FOI reveals extent of Scottish Executive consultations

Figures released by the Scottish Executive under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act have revealed that 985 consultation papers have been issued by the Scottish Executive since it was created in 1999.

The Scotsman estimates that the cost to the taxpayer for all of the Executive's consultations to date could be around £30 million. Critics say that the Executive is using consultations as a substitute for action and this has led to accusations that ministers are consulting rather than governing.

Interesting consultations include: a consultation on how to enhance sexual wellbeing in Scotland, economic evaluation of the Apple and Pear Council, a consultation paper on proposals to amend the statutory controls and the UK code of practice for the agricultural use of sewage sludge, a consultation paper on high hedges, a consultation on road user charging, and a Draft Code of Recommendation for the Welfare of Goats.

Consultations head for 1,000 mark (The Scotsman, 11 August 2005) Free registration required

List of consultations (PDF file, Scottish Executive website)