Monday, 19 January 2009

Freedom of Information Requests

Freedom of Information Requests in response to Aileen Campbell MSP

(1) I would like to know who the Culture Minister has met with to date regarding the establishment of Creative Scotland, who these interested parties are and what interests they represent?

(2) Could the Culture Minister please provide a full schedule of who she is to meet and when regarding the establishment of Creative Scotland?

(3) You say that the "Government has increased the budget for culture by 14% in cash terms over three years", can you please back this up: what do you mean by 'culture' here (just what does it include); how was this funding distributed (if indeed it was all public funding), by whom and what was the conditionality; and how has this figure been calculated?

(4) Are the set up costs for Creative Scotland to come from its grant in aid budget? If so, what are these costs and what impact assessment has been done on the immediate loss of available funding for cultural provision in Scotland that will result?

(5) Will the additional running costs for Scottish Cultural Enterprise and other agencies' work not currently undertaken by Scottish Screen or the Scottish Arts Council come out of Creative Scotland's proposed grant in aid budget? If so, what are the costs involved, what is this additional work, how will it be done, who will do it, what will it cost? Is it proposed or envisaged that Creative Scotland take on any further additional 'enterprise' work in the future?

(6) What will be the level of grant in aid funding to Creative Scotland once the 'additional' Creative Scotland Innovation Fund stops after two years?

(7) Has there been any assessment of the impact of a fall in grant in aid for Creative Scotland on artists in Scotland, and the ability for the Scottish Government to sustain cultural provision in a prolonged recession?

(8) What other means is it proposed that Creative Scotland generate income, other than being in receipt of grant in aid? Has there been any assessment of how sustainable these mechanisms would be, and how Creative Scotland will generate income and sustain cultural provision in a prolonged recession?

(9) With regard to the Scottish Government launching debt onto artists: exactly what is the government proposing when the Culture Minister announced: “If formed, Creative Scotland will add to the range of funding sources available to artists and creative practitioners. As well as grants, it will develop a wider portfolio of funding methods including loans and investments."? I ask exactly what is this "wider portfolio of funding methods"; what are they, how will they be administered, who will administer them; what will be the eligibility criteria, who will adjudicate this and under what processes/conditions; what are the costings for these, and what is the impact assessment on artists and arts organisations?

(10) Are the Scottish Government aware of the current levels of visual arts graduate / post-graduate debt and have these factored into any discussions on the formation of Creative Scotland and "the range of funding sources [to be] available to artists and creative practitioners"?

(11) What work has been done to assess the viability of a "portfolio of funding methods" with regard to maintaining current levels of support for artistic production in Scotland?

(12) Will the introduction of loans or other funding mechanisms result in the depletion or phasing out of the number and amount available of the equivalent of today's non-repayable SAC grants to artists and arts organisations?

(13) What work has been done to assess the envisaged long term cultural, economic and social effects of the introduction of a "range of funding sources available to artists and creative practitioners"?

(14) What provision will be made to cope with artists' / arts organisations' debt as a result of loans and what provision will be made to cope with non repayment of any loans?

(15) Has there been an assessment of the impact the financial crisis will have on Creative Scotland and the envisaged "portfolio of funding methods", how it will impact existing SAC clients and what their additional needs are likely to be and how they will be met, and how it will impact other cultural organisations reliant on sponsorship / advertising for support?

(16) Can the Scottish Government guarantee that Creative Scotland will not be competing with arts organisations, or other cultural bodies if it is proposed Creative Scotland generate additional income to supplement its grant in aid?

(17) Has there been an assessment of how exposed Creative Scotland will be to the financial crisis and recession, and what measures will there be in place to ensure the security of provision for contemporary culture in Scotland during this difficult time?

(18) How is it envisaged the effects of the financial crisis and recession on artists and cultural organisations be mitigated by Creative Scotland, rather than further exposed via unnecessary marketisation at this highly unstable time?

(19) We are led to believe that with Creative Scotland art-form specialisms will no longer exist. Precisely what will this mean for the guaranteeing of specialist art-form funding? What art-form specialisms knowledge will there be in Creative Scotland, how will specialisms be represented, and how will artists be represented?

(20) What has been the total expenditure on the Transition Team and the transition process to date, including salaries, additional consultants, all and any other associated costs? Please indicate how these figures have been calculated.

Requests for information on IPR in response to Pete Wishart MP

It would be a great help if you [Pete Wishart MP] and / or the Culture Minister could provide the details of the Transition Team's examination (or any other Creative Scotland / Scottish Arts Council / Scottish Screen discussions or consultancy work) of IPR and exactly what Creative Scotland's position will be on IPR? Not least how this relates to the models of IPR exploitation as proposed and exemplified by NESTA?

NESTA was the outcome of an exploration of copyright- and profit-orientated approaches to ‘investment’ -- “set up with Lottery funding to help people turn bright ideas into products, services or techniques with social and commercial benefit”. NESTA advocates its retention of patent rights for intellectual property resulting from publicly funded work and the wider state exploitation of IPR. The Scottish Arts Council has just put out a consultancy tender for "The 21st Century financing for the arts and creative industries in Scotland Study", does the exploitation of IPR feature in this consultancy?

Given the Transition Team appear to have lifted wholesale NESTA's definition of 'Creative Industries', it would also be of benefit to know who associated, directly or indirectly, with NESTA the Transition Team consulted / met with, how frequently and what was discussed, and how influential NESTA have been on the thinking underpinning Creative Scotland?

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