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The Pre-release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008

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Persons to whom, and circumstances in which, pre-release access may be granted

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2.—(1) The person responsible may grant pre-release access to statistics only insofar as that person considers it necessary to–

(a)ensure that the Scottish Ministers and office-holders or officials advising them are able to comment publicly on the statistics based on a correct understanding of them;

(b)allow the Scottish Ministers and office-holders or officials advising them to consider the implications of the statistics for their policies and programmes so as to ensure that any public comments they make about those policies and programmes at or after the time of publication reflect a proper understanding of the statistics;

(c)allow office-holders or officials advising the Scottish Ministers to assure the quality of any statistical public statement to be issued by those office-holders or officials;

(d)ensure that other statistics available to the Scottish Ministers, and office-holders or officials advising them, about the same subject-matter as the statistics to which pre-release access may be granted are not relied on by them to the detriment of–

(i)the exercise of their functions; or

(ii)any public comment they make relating to those other statistics,

without their being informed of the statistics to which pre-release access may be granted;

(e)ensure, where a publication or other material is being prepared by or on behalf of any public body or office-holder for publication at the same time or shortly after the statistics to which pre-release access may be granted, that any statistics contained in that publication or material are correct or that the publication or material is otherwise properly informed by the statistics to which pre-release access may be granted;

(f)enable a Minister of the Crown, the head of a government department, a member of the Welsh Assembly Government or a Northern Ireland Minister to make public comments in connection with the publication of the statistics based on a correct understanding of them;

(g)enable a public body whose functions are described by or relevant to the statistics (or a public body representative of that body) to comment publicly on them based on a correct understanding of them;

(h)give any other person access, unless in the opinion of the person responsible allowing that access would be to the detriment of public trust in the integrity of official statistics.

(2) But the person responsible may only grant pre-release access where that person is satisfied that there are arrangements in place–

(a)to inform the recipient of the ground in sub-paragraph (1) under which access is being granted; and

(b)to enforce the requirements and conditions specified in paragraphs 3 and 5.

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