Ministerial meetings, meetings with businesses and visits to the communities we serve.

Before arranging to travel on official business, civil servants are first required to consider if their journey is really necessary. If they conclude that they are unable to conduct their business by other means, such as video or teleconferencing, they are then required to travel in the most cost–effective and time-efficient method available.

Contracts

In answer to your question the following table shows taxi spend by the Scottish Government using contract taxis over the last 3 years.

Year Total Cost of journeys
2014/15 £183,366
2015/16 £144,071
2016/17 £100,812

The taxi companies used are Central Radio Taxis (Tollcross) Ltd in Edinburgh and Glasgow Taxis Ltd in Glasgow.

Travel and Subsistence

Claims for taxi journeys processed through the Travel and Subsistence system for areas where the contract is not used, show costs by financial year as follows:-

Year Total cost
2014/15 £76,278
2015/16 £66,199
2016/17 £58,777

Overall spending on taxis almost halved over the last three years.

With regards to the spend on Uber fares, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600 because the information is not recorded centrally and the travel and subsistence claims do not hold the name of the taxi company. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the costs of complying exceeds 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. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on her website.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

Published:
10 Aug 2017
SG's spend on Uber fares and taxis 2014-2017: FOI release