Point of Order

– in the Scottish Parliament on 22nd March 2011.

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Photo of Jeremy Purvis Jeremy Purvis Liberal Democrat

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I apologise for not being able to give you advance notice, and I am not sure, as it is the last day before dissolution, what can be done, but I am seeking advice.

On 22 February, the Finance Committee approved contingent liability for the Forth crossing of up to £300 million for three connected incidents concerning the crossing of the Forties pipeline. The meeting was held in private at the request of the Scottish Government because of national security considerations.

The Minister for Transport and Infrastructure has written to the convener of the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee, in a letter dated 18 March, with all the information that was in the briefing that the Finance Committee received. Indeed, the letter contains further information that was not in the briefing. In particular, the minister says:

Scottish Ministers liability will be capped to £100 million per incident, or series of connected incidents”.

My point of order is on the guidance that can be provided when Governments request private meetings of this Parliament on the basis of national security, when clearly they have published letters that do not state that any of the considerations concerned national security, and when we are considering such substantial sums of public money.

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

As you were not able to give me prior notice, I will take away that point of order and reflect on it, and you will get an answer before close of business.

11:53 Meeting suspended.

11:55 On resuming—