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 Parliamentā€™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 ā€œin full compliance with UK Statistics Authority’s Code of Practice for Statisticsā€. 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 ā€œstatistics and data should be equally available to all, not given to some people before othersā€.

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