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Pre-release Access to Economic Statistics (Committee Bill Proposal)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 19th September 2019.

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Photo of Andy Wightman Andy Wightman Green

I am interested in two things. First, the minister compares the Scottish Government to Whitehall departments. Is it her sincere view that the Government is equivalent to Whitehall departments? Secondly, she talked a lot about the independence of the chief statistician. The cabinet secretary is sitting next to her. His letter of May 2019 to the committee says:

PRA is a matter for the Chief Statistician and the independence of his role is crucial ... I inform the responsible statisticians”

—this is his proposal that the minister has just mentioned—

“that I, and all other Ministers, will require PRA of only one working day”.

How does that hold with respecting the independence of the role of the chief statistician?