Under the provisions of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, the UK Statistics Authority has a statutory responsibility to assess whether the Code of Practice has been complied with in relation to any official statistics, subject to a request from an appropriate authority (as defined in the Act). Where the Authority determines that the Code has been complied with it will designate the statistics as “National Statistics”, but otherwise not. These arrangements also apply to statistics already designated as National Statistics which will all be re-assessed.

In fulfilling its statutory remit, the Authority will use the assessment process, in line with the Code of Practice, to identify steps that could be taken to improve the service to users of the statistics, and will report accordingly. Such assessment will support the Authority’s overall objective, which is to promote and safeguard the production and publication of official statistics that serve the public good.

The Authority also has a statutory responsibility to prepare and publish a programme for the assessment of statistics. Following the completion of the initial set of assessments , the Authority has asked its Monitoring and Assessment Team to begin to assess the following groups of statistics against the Code. The precise scope of these assessments will be discussed and agreed with producers. This set of assessments will be supplemented with a more extensive and detailed programme for the remainder of 2009/10 and future years once more formal arrangements have been made to group and prioritise outputs for assessment. This programme will be announced in the autumn.

The Authority will keep the sequence and timing of these assessments under review, and it is possible that changes will be made to the programme.

To start in July 2009

  1. Energy Statistics (Department of Energy and Climate Change)
  2. Agriculture in the UK and associated commodity surveys (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
  3. NHS Referral to Treatment Waiting Times (Department of Health)
  4. Child Benefit Statistics and Tax Credit Statistics (HM Revenue and Customs)
  5. National Child Measurement Programme (Information Centre for Health and Social Care)
  6. Criminal Justice Statistics (Ministry of Justice)
  7. Average Weekly Earnings and the Index of Labour Costs per Hour (Office for National Statistics)
  8. Outputs relating to Producer Price Indices and the Services Producer Price Index (Office for National Statistics)
  9. Large-scale cross-sectional Scottish Government surveys (Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, Scottish Health Survey, Scottish House Condition Survey, Scottish Household Survey) (Scottish Government)

Special assessment of outputs from the Population Census (Office for National Statistics, Welsh Assembly Government, General Register Office for Scotland, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency)

To be started in October 2009

  1. Regional Statistics (Department of Energy and Climate Change)
  2. Labour Market Statistics (Office for National Statistics, Welsh Assembly Government, Scottish Government, Northern Ireland departments)
  3. Education Statistics (Department for Children, Schools and Families, Welsh Assembly Government, Scottish Government, Northern Ireland departments)

For more information please contact: 07786 892263, 07990 795693 or 07971 186710.