For the first time, Scottish cabinet documents are to be made freely accessible online so that individuals can read them because of the corona virus at home.
The National Archives of Scotland declared the move when, in 2005, the year of the G8 summit in Gleneagles, it unsealed cabinet files under the 15-year rule for opening state files north of the border.
Cabinet debates on lap dancing, a new Boundaries railroad, a potential ban on construction of the freeway and a possible new road bridge over the Forth are included in the files.
They also include the moment when Labour and Liberal Democratic ministers praised Jeane Freeman, now SNP health minister, for her role as Labour’s special advisor in the previous coalition government.
The records will be available for online access beginning next month.
It will be the first time documents from the Scottish Cabinet have been made available for viewing at home, rather than in person at the Edinburgh NRS house.
Paul Lowe, Chief Executive of NRS, said, “The release of the Scottish Cabinet Files gives us the opportunity to revisit and better understand recent events and provide a valuable insight into the unprecedented workings of our democracy.”
I am especially pleased that we will use technology to make these documents more available and to a far larger audience than ever before.
These documents cover a wide variety of interesting subjects, including the application of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act and debates on the preparedness of Scotland in the case of an outbreak of avian flu.’
“We are delighted to be working with National Records of Scotland to fulfill the Scottish Government’s commitment to openness and transparency,” said SNP Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Graeme Dey.
I would like to thank NRS for its creativity in seeking alternative technical solutions to meet the challenges they have faced this year.
“These records are always of great interest to journalists, historians and members of the public who want to learn more about Scotland’s history and government.”