Date lodged: 24 November 2017
To ask the Scottish Government under what circumstances would ministers meet with others in their official capacity with no officials present, and whether it will list any such meetings that have taken place since May 2016.
Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 6 December 2017
Ministers meet many people and organisations and consider a wide range of views as part of the formulation of Government policy. Private Offices should arrange for the basic facts of formal meetings between Ministers and outside interest groups to be recorded, setting out the reasons for the meeting, the names of those attending and the interests represented. A monthly list of engagements carried out by all Ministers is published three months in arrears.
Where discussions take place with external organisations which raise substantive issues relating to Government decisions or contracts, and where an official is not present, Ministers should inform their Private Offices, who should arrange for the basic facts of such meetings to be recorded in accordance with paragraph 4.22 above.
See also paragraphs 9.27 to 9.31, 10.18 and 10.19, which provide guidance on contacts with commercial companies and meetings with external groups and the media, respectively.
See Scottish Ministerial Code 2016 (4.22, 4.23, 4.24):
All Ministerial engagements are proactively published on the Scottish Government website at the following address. The breakdown of information you have requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.