Scottish Parliament criticised as anti-democratic and unaccountable

MSPs and lobbyists have complained about the way the Scottish Parliament carries out its day to day business. They have claimed that up to a third of committee business in Holyrood is conducted in private and that this is anti-democratic. Details are not recorded in the Official Report and critics say that the members are not accountable for the decisions they have reached. John Swinburne, MSP for the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party, stated: "Openness in government should be totally open."

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Parliament said that there was nothing to stop committees going into private sessions. She emphasised that, although the records of votes and comments by MSPs were not reported, the final decisions of all committees are published.

Freedom of information suppressed by secretive Holyrood (The Scotsman, 3 January 2005)