§ Dr. Cable
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether the HM Treasury official involved in the early release of statistics on 24 October had authorised access to those statistics; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what the arrangements are for the preparation of briefing materials on statistics to which HM Treasury has pre-release access; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) if he will list all the people outside the Office for National Statistics who had pre-release access to the retail sales estimates and other market moving statistics; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) when the provisions for pre-release access to National Statistics releases by HM Treasury (a) Ministers and (b) officials were last changed; and if he will make a statement; 
(5) if he will list the HM Treasury provisions for prerelease access to National Statistics releases by HM Treasury (a) Ministers and (b) officials. 
§ Ruth Kelly
In line with long-standing practice under this and previous Administrations, Ministers with policy responsibility for the relevant subject matter, and a small number of their officials, are granted limited early access to statistical releases to enable them to respond completely when questions arise at the time of the release of the data. The list of Treasury Ministers and officials who have authorised pre-release access to National Statistics First Releases is available on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website.729W
In addition the Macroeconomic Statistics Service Level Agreement, drawn up between ONS and HM Treasury in 1998, lists a further small number of individuals at HM Treasury who receive copies of HM Treasury's internal briefing on these statistical releases before the publication of the data. Since 1998, this list has been updated to reflect changes to personnel and staff structures with the overall number of individuals reduced from eight to seven.
As confirmed by the Treasury at the time, the official from whom the September retail sales data was improperly ascertained had authorised early access to those data.
As noted in the Treasury's statement of 5 November, the Treasury views this incident extremely seriously and is rigorously examining all its procedures to ensure that any repetition is avoided.