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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-09640: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 8 June 2017

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-07899 by Fergus Ewing on 1 June 2017, for what reason (a) it did not provide a substantive answer to the question within the 10-counting day deadline and (b) the substantive answer was provided in June, following an announcement on its website in May, and whether it considers that this is consistent with paragraph 1.2(d) of the Scottish Ministerial Code, which states that "Ministers should be as open as possible with the Parliament and the public, reflecting the aspirations set out in the Report of the Consultative Steering Group on the Scottish Parliament".

Answered by: Fergus Ewing 19 June 2017

The Scottish Government was unable to provide an answer within the 10 counting day deadline because it was waiting for a third party to provide the necessary information; in this instance the membership of a newly formed working group.

The standard Scottish Government process ensures that if a written parliamentary question is not answered within 10 counting days (20 days during recess) then a holding reply will automatically be issued. The substantive answer reiterated the information on the website, but was delayed going through the drafting and parliamentary process.

It is considered that despite the delay, the process is consistent with the Scottish Ministerial Code, with Ministers and officials acting in good faith and always have regard to the terms of the Scottish Ministerial Code when answering parliamentary questions.