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Information Commissioner to fast-track referendum information requests

June 30, 2014 3:08 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scotland's independent Information Commissioner has warned that she Willie RennieWillie Renniewill fast track freedom of information appeals on referendum matters in the run up to September 18th.

In a letter to Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, Rosemary Agnew said that applications will be considered speedily so that voters can have all the necessary information before they vote.

The warning was received after Willie Rennie wrote to the commissioner seeking assistance in the battle over the government's failure to publish set up costs for an independent Scotland.

Commenting, Willie Rennie said:

"It is heartening to know that the Information Commissioner is alive to the critical importance of the referendum and the need for government to be open and up front with the voters.

"Alex Salmond's point blank refusal to publish the government's work on set up costs is a real problem for voters. We know that the work was started two years ago by John Swinney and we know that Nicola Sturgeon has commissioned work last year. Yet none of the workings have been published.

"Just last week I had no answers to yet another set of parliamentary questions I had tabled. I am likely to need the assistance of the information commissioner to get the answers that everyone wants but the government won't tell us.

"Professor Patrick Dunleavy, the First Minister's favourite expert on set up costs, states that the additional cost for setting up an independent Scotland will be seven times higher that the figure Alex Salmond likes to use. So once again Alex Salmond is alone on set up costs.

"This is why we need the Government to stop the secrecy and open up on set up costs."