EVIDENCE in the short inquiry over Scotland's ability to test for coronavirus has been kept under lock and key, because it was felt that it would allow more people to testify.

The committee led by the Scottish Labour convener, Lewis Macdonald also went into secret session on Wednesday to consider certain evidence, after the health secretary Jeane Freeman and Caroline Lamb, the director of the test and protect portfolio spoke to the MSPs in an open session.

A Parliament spokesman said: "Decisions on anonymity or otherwise are taken by the Committee convener. The rationale for this was to ensure people felt confident to fully disclose any issues in detail that they may have faced."

The short inquiry approach was aimed at understanding how restrictions can be "substantially eased when the number people across Scotland who have had or have the virus is unknown and remains unclear".

A call for view on testing capacity and strategy ran from May 6 to May 20.

Other similar examinations through Citizen Space have a process where groups, experts and the general public can choose to make their observations anonymously - although it may not be accepted.

But the Parliament stresses: One of the founding principles of the Scottish Parliament is transparency and openness.

"It is standard practice for the committee to publish your submission on the committee’s webpage on the Scottish Parliament website.

"Once the submissions are publicly available, the committee may also discuss them in meetings or use them to demonstrate a point of view in written reports."

It says that contact details like email addresses provided will not be published but may be used by the Parliament to contact you about your response or to provide you with further information about the committee work.

People can ask committees to treat their views in what is described as a "non-standard way" either anonymously or they can be treated as 'confidential' and are not published online or referenced in any reports.

But rules over submissions state: "The final decision on whether your views will be accepted either anonymously or as a ‘not for publication response’ is for the committee to take.

"If the committee turns down your request for your submission to be processed in a non-standard way you can choose to withdraw your submission at that stage."