FOI reference: FOI/17/02122
Date received: 19 September 2017
Date responded: 17 October 2017
I would like to submit an FOI to ask if any work had been carried out by Scottish Government civil servants on the SNP Autumn Conference 2016 or the Spring Conference 2017, whether any civil servants had been involved in the drafting, fact checking or had seen any of the drafts of any of the speeches delivered at either of these SNP Conferences, whether Scottish Government money to pay the costs of civil servants (including special advisers) to go Conference including travel, meals and payment for Conference pass. Whether it was recommended to any Scottish Government civil servants that they should attend SNP Conference.
The answer to your question is that no work was carried out by Scottish Government civil servants on the SNP Autumn Conference 2016 or the Spring Conference 2017.
No SG money was used to pay the costs of civil servants (including special advisers) to attend conference. Under the terms of their contracts Special Advisers are able to attend party conferences but all expenses associated with attendance must be met personally by special advisers themselves or the party. Special Advisers are responsible for liaising with the party to ensure that any party comment, including conference speeches, is accurate in respect of Scottish Government policies.
Permanent civil servants are prohibited from attending Party conferences in an official capacity, except in very exceptional circumstances when their presence may be required to carry out essential departmental business unconnected with the conference. An such attendance would be exceptional and would have to be approved in advance by the Permanent Secretary. No recommendation was made to any permanent Scottish Government civil servant that they should attend SNP conference.
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
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House