T4: Transparent processes and management

Organisations should have effective business processes and appropriate resources to support their statistical functions and be open about their plans, priorities and progress.


T4.1 Organisations should be transparent about their approach to public engagement with users, potential users, and other stakeholders with an interest in the public good served by the statistics.

T4.2 A work programme should be established and regularly reviewed. Statistics producers should be open about progress towards meeting priorities and objectives. Users and other stakeholders should be involved to help prioritise statistical plans.

T4.3 Sufficient human, financial and technological resources should be provided to deliver  statistical services that serve the public good.

T4.4 Good business practices should be maintained in the use of resources. Where appropriate, statistics producers should take opportunities to share resources and collaborate to achieve common goals and produce coherent statistics.

T4.5 Organisations should be open about their commitment to quality and make clear their approach to quality management. They should ensure that the organisational structure and tools are in place to manage quality effectively, and promote and adopt appropriate quality standards.

T4.6 Independent measures, such as internal and external audit, peer review and National Statistics Quality Reviews, should be used to evaluate the effectiveness of statistical processes. Statistics producers should be open about identified areas for improvement.

Case studies

The Welsh Government produces all official statistics on housing for Wales and engages with a wide range of users and stakeholders on these statistics.

In 2013, statisticians in the Welsh Government refreshed and relaunched an existing user group as the Housing Information Group (HIG). The HIG meets three times a year (two themed meetings and one seminar) and acts as a forum for the Welsh Government, local authorities, housing associations, participating agencies, and the academic housing research community to share views about housing.

The HIG meetings are used to inform stakeholders and users about ongoing developments in policy, data collection and statistics and to discuss future developments to housing statistics. The Welsh Government publishes the agenda, minutes and actions from each meeting on its website.

Discussions at the HIG have influenced decisions about the scope and content of a new Housing Conditions Survey and the direction of work on the Housing Stock Analytical Resource for Wales. They also influenced the direction of work to investigate the feasibility of collecting individual statutory homelessness data.

This demonstrates that the Welsh Government is transparent about its public engagement with users, potential users and stakeholders.

The Welsh Government also publishes a Statistical Quality Management Strategy , which is a helpful document that demonstrates that it is open about its commitment to quality and quality management.

The strategy reflects relevant Code Pillars, Principles and Practices and includes general information about the quality of Welsh Government statistics and the users of its statistics. It describes the Welsh Government’s four Statistical Quality Objectives (quality assurance training, questioning data, publishing quality reports, and reviewing processes and outputs). The strategy explains how it implements the four objectives, contains links to example quality reports, and provides guidance for analysts on checking and validating data.

Adopting a transparent and consistent approach to user engagement and quality management helps the Welsh Government to demonstrate to its users that they can have confidence in its statistical services and products.

Ofsted inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages. Ofsted is an official statistics producer that publishes statistics on its inspections and outcomes.

Ofsted statisticians identified an opportunity to explore data in the Ages and Stages Questionnaire collected by NHS Digital. The Ages and Stages Questionnaire is used to assess the development of preschool children, with all children in England eligible for a development review around their second birthday. This opportunity was driven by a desire to provide Ofsted inspectors with more information about early years settings.

A secondment arrangement was established after securing buy-in from senior leadership in both organisations. This provided an Ofsted analyst with secure access to NHS Digital data sources, allowing them to take forward the project with the appropriate security controls.

This sharing of resources resulted in the release of a publication which described the exploratory analysis undertaken. The report was welcomed by both producer bodies and demonstrated the value in focussing on improving the quality of some of NHS Digital’s less frequently used data sources.

This work is a good example of statistics producers working together to share resources and collaborate on a project that benefits both users and producers.

Guidance and resources

A document that summarises the process to create, update and agree all Government Statistical Service (GSS) policies, standards, guidance and strategies. The document highlights the process required to upload documents on the Policy and guidance hub and the metadata which should be included within them.Governance for statistical policies, standards and guidanceGSS
A webpage that outlines the expectations and legislation requirements, and describes the need for administrations to work together.Devolution and the GSSGSS
Guidance that aims to help producers of official statistics consider how best to involve other administrations.Working across the devolved administrationsGSS
Guidance that provides practical advice on how to communicate quality, uncertainty and change for different types of statistics and for a range of audiences.Communicating quality, uncertainty and changeGSS
Guidance on using social media to disseminate statistics. It is designed for departments who want to get started on social media, but may also be helpful for departments already using social media.Guidance on using social media in the GSSGSS
The Concordat sets out the agreed framework for co-operation between the UK Government (including the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) and Office for National Statistics (ONS)) and devolved administrations, in relation to the production of statistics, for and within the UK, statistical standards and the statistics profession.Concordat on Statistics (between UK Government, ONS, UKSA and devolved administrations) (PDF, 0.09MB)GSS
The government has published a revised set of government consultation principles. These principles give clear guidance to government departments on conducting consultations.Guidance on public consultationsCabinet Office
Published and upcoming official statistics from across UK government, including statistical releases and data tables.gov.uk statistics release calendarUK Government