ANNEX C: DRAFT PRE-RELEASE ACCESS ORDER
Draft Order laid before the Scottish Parliament under section 65(6)(a) of the Statistics and Registration Service (Scotland) Act 2007 for approval by the Scottish Parliament.
DRAFT SCOTTISH STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS
The Pre-release Access to Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008
Made - - - - 2008
Coming into force in accordance with article 1(1)
The Scottish Ministers make the following Order in exercise of the powers conferred by section 11(2), (4) and (5) of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007( 18) and all other powers enabling them to do so.
In accordance with section 11(7) of that Act, they have consulted the Minister for the Cabinet Office, the Welsh Ministers, the Department of Finance and Personnel for Northern Ireland and the Statistics Board( 19).
In accordance with section 65(6)(a) of that Act, a draft of this instrument has been laid before and approved by resolution of the Scottish Parliament.
Citation, commencement and extent
1. -(1) This Order may be cited as the Pre-release Access to Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008, and comes into force on the day after the day on which it is made.
(2) It extends to Scotland only.
2. In this Order-
"the Act" means the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007;
"the Code of Practice" means the Code of Practice for Statistics published under section 10 of the Act;
"market-sensitive statistics" means official statistics which when disclosed would, in the opinion of the person responsible, be reasonably likely to have a significant effect on the value or traded volume of any investment;
"Northern Ireland Minister" includes a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly appointed as a junior Minister under section 19 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998;
"official statistics" has the meaning given by section 67 of the Act;
"person responsible" has the meaning given by section 67 of the Act;
"Scottish devolved statistics" has the meaning given by section 66 of the Act;
"the UK Statistics Authority" means the Statistics Board (Am Bòrd an Staitistig) established under section 1 of the Act; and
"working day" means any day other than a Saturday, a Sunday, a day which is a bank holiday in Scotland under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 (c. 80), a day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning, or any other day when the offices of the person responsible are closed.
Pre-release access - wholly Scottish devolved official statistics
3. The Schedule sets out rules and principles relating to the granting of pre-release access to official statistics which are wholly Scottish devolved statistics for the purposes of the Code of Practice.
Authorised to sign by the Scottish Ministers
St Andrew's House,
SCHEDULE Article 3
Rules and principles for pre-release access - wholly Scottish devolved official statistics
1. -(1) The rules and principles in this Schedule apply to official statistics in their final form prior to publication-
(a) in respect of which a request is made to the UK Statistics Authority under section 12(1) of the Act (assessment for designation as National Statistics);
(b) insofar as the person responsible is under a duty under section 13 of the Act (to continue to comply with the Code of Practice) in respect of designated National Statistics; or
(c) which are re-assessed under section 14(1) of the Act.
(2) Nothing in this Order prevents statistics in their final form from being released to any individual directly responsible for their printing and production if they are only used for those purposes.
Persons to whom, and circumstances in which, pre-release access may be granted
2. -(1) The person responsible may grant pre-release access only insofar as that person considers it necessary to-
(a) ensure that the Scottish Ministers and office-holders or officials advising them understand the statistics and are able to comment on them without misinterpreting 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 statements or 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 statement or comment relating to those other statistics,
without their being informed of the statistics to which pre-release access may be granted;
(e) ensure that 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 that any statistics contained in that publication or material are correct or that the publication or material is otherwise properly informed by the official 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 a public statement or 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 the statistics to comment publicly on the statistics with 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 purpose under sub-paragraph (1) for which access is being granted; and
(b) to enforce the requirements and conditions specified in paragraphs 3 and 5.
Pre-release access restricted to individuals
3. -(1) Access granted under paragraph 2(1)(a) to (g) must be restricted to individual ministers, office-holders or officials.
(2) Those individuals may be given access (and pass on the statistics to other ministers, office-holders or officials) only where-
(a) necessary for the purpose under paragraph 2(1)(a) to (g) for which access is being granted; and
(b) a record is kept under paragraph 8(1)(b).
(3) Access granted under paragraph 2(1)(h) must be restricted to named individuals.
Maximum period of access
4. -(1) In the case of market-sensitive statistics the maximum period which may be allowed for pre-release access is 1 working day before publication.
(2) For other official statistics, the maximum period is 5 working days before publication.
(3) The person responsible may increase either of those maximum periods where that is necessary to fulfil one or more of the purposes set out in paragraph 2(1).
(4) In deciding whether or not to increase the maximum period the person responsible must take into account the risk of detriment to public trust in the integrity of official statistics.
(5) Where the person responsible increases the maximum period that person must publish that fact.
Conditions on pre-release access
5. -(1) The conditions in sub-paragraphs (2) to (8) apply to any person given access to official statistics under paragraph 2 or any individual given access under paragraph 3.
(2) The person or individual must (if they are not already so marked) apply any official security marking or mark the statistics-
(a) "Confidential" in the case of market-sensitive statistics; or
(b) "Restricted" in the case of other statistics.
(3) The person or individual must not disclose any of the statistics, or give any broad indication of their content or what they may show, to any individual who has not similarly been given access.
(4) The person or individual must only use the official statistics for the purpose for which access has been granted under paragraph 2(1).
(5) The person or individual must not use the official statistics for personal or political gain.
(6) Any accidental or wrongful disclosure of the statistics, or any broad indication of the contents of the statistics or what the statistics may show, by the person or individual, or by any other individual to whom such a disclosure is made of which the person or individual with access becomes aware, must be reported immediately by the person or individual to the person responsible.
(7) The person or individual must not seek to change format, content or timing of the publication of the official statistics, except in accordance with sub-paragraph (8).
(8) If the person or individual identifies errors or wishes to comment on format, timing or content the person or individual may communicate that to the person responsible.
Access to other persons - notification of UK Statistics Authority
6. Where access is granted under paragraph 2(1)(h) the person responsible must as soon as practicable notify the UK Statistics Authority of-
(a) the statistics to which access was granted;
(b) any individual given access for that purpose;
(c) for how long those individuals were given access; and
(d) the reason for granting access.
Breach of the rules and principles
7. The person responsible must take into account any record kept of a person or individual given access not adhering to the rules and principles in this Schedule where subsequently considering granting access to that person or individual under this Order in relation to any official statistics.
8. -(1) The person responsible must keep a record of-
(a) the statistics to which access is granted;
(b) the name or job title of any individual given access;
(c) for how long those individuals were given access;
(d) the reason for granting access, including the purpose under paragraph 2(1)(a) to (h) for which access was granted;
(e) any discussions or correspondence about the format, content or timing of the publication of any official statistics to which access is granted; and
(f) any report under paragraph 5(6) or information about any other failure to adhere to the rules and principles in this Schedule which comes to the person's notice.
(2) The record must be kept for a period of 7 years from the date of publication of the statistics.
Provision of information
9. -(1) The person responsible must, on request, provide information about any person given access under paragraph 2 or any individual given access under paragraph 3, and on the timing of that access.
(2) The person responsible must not seek to rely on the exemption in section 29 (formulation of Scottish Administration policy etc.) or 30 (prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002( 20) in relation to any records kept under paragraph 8.
(This note is not part of the Order)
This Order provides for rules and principles relating to the granting of pre-release access to official statistics which are wholly Scottish devolved statistics.
The rules and principles are relevant for the purposes of the assessment of official statistics as to whether they can be given National Statistics status by the Statistics Board established by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.