This story was followed up by the BBC:
It also prompted the following statements from Scottish Labour and the Scottish Liberal Democrats:
Commenting on the joint FOI letter from journalists to Derek Mackay, Scottish Labour’s Culture spokesperson Lewis Macdonald MSP said:
“This is a welcome and important intervention from some of Scotland’s most experienced journalists.
“The SNP often trumpets its alleged openness and transparency, but clearly it is falling wide of the mark.
“Labour introduced Freedom of Information legislation to ensure government was accessible to the public and journalists as far as possible.
“SNP ministers must now take action to ensure their government is as open and transparent as they profess – or else public concern that they have something to hide will only grow.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat business manager Mike Rumbles MSP today demanded the SNP Government become more open and transparent after over twenty journalists signed a letter accusing it of frustrating freedom of information (FOI) law and failing to keep records.
Commenting, Mr Rumbles said:
“It is worrying to see so many respected journalists feel the need to sign such a letter. The law is clear about what information the Scottish Government has a duty to disclose but it is being flouted time and again. Minutes of meetings aren’t being taken to ensure there is no paper trail on what was discussed and how decisions are reached. The public is being cheated.
“Trying to get information out of the Scottish Government is like wrestling with jelly. Even the freedom of information commissioner has condemned its approach as being unacceptable and rude.
“We have seen attempts to conceal non-existent legal advice on an independent Scotland’s EU membership, costs of luxury hotels for a trip to a gold tournament in Chicago withheld and the curbing of communications relating to the SNP’s plans to centralise HIE.
“SNP ministers may want to keep working in shadows but Scottish Liberal Democrats are determined to strengthen and expand the public’s right to information.”