Dear Convener,

The UK Statistics Authority has watched with interest your Committee’s efforts to reduce pre-release access to official statistics in Scotland, following our discussions with your members in recent years.

As the Committee are aware, we believe Government Ministers and officials should not have access to statistics before they are made available to Parliament and the public. Equality of access to official statistics is a fundamental principle of statistical good practice, and the existence of pre-release access undermines trust in our official statistics system.

I am copying this letter to the Authority’s Director General for Regulation, Ed Humpherson, to the Chair of the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, and to the Chair of the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee of the National Assembly for Wales.

Yours sincerely,

Sir David Norgrove