You asked us for:
A. What information is held on the political affiliation of board members and senior staff within SHR;
B. The current annual cost of press and media for SHR, and the total number of personnel employed to handle press and media for SHR; and
C. What guidelines have been issued to SHR by the Scottish Government on press releases and media.
Response to your request:
A: None. The Scottish Housing Regulator does not have the information you have asked on political affiliation of board members and senior staff. This is because our Board members and senior staff are not required to disclose political affiliation to SHR.
When a Board member is appointed by Scottish Ministers they are asked to declare political activity in the last five years to the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government, rather than the Scottish Housing Regulator, retains these records.
The Scottish Housing Regulator publishes a declarations of interest for each of our Board members on our website. You can access this here. Our board | Scottish Housing Regulator
The format of this is aligned to Model Code of Conduct for Members of Devolved Public Bodies, which is published by the Standards Commission for Scotland. This does not require specific information on political affiliation, however in practice members would normally record for example party membership under the section on non-financial interests. I have reviewed our member declarations and none have currently recorded anything relating to political affiliation.
All the Scottish Housing Regulator’s staff are bound by the civil service code, which requires political impartiality. You can read the full code here: Civil Service Code - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Housing Regulator does not have the information you have requested under part A.
B: Any media inquiries are handled by our own small communications team. Press and media is only a small part of the team’s work. The communications team is responsible for all of our internal and external communications including our website, publications and reports, staff intranet, and organising staff meetings, briefings and surveys. The team consists of 1.8 FTE staff, which cost approximately £101.5K per year. We do not have officers wholly dedicated to handling press and media. You can find out more about how we handle press and media enquiries here: Press and Media | Scottish Housing Regulator
C: None. The Scottish Housing Regulator does not have the information you have asked on for on guidelines that have been issued to SHR by the Scottish Government on press releases and media. The Scottish Housing Regulator is a body corporate and is not part of the Scottish Government. The Scottish Housing Regulator is not bound by any guidelines that the Scottish Government may have regarding press releases and media. Any media inquiries are handled by our own small communications team. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Housing Regulator does not have that aspect of the information you have requested under part C.