Letter to Nicola Sturgeon regarding pre-release access

RSS President, Deborah Ashby, has just written to the First Minister in support of a Scottish Parliament bill that proposes ending pre-release access to official statistics, a practice that the RSS has long campaigned against.

The RSS believes that privileged access to official statistics can undermine public trust in them, as there is potential for figures to be ‘spun’ to the media, get ‘buried’ under other announcements or even affect financial markets before being published. 

In 2017 we successfully campaigned to reduce pre-release access to official statistics produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

However, in Scotland, politicians can still have up to five days of access before figures are published. As a result, we endorse calls from the Scottish Parliament for reform. 

Read the letter in full (PDF).

The Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament by the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee on 8 September 2020.

More about the proposed Bill and our ongoing work to reduce pre-release access to official statistics.

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