I’ve written twice about this subject before. The first occasion was when it emerged that minister Humza Yousaf’s engagements during a visit to Qatar in May 2013 were missing from the standard list of ministerial engagements published by the Scottish government. On 4 June a government spokesperson had said the list would be provided within 24 hours. The second time was when I followed up with an article on my own investigations about his itinerary from publicly-available information. By that time, actually on 17 June, his list of engagements had been promised ‘soon.’
As of today, fourteen working days after the information was promised ‘soon,’ it has still not been published. Given the promises previously made, that seems to me long enough for the information to emerge on a voluntary basis. As it hasn’t, I have submitted a Freedom of Information request to the government in the following terms:
I would be grateful if you could provide the following information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. It relates to the list of ministerial engagements for May 2013 published on the Scottish Government web site and in particular to the list of engagements for the Minister of External Affairs and International Development.
Please provide me with a list all the Minister’s engagements after 17 and before 23 May in the standard published format. According to the media he was in Qatar for three days from 19 May so I assume that your response will include engagements during that period.
The government has twenty working days to provide the information. So on or about 4 August I expect, a full two months after it was first promised ‘within 24 hours,’ to be able to answer definitively the question of what the minister did in Qatar in May 2013.