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Legislative Background

Framework for Official Statistics

The Framework for Scottish Official Statistics provides a statement of how the statistics produced by, or for, the Scottish Government are managed and how professional independence of the production and publication of those statistics is upheld in line with official statistics and international standards.

Pre-release Access to Official Statistics

Pre-release access is the term used to describe the access provided to statistics in their final form immediately prior to publication, for specific purposes. In Scotland the main purpose is to enable those producing the statistics to ensure that those responsibile for delivery are able to comment in an informed manner when the statistics are published. The rules governing pre-release access sit out-with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics and are determined by Parliamentary Order:

Legislative Consent Motion

Under an agreement known as the "Sewel Convention", Westminster will not pass legislation that contain relevant provisions without first obtaining the consent of the Scottish Parliament. The consent itself is given through a motion (a Legislative Consent Motion (LCM)) which is taken in the Chamber - but the detailed scrutiny is done by a committee on the basis of a memorandum.

A LCM had to be agreed to for the Statistics and Registration Service Bill to be extended to Scotland. On 1 February 2007, the LCM was taken in the Main Chamber at Holyrood following a short debate. The motion was passed on division; details of the proceedings can be found in the official report.

Parliamentary proceedings at Westminster

The Statistics and Registration Service Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 21 November 2006. It received Royal Assent on 26 July 2007 and thus became an Act of Parliament. The Act commenced on 1 April 2008.

Policies and Procedures

The Policies and Procedures section provides information on how official statistics produced and published by the Scottish Government and other bodies are governed and the frameworks within which we work

  • Producing Official Statistics                                                                                                                         Provides information on arrangements in Scotland to ensure the quality and integrity of official statistics.
  • Guidance for Public Bodies Producing Official Statistics (PDF)                                                                Provides guidance and links tailored specifically for public bodies producing and publishing official statistics.

Data Sharing and Linkage

Scottish ministers have agreed a policy to maximize the value of public data by sharing data and linking data from different sources wherever possible. To assist in streamlining this process whilst protecting public confidentiality under the requirements of the Data Protection Act, a framework for data linkage has been established.