FOI Request - Expenditure Scottish Independence Referendum
I would like full details of the expenditure incurred by your local authority in relation to the Scottish Independence Referendum. This should include the total amount spent on the referendum as well as, where available, a breakdown on what the money was spent on (wages, hiring venues, transportation etc). I understand a summary of this information is in the Counting Officer’s return to the Scottish Government.
Under The Local Authority Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 2014 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2014/200/pdfs/ssi_20140200_en.pdf) I am entitled to look at your local authority’s 2014/15 accounts to be audited including all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts relating to the accounts.
If this request reaches you during your accounts inspection period, I would urge you to consider releasing the information I am requesting under this legislation. However, if this request reaches you outside of the inspection period, or you do not agree this is a valid course of action, then please treat this request as a freedom of information.
To avoid doubt, I am looking for the quickest and easiest route – for both parties - to get the information I am requesting, whether that be answering the original FOI request (101000365038), answering this request under the LAAR 2014 legislation or answering this request as a fresh FOI.
Response to FOI reference 101000365038 can be found here.
The inspection period for the annual accounts ended on the 22nd July 2015 therefore this request falls out with the inspection period.
The cost of the referendum that was processed within the Moray Council’s accounts was as noted below. This is NOT the full cost of the referendum incurred in the Moray Counting area. Prior to any poll an ‘advance’ is received from central government which is held in the Returning/Counting Officer’s account which is separate to the Local Authority Accounts. As this advance is often not received until the week or fortnight prior to poll, any expenditure during the preparation of the poll in the months prior is met by the local authority in the meantime. Once the advance is received then expenditure comes from the advance held in the Counting Officer’s account and once the account is settled with the Scottish Government in full, the local authority’s accounts are then reimbursed.
Summary of Referendum expenditure 2014 /2015 (The Moray Council Accounts)
Employee Costs £60,227.29
Supplies & Services £9,721.60
Transport & Plant Costs £2,968.30
TOTAL (LA Accounts) £72,917.19
The full cost submitted to the Scottish Government amounts to £177,209.82
As previously advised The Counting Officer is not subject to FOI and an explanation for not providing you with a copy of the account submitted has also been provided. The information you have requested can be sought from the Scottish Government, who are collating all returns from Counting Officers across Scotland.