4. The consultation document "Improving Statistical Services in Scotland" was published on the Scottish Government website on 11 December 2006 1. The consultation paper was circulated to all those on the ScotStat register, which is the Scottish Government Statistics Group consultation network for user and providers of Scottish Official Statistics. The register has over 1,500 members 2.
5. Sixteen organisations and individuals responded to the consultation, which was in two parts - the legislation (the Act) and the other proposals to improve statistical services in Scotland. Nine of the 16 bodies responding were public sector organisations. A list of respondents is at Annex A.
6. Some of the respondents provided feedback on the availability of specific data. Although the detail of data gaps is not covered in this report, the feedback from respondents will be used in considering future plans and priorities.
7. The consultation responses on the legislation were provided to the then Finance Committee of the Parliament to inform their consideration of the legislative consent motion to allow key parts of the Act to apply to Scotland.
Finance Committee Scrutiny
8. The Committee received written evidence from a number of organisations and individuals, and took oral evidence from the then Deputy Minister for Finance, Public Service Reform and Parliamentary Business and the Chief Statistician on 12 December 2006.
9. In its final report, published on 24 January 2007, the Committee recommended that the Scottish Parliament give legislative consent to extend the Act to Scotland. The Committee also made a number of specific recommendations, including how its successor Committee might get involved in the new statistical set-up. On 22 March 2007, the then Finance Minister responded to the Committee's report welcoming the thrust of the Committee's recommendations 3.
10. Following the publication of the UK Government's consultation paper 'Independence for Statistics' in March 2006, which proposed what became the 2007 Act, the Scottish Parliament debated the implications for Scotland, on 11 May 2006 4.
11. On 1 February 2007, the Scottish Parliament had a short debate before the legislative consent motion to extend the Act to Scotland was passed 5.
12. There were a number of debates as the Act progressed through Westminster. 6
The Annual Statistics Stakeholder Conference 2007
13. The Annual Statistics Stakeholder Conference was held on 4 October 2007 in Edinburgh. The event included two workshops that explored how those producing Scottish Official Statistics can improve the service that they provide to external stakeholders. 7