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Publication - FOI/EIR release

Staff employed in communications 2015 to 2017: FOI release

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

Published:
11 May 2018
Staff employed in communications 2015 to 2017: FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/18/01143
Date received: 11 April 2018
Date responded: 9 May 2018

Information requested

1. The number of full time press office/news desk/media relations staff employed by the Scottish Government during the years 2015, 2016 and 2017.

2. The total wage bill of the above staff, broken down by year.

3. The number of contracts awarded to external public relations/marketing companies/individuals by the Scottish Government, broken down by date, company/individual, purpose of contract, length of contract and value of contract.

Response

1. The number of full time press office/news desk/media relations staff employed by the Scottish Government over the years in question is available at Scottish Government website: https://beta.gov.scot/publications/foi-18-00939/

Numbers of FTE staff vary throughout the financial year and the figures represent staff numbers on just one day of each year, March 31st. This means that these figures are a 'snapshot': they do not represent either a total number or average number of staff employed in the year. Figures for 2017-18 are still being processed and will be available within 12 weeks. These figures are based on a financial year, as opposed to calendar year in your request.

2. The cost of frontline communications staff/press officers in the last three years to the most recent financial year is available at Scottish Government website: https://beta.gov.scot/publications/cost-of-frontline-communications-staff/

We intend to publish the costs for 2017-18 on the Scottish Government website within 12 weeks.

3. The number of contracts awarded to external public relations/ marketing companies/ individuals by the Scottish Government, broken down by date, company/ individual, purpose of contract, length of contract and value of contract. While you have not specified a time period, we have taken this from Q1 for the period covering 2015-2017:

Contract Agency Date Awarded Contract Value
Tram Inquiry - PR 3x1 30-Jan-15 £50,000
Safer Roads – PR Smarts 10-Jun-15 £125,000
Safer Communities - PR Consolidated 15-Jun-15 £150,000
International - Digital Whitespace 07-Sep-15 £150,000
Healthier – Digital Union 09-Sep-15 £300,000
Safer Marketing Cluster - Research TNS 04-Nov-15 £350,000
Smarter Cluster - Research TNS 30-Nov-15 £200,000
Media Planning, Buying and Associated Services - Wealthier & Fairer, Safer, International Republic of Media 10-Feb-16 £2,500,000
Parental Audience - Research TNS 15-Feb-16 £100,000
Media Planning, Buying and Associated Services - Healthier, Greener, Smarter Carat 28-Apr-16 £4,600,000
Smarter Wealthier & Fairer 2016 - PR BIG 19-May-16 £200,000
Healthier Scotland 2016 - PR Consolidated 01-Jun-16 £300,000
Greener 2016 - Digital Whitespace 03-Jun-16 £250,000
Health Improvement 2016 - Advertising Story 08-Jun-16 £600,000
Smarter Wealthier & Fairer 2016 - Advertising The Gate 28-Jun-16 £500,000
Safer 2016 - Digital The Gate 21-Jul-16 £450,000
Safer 2016 - Advertising Leith 24-Jul-16 £650,000
Healthier Scotland 2016 - Field Kommando 03-Aug-16 £200,000
Smarter 2016 - Digital The Gate 13-Aug-16 £500,000
Healthier Scotland 2016 - Partnerships Union 04-Sep-16 £250,000
CEHP 2016 - Advertising Leith 07-Sep-16 £750,000
Parental Audience - Advertising Union 29-Sep-16 £100,000
Parental Audience - Digital Union 06-Oct-16 £50,000
International - Research TNS 25-May-17 £20,000
International – PR
3x1 13-Sep-17 £175,000
Parental Audience - PR Stripe 14-Sep-17 £80,000
Parental Audience - Creative Services Union 15-Sep-17 £600,000
Parental Audience - Digital Union 28-Sep-17 £600,000
WW100 – PR Smarts 03-Oct-17 £60,000
Migration – PR Pagoda 16-Nov-17 £50,000
Contract Value total: £14,910,000

For further information on what these contracts were utilised for, please consult the following:

https://beta.gov.scot/publications/foi-17-01529/

You asked for "The number of contracts awarded to external public relations/marketing companies/individuals by the Scottish Government" as a whole.

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. The reason for this is that to locate and retrieve that information we would need to conduct a search of all of the records of the Scottish Government. It may help if I explain that we file our information according to the subject matter, not by reference to the names of organisations with whom we have corresponded. 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.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. For example, you could specify the subject matter(s) of the correspondence you are interested in or restrict your request to a specific business area of the Scottish Government, as this would allow us to limit the searches that would require to be conducted. 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:

http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx

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