Midlothian Council secretive according to MSP

A secretive information culture exists at Midlothian Council which fails to ensure it is accountable to council tax-payers, according to a Lothians MSP.

Christine Grahame MSP made the comments after details obtained under the Freedom of Information Act revealed there was no uniform policy on the length of time information — such as emails — should be retained.

Ms Grahame (SNP) said: "The question many council taxpayers will be asking is, 'what have they got to hide?' Virtually every other public body I have dealt with retains and holds an archive of emails written and sent by council officials."

The MSP said the local authority's record and file management procedures were inadequate and has passed on her concerns to the Scottish Information Commissioner.

Chief executive of the local authority, Trevor Muir, defended the current system and said: "Record retention schedules are in place across the council in accordance with the business needs of that division. "

MSP makes Midlothian Council secrecy claim (Midlothian Today, 28 August 2008)