Information needed Response
Title and link to statistical output Labour Force Survey Annual Tables 2020
Name of producer organisation Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA)
Name and contact details of person dealing with report Jennifer McLoughlin
Tel: 02890 529228
Name and contact details of Head of Profession for Statistics/Lead Official Siobhan Carey, NISRA Chief Executive and
Registrar General,
Link to published statement about the breach (if relevant)
Date of breach report 23/11/21

Information needed Response
Relevant principle(s) and practice(s) Trustworthiness T3.3: Orderly Release
Date of occurrence of breach 22/11/21

Following the release of headline labour market statistics for 2020 earlier in 2021, additional breakdowns of 2020 data, including by Local Government District, were scheduled for release at 09:30 on 23rd November 2021.

As part of the scheduling process, a draft of an existing NISRA page was edited on 22/11/21 to replace two existing files (Microsoft Excel and ODS) with latest Local Government District labour market data (2020) due for release the following day, which inadvertently went live at 17:30 when the page was saved. The issue was noticed immediately by the production team, where the unpublished documents were removed from the existing page and replaced by the previous files by 17:33 and therefore users accessing LGD statistics via this NISRA page after 17.33 would have accessed the previous data and not the unpublished data.

Liaison with NISRA Dissemination Branch concluded that no one accessed the statistics except those who were part of the production team.

Additional breakdowns of NI labour market data by Local Government District for 2020 were available online to the public for three minutes, the evening before scheduled release date, but the issue was noticed immediately and the page was amended to revert back to the previous file.

The ODS file was not accessed, and the Excel link was accessed once on 22/11/21, which was a member of the NISRA production team and therefore there appears to have been zero impact as a result of this breach.

On the morning of 23/11/21 a new secure publication page was created on the NISRA website for the Local Government District tables, rather than replacing a file on the existing page. The team were unaware that the existing page was a standard (rather than a secure) publication page and because of this, the new draft of the page and the files on it could be accessed immediately (despite their ‘draft’ status), even if the files have a unique name.

Internal branch guidance documents and checklists will be updated to ensure that only secure publication pages are used when uploading embargoed official statistics to the NISRA site.