Date lodged: 13 February 2019
To ask the Scottish Government what rules (a) ministers and (b) officials must follow regarding the (i) release of and (ii) commentary on statistics to the media prior to their official release.
Answered by: Derek Mackay 5 March 2019
Access to official statistics prior to their release is governed by the Pre-Release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008. This piece of legislation sets out the rules and principles that must be followed, and describes who may receive pre-release access to official statistics, the circumstances in which access may be given, and the duties of the people giving and receiving pre-release access.
It gives authority to Scotland’s Chief Statistician to grant pre-release access, in certain circumstances and subject to a number of conditions, which Ministers and officials must follow.
A Minister or official who has been given pre-release access must not disclose any of the statistics, nor give any broad indication of their content or what they may show, to any individual who has not similarly been given access, as per Condition 5(3) of the 2008 Order.