To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S1W-18802 by Angus MacKay on 19 November 2001, whether the information given in that answer is comprehensive and accurate given the article in the Scotland on Sunday on 24 March 2002 referring to a failure to compile details of the political affiliation of appointments to non-departmental public bodies and whether it has any plans to amend that answer.
As I made clear in the answer to question S1W-20118 on 26 March 2002 and in a letter to the member, a recent audit of data on political activity of current members of non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), discovered that in most cases the correct procedures for recording details of political activity had been followed. However, I regret to say that it also discovered that in 411 individual cases, the political activity declaration had not been completed.
The missing political activity declaration forms do affect the aggregate information about the political activity of appointees serving on NDPBs sponsored by the Executive, which was published in answer to question S1W-18802. Because records on individual appointments going back to 1996 are incomplete, we are unable to publish an amendment to that answer.
I am extremely concerned that the correct procedure was not followed by officials in every case and have raised this matter with the Permanent Secretary. He has, in turn, instructed the Heads of the Executive Departments to ensure that the correct procedures are followed in every respect in future.