FOI23/24 103 Information Sheet - Supplier Payment 2022

Date published: 26/10/2023

FOI reference: 23/24 103

Date received: 16/10/2023

Date responded: 26/10/2023

Information requested

I am contacting you at the Scottish Qualification Authority to request payment data.

I am requesting information on all payments to external suppliers for purchases of goods and services between 2022-01-01 and 2022-12-31.

What is requested is a list of these payments, ideally in Microsoft Excel format, which contains as much of the following information for each payment as possible.

- Supplier name

- Amount paid, excluding VAT

- Payment date (or some other relevant transaction date, for example billing or booking date)

- A unique invoice-id or a transaction-id number for each payment.

- Some description of the nature of the expense (for example cost centre or booking account name)

I am not asking you to do manual time consuming compiling.

I am only asking for an extract from your accounting software with as much of the above stated information as you can conveniently and reasonably provide.

Response

The information requested is contained within the spreadsheet. We have provided the supplier name, the amount paid, the relevant dates and the nature of the expense. However, we have redacted the unique invoice numbers as it is considered to be exempt from release under section 35 of the Act which states:

35        Law enforcement

(1)        information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially—

(a) the prevention or detection of crime;

If we were to provide the identifying number for the invoices, this would allow the information to be used in a way that could defraud the organisation. Whilst it is not suggested that is why the information is being requested, as information released under the legislation is deemed to be in the public domain, if anybody else requested the information, we could not refuse it.

When applying a section 35 exemption we must consider the public interest.

We consider that there is likely to be very little public interest in the invoice numbers. There is more likely to be interest in the expenditure, which is being provided.

It is not in the public interest for us to release information which could potentially be used to defraud the organisation.

Accordingly, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs that of releasing the information.

Documents:

files_ccc/foi-23-24-103-information-sheet-supplier-payment-2022-redacted.xlsx (170 KB)