The Scottish Government's failure to comply with its legal requirement to make information public is a cause for concern, the freedom of information watchdog has said.

Information Commissioner Rosemary Agnew criticised Scottish ministers for failing to respond to requests from journalists.

One request from the Sunday Herald was "mislaid" for three months, while another from the Mail on Sunday newspaper has gone unanswered for over four months without explanation.

Ministers failed to comply with their legal requirement to respond in 20 days in both cases.

The Sunday Herald ruling stated: "As the ministers did not provide a response to (reporter) Tom Gordon's requirement for review within 20 working days, the commissioner finds that they failed to comply.

"She notes that in their response to Mr Gordon's requirement for review, they apologise for the delay in responding and explained that his request was mislaid after it was received."

The Mail on Sunday ruling stated: "Given the time which has elapsed since the requirement for review, she views with some concern the ministers' inability to confirm compliance, or a projected date for compliance, at the time of this decision."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "Scotland has the most robust freedom of information regime in the UK and continues to strive for improved performance.

"While the Scottish Government always tries to respond to FoI requests in a timely and effective manner, it received its highest number of requests on record so far last year. In addition, we continued to answer large volumes of routine requests and other correspondence on a daily basis.

"At the end of last year we passed an FoI Bill through Parliament to further strengthen the Scottish freedom of information legislation, including paving the way for information to be made available to the public earlier, ensuring that it remains robust and fully fit for purpose.

"We also proactively publish a huge range of information about all aspects of our work."