The anxiously awaited report into the use of PR and lobbying firms
by publicly-funded bodies in Scotland could appear as early as the end
of this week.
The report is expected to put into the public domain details of the
contracts between PR firms and public bodies - from the Scottish Prisons
Service to local museums. It was promised by the Scottish First Minister
Donald Dewar last September, following claims in The Observer that PR
firm Beattie Media had improper access to Scottish ministers.
A spokesperson for the Scottish Executive, the body of devolved
Government which returned to full session on Wednesday this week, said
the report might be published ’towards the end’ of the week, but would
certainly appear before the end of the month.
’The review has been completed and is with ministers who will decide how
much to release. The point is to show how much money is being spent on
There has been speculation that the report might make recommendations
about when PR agencies should and should not be used. Scottish agencies
want the report published as soon as possible, as they believe the
current vacuum is hurting business.
Ian Coldwell, a director of Scottish firm PS Communication Consultants,
said: ’Our concern is that public sector organisations are being
affected by the uncertainty.’