£200,000 spent on homeworking equipment by Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has spent more than £200,000 on homeworking equipment for civil servants since the start of the pandemic, it has been revealed.

The Scottish Government spent more than £200,000 on homeworking equipment since February 2020
The Scottish Government spent more than £200,000 on homeworking equipment since February 2020

In total, workers previously based at St Andrew’s House and other government departments were treated to £181,435 worth of desk chairs, laptops, desks and other equipment since February 2020, a freedom of information request revealed.

An additional £26,047 was claimed back by civil servants from the Scottish Government’s coffers meaning in total £207,500 was spent as Covid-19 began to spread across the country.

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It means the equivalent of around 1,800 mid-range desk chairs were purchased centrally by the Scottish Government.

However, exactly what the money went on will not be made public due to a quirk in the way equipment is purchased by the civil service, and it is not possible to know how much was spent per department nor if the £207,500 covers the full cost of homeworking.

In the freedom of information response, an official states: “The Scottish Government does not have the information in the format you have asked for because some homeworking items were purchased centrally and cannot be broken down by department or individual items.”

Reacting to the figure, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “As an employer we have a duty of care and a legal obligation to ensure the 7,500 people who work for the Scottish Government can do this safely from home, including staff who have a disability or require specialist equipment.

“Working from home continues to have a positive impact on suppressing coronavirus, reducing the risk of increasing the R-rate, and follows the guidance set out for all offices in Scotland’s Strategic Framework.”

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