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Publication - FOI/EIR release

Special Adviser salary, costs and expenses 2014/15, 2017/18: FOI release

Published: 13 Jul 2018
Directorate:
People Directorate
Part of:
Public sector
Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
Published:
13 Jul 2018
Special Adviser salary, costs and expenses 2014/15, 2017/18: FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/18/01661
Date received: 14 June 2018
Date responded: 12 July 2018

Information requested

The current combined annual salary costs for Scottish Government special advisers; for the combined annual salary cost in November 2014 and for the total expenses bill associated with special advisers in 2014/15 and 2017/18

Response

Salary costs:

Under the terms of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, the First Minister is responsible for all Special Adviser appointments and is required to prepare an annual report setting out the number and cost of Special Advisers and to lay it before the Scottish Parliament. Some of the information that you have requested about Special Advisers has therefore been provided previously in response to Written Scottish Parliamentary Questions (PQs). Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to provide you with information if it is already reasonably accessible to you. All Scottish PQs and their replies are published on the Scottish Parliament website. The search facility is available at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx

All information is provided in financial year format. The reference numbers are:

2014-15 S4W-26746 – answered on 17 July 2015

2017-18 S5W-17596 – answered on 5 July 2018

The Answers to the PQs include all salary costs, ERNIC and employer pension contributions. The information relating to salary costs for the current year will not be published until after the end of the 2018/19 financial year.

Expenses:

The figures below include expenses claimed through the Scottish Government iExpenses system and travel expenses under the Scottish Government travel and accommodation contracts. Travel expenses include rail, air and Edinburgh and Glasgow contract taxi costs. The total expenses figure for 2014-15 was £14,948.98. This figure includes expenses claimed through the Scottish Government iExpenses system and expenditure under the Scottish Government travel and accommodation contracts broken down as follows:

  • iExpenses = £2,389.86

  • Hotel accommodation = £6,350.42

  • Travel = £6,208.70

The information relating to the calendar year 2017 has already been published in response to FOI/18/00562 https://beta.gov.scot/publications/foi-18-00562/ The remaining amount for January to March 2018 is £5,428.80. As above, this figure includes expenses claimed through the Scottish Government iExpenses system and expenditure under the Scottish Government travel and accommodation contracts broken down as follows:

  • iExpenses = £196.88

  • Hotel accommodation = £166.24

  • Travel = £5,065.68

These expenses are primarily incurred by Special Advisers in supporting the First Minister and Scottish Ministers at events in other parts of the United Kingdom, including intergovernmental negotiations and on foreign visits to Europe and the United States of America taking forward the Scottish Government's programme. For your information, examples of such visits include:

  • Supporting the First Minister in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong to promote economic, cultural and educational links;

  • supporting the First Minister in New York and San Francisco on visits to discuss potential trade and investment opportunities for Scotland and to boost Scotland's tourist industry;

  • supporting the First Minister at a range of engagements associated with her attendance and speech to the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik;

  • accompanying the First Minister to Dublin to meet with the new Taoiseach and engage with potential Irish investors at the Dublin Chamber of Commerce;

  • supporting the First Minister when she addressed the COP21 Plenary in Bonn on behalf of the UNFCCC Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action Change;

  • accompanying the First Minister to the British Irish Council in Jersey;

  • supporting Ministers at meetings of the Joint Ministerial Committee on EU Negotiations in London and in Cardiff;

  • supporting Ministers in London at the Devolved Administrations' meeting with the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs;

  • supporting Ministers in London at the Joint Ministerial Working Group on Welfare; and

  • supporting Ministers at the Confederation of the Highlands and Islands in Shetland.

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