Cabinet (Meetings)

Part of First Minister's Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:59 am on 14 June 2007.

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Photo of Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Parliamentary Leader (Westminster), First Minister of Scotland, Leader, Scottish National Party 11:59, 14 June 2007

I asked for a report on this matter this morning. There is a part of the process just now that allows referred individuals who have jobs at the time of the referral to continue to work, even during the provisional listing stage. I am asking to look at that aspect, because it seems to be anomalous and not equivalent to what happens in other organisations. For example, teachers are often suspended from duty in such circumstances.

As the former Deputy First Minister knows, I have to be extremely careful not to make policy on the hoof. However, I think that the independent review group that the previous First Minister established must be allowed to do its work. We should not try to second-guess its findings or interfere by making decisions now that might be crossed over by its report in September.

Given the details in the newspaper reports today, I understand why people think it is urgent that immediate action be taken. I will look, in particular, at the point that I have stressed. However, I ask everyone in the chamber to let the independent review group that has been established get on with its work and then speedily—as parliamentarians—to implement its recommendations.