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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-11648: Dean Lockhart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 28 September 2017

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the comments of a representative of the Royal Statistical Society to the Economy Jobs and Fair Work Committee (Official Report, c.9), whether any of its (a) ministers, (b) officials and (c) special advisers are given five-days advance notice of publication of official statistics.

Answered by: Derek Mackay 24 October 2017

A timetable of official statistics releases is publicly available on the Scottish government website. In addition legislation permits ministers, officials and special advisers to be granted “pre-release” access to official statistics when it is necessary to enable them to comment publicly on statistics based on a correct understanding of them. Pre-release access in Scotland follows the rules and principles set out in the Pre-release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008, as pre-release access continues across other parts of the UK following equivalent orders. The current maximum period of pre-release access in Scotland is 5 days, but for key economic statistics it is only provided 24 hours prior to publication. It is the responsibility of the Chief Statistician to decide who gets pre-release access to Scottish Government statistics.