Dear Ed,

Pre-release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Bill

I am writing to bring to your attention a recent exchange of letters between the RSS and the Scottish Government.

As you will be aware, the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee have recently introduced a Bill to reform current practice in Scotland on pre-release access. The RSS President wrote to the Scottish Government to support this Bill.

We recently received a response from the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance, defending the practice. In her response, the Cabinet Secretary claims that their practice is “in full compliance with UK Statistics Authority’s Code of Practice for Statistics”. We find it hard to see how this could be the case, given that the section in the Code on accessibility is very clear that “statistics and data should be equally available to all, not given to some people before others”.

Would this be a matter that you are able to look into?

For information, please find attached the letters to the Scottish Government and their response.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Penneck