FOI release: Media and political affiliation

Published: 07 September 2022
Freedom of information class: What we spend and how

Information request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA)

FOI reference: CW-2022-193
Date received: 31 May 2022
Date clarified: 12 June 2022
Date responded: 5 July 2022

Information requested

  1. What information is held on the political affiliation of board members and senior staff within your organisation?
  2. The current annual cost of press and media for your organisation, and the total number of personnel employed to handle press and media for your organisation?
  3. What guidelines have been issued to your organisation by the Scottish Government on press releases and media?


1. Our Register of Interest (ROI) process for board members, including our Executive Management Team (EMT) and our Non-Executive Directors (NXDs), requests information on Non-Financial Interests including membership or holding office in other public bodies, clubs, societies and organisations such as Trade Unions and voluntary organisations. I can confirm that at this time, no political affiliations have been declared. Full details of each ROI can be found on our website.

Our NXDs also have the following terms in their contracts:

  • Non-Executive Directors, whether whole or part time, should not serve as officers carrying out executive duties in any political party.
  • Subject to the above, part-time Non-Executive Directors should be free to engage in any political activities, provided that they are conscious of their general public responsibility and exercise a proper discretion, particularly in regard to the work of RoS. On matters affecting that work, they should not normally make political speeches or engage in other political activities.
  • Non-Executive Directors should be free to maintain associations with Trades Unions and Co-operative Societies etc, to the extent that such associations do not conflict directly with the interests of RoS.
  • If a Non-Executive Director is doubtful about the application of these rules, or about the propriety of any political activity, he/she should seek guidance from the Keeper of RoS.

For all other senior staff, the following process, which is detailed in our staff handbook, is as follows “You should seek permission from the Corporate Services Director before taking part in national or local political activities. If you are granted permission to take part in any political activity you must not do so while on official duty or on RoS premises. Further information is available from Human Resources Division.” I can confirm that no such requests have been received.

2. The table below details our current annual costs.

Current annual print and press spend 
Media monitoring subscriptions £16,840
Parliamentary monitoring subscription £12,300
Placed advertisements (one off cost March/April 2022) £995

RoS employs one PR Manager who manages all press and media enquiries. Further information on how to contact our press office can be found on our website.

3. The Scottish Government has not issued RoS with any guidelines on how to respond to or handle press releases and media enquiries.

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