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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-25080

  • Asked by: Fergus Ewing, MSP for Inverness and Nairn, Scottish National Party
  • Date lodged: 8 February 2024
  • Current status: Answered by Shona Robison on 7 March 2024


To ask the Scottish Government under whose ministerial direction the redactions to the Hamilton Report were made; whether it will provide the name of the lead official in charge of such redactions; how many civil servants were involved in the process of redaction; whether it will provide, where possible, the (a) names and (b) job titles of those civil servants; whether any special advisers were involved in the redaction process and, if so, whether it will provide their (i) names and (ii) job titles.


No ministerial direction was made in relation to the redactions to the Hamilton Report. The Ministerial Code sets out the appropriate process for any referrals by the First Minister to the independent advisors. In accordance with that process, the former Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, was the Minister with overall responsibility however he had no involvement in the redaction process.

The report was redacted for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the court orders, and to redact any personal data where processing of personal data would not be lawful under data protection law, by the Scottish Government’s Organisational Continuity Team. None of the civil servants from the Organisational Continuity Team was a special adviser and no Special Advisers were involved in the redaction process of the Hamilton Report.

Please note we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested relating to names. This information is personal data of a third party, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and Section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018.