19 June 2018

Scottish Labour will this week demand an investigation into SNP government secrecy as part of a parliamentary debate.

The party will use its opposition day business to demand an investigation into SNP ministers' handling of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.

A report by the Scottish Information Commissioner published last week concluded that SNP ministers:

• Handled FOI requests from journalists, opposition MSPs and their staff differently.

• Requests from journalists were more likely to be rejected than those from non-journalists.

• SNP government kept inadequate records.

• No clarity in the involvement of SNP government spin doctors and their role in FOI requests.

Scottish Labour’s motion, which will be debated on Wednesday, asks Holyrood to back an investigation into the SNP government's handling of FOI requests.

Scottish Labour MSP Rhoda Grant said :

“The Scottish Information Commissioner’s damning report reveals repeated attempts by the SNP government to bury bad news.

“Their report shows that Freedom of Information requests from journalists and opposition MSPs’ staff were handled differently.

“Not only was the clearance process different, but there is some evidence that information was suppressed in answer to these journalists’ requests.

“The SNP has so far failed to recognise the seriousness of this unacceptable behaviour and properly take responsibility for it.

"SNP ministers have not even acknowledged that the increase in FOI usage is largely down to their failure to properly answer them in the first place.

“That is why Scottish Labour is demanding a full investigation into the SNP's handling of FOI requests.

“Anything less would only show that the SNP government simply cannot be trusted.”

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