Semi-literate investigator finds no redundancies were required to pay Alex Salmond costs

jkelly anniwross speakingclock

Who on earth wrote this? It’s tempting to think it must have been an arithmetically challenged Labour MSP or, mind you, one of the Tory lot? Maybe it was a junior at the BBC?

FOI reference: FOI/19/00501
Date received: 19 Feb 2019
Date responded: 14 Mar 2019

Information requested

  • What is the total costs the Government must pay Mr A Salmond
  • What were the total costs of legal advice used by you defending the charge
  • From which budget does this cost came from as it was unbudgeted?
  • Will any employee be made redundant due to this [unclear] cost – directly or indirectly
  • Will you continue to receive cash bonuses this year? 

So, ‘is’ that should be ‘are’ or ‘costs’ that should be ‘cost’. Three missing question marks, the idea that there would not be a budget for this kind of thing, the puzzling notion of being made redundant ‘indirectly’ and of a cash bonus being paid to….? Did nobody check this before it was submitted?

The replies are:

In response to your first question, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not the information you have requested. The reason why we don’t have the information is explained below.

In response to your second question, the net cost of legal fees was £118,523.

In response to your third question, the costs will be met from budgets managed by the Director General for Organisational Development and Operations.

In response to your fourth question, the answer is no.

With respect to your fifth question, in line with the Scottish Public Sector Pay Policy, performance bonuses for senior staff have been suspended since 2010-11.


The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because these costs have not yet been calculated. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

If they’re going to waste taxpayers money on trawling with FoI requests, then the least they can do is write proper, innit?

 Footnote: I turn 68 on my next birthday.


7 thoughts on “Semi-literate investigator finds no redundancies were required to pay Alex Salmond costs

  1. Bugger (the Panda) March 16, 2019 / 7:00 am

    Must be so strapped for cash the idiots ate hsving to writr the FOIs themselved

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Legerwood March 16, 2019 / 12:02 pm

    Is this FoI request akin to the interviewer who asks the interviewee: ‘Is it true you beat your wife?’ To which the answer is No but the headline becomes: ‘Mr X denies he beats his wife’. Thus leaving a lingering doubt.

    Here we have:the question about redundancies. Cue headline: ‘Government deny any redundancies…’ If the story below the headline includes the costs then the perception is that with that level of costs then surely there were redundancies and the denial is treated with some scepticism.

    Thus the seemingly innocuous FoI can be spun into something else

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Contrary March 16, 2019 / 12:40 pm

    Okay, I give in, did you just throw in an irrelevant footnote there John? Ahhh, I know! It’s to save us going to the expense of sending you a FoI to find out your age!

    What are your plans for health and fitness to see you through to 69? Is it at 70 you get a free tv licence or do you need to be blind before getting one of those,,,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Contrary March 16, 2019 / 5:06 pm

      Haha, yes I see it. Interesting typo,,,

      Still, you can give us your goals for health and fitness for the coming year now that you’ve declared your age? Got to have goals!


      • johnrobertson834 March 16, 2019 / 6:15 pm

        Not to stop the slide but to find a graceful way of staying slid.

        The Hypertension Kid by Pete Atkin and Clive James.


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