On Thursday (1st February) local MSP Neil Findlay chaired a meeting in the Scottish Parliament of the ‘Get It Minuted Campaign’
Alongside long time freedom of information campaigner Carole Ewart and journalist Fiona Davidson, Neil raised the issue of the Scottish Government’s continuous refusal to minute ministerial meetings and in doing so leave them unaccountable to the public.
The ‘Get it Minuted’ Campaign is calling on people and organisations to insist that there are agendas, notes and minutes for any meetings with the Scottish Government.
The issue has gained increasing prominence in recent months as it has been revealed the First Minister regularly keeps no record of meetings with high profile individuals, and the Justice Minister Michael Matheson has come under pressure for his role in politicising the SPA (Scottish Police Authority). The SPA recently confirmed they do not routinely minute meetings with Scottish Government representatives.
Neil Findlay said:
“The Scottish Government are developing a reputation for secrecy for the sake of secrecy. This is an administration that sees everything on a need to know basis. Well, the people have a right to know what their government is up to – that is why we have Freedom of Information.
“If a Minister is meeting on an important matter in the public interest, then the content of that meeting should be recorded, it’s as simple as that.
“In the coming months I will be pushing this issue repeatedly until serious changes are made. At our meeting in Parliament it was agreed action will have to be taken, and the Scottish Labour Party fully supports those moves.
“I encourage everyone to write to their MSP in support of the Get it Minuted campaign so that we can clearly see there is no room for closed door government in Scotland”