Information needed Response
Title and link to statistical output NI Monthly Deaths – June 2021
Name of producer organisation Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Name and contact details of person dealing with report Carly Gordon
tel: 028 90 255271
Name and contact details of Head of Profession for Statistics or Lead Official Siobhan Carey, NISRA Chief Executive and
Registrar General,
Link to published statement about the breach (if relevant)
Date of breach report 15 July 2021

Information needed Response
Relevant principle(s) and practice(s) Principle T3: Orderly release
Practice T3.1, T3.2: Statistics not published on preannounced date
Date of occurrence of breach 9 July 2021 at 9.30am

The update of the monthly death statistics up to June 2021 was scheduled for publication at 9.30am on 9 July.

The Vital Statistics Unit was notified at 11.42am on 15 July by a user that the file uploaded to the monthly deaths page was in fact the file relating to weekly deaths. Both publications were going out on the same day at the same time, which is the circumstances that led to the wrong file being uploaded to the monthly deaths page. As soon as the Unit was notified the correct file was uploaded.

Key statistics relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths in Northern Ireland (NI) were not available online publicly on the announced date and time. These statistics have medium public and media interest but are lower profile than the weekly deaths which were released at the same time.

The file was immediately corrected as soon as a user reported having difficulties in accessing the relevant information, so the impact of the breach is minimal. Overall, the release of the statistics was delayed by 6 days (2 working days, due to public holidays). No other complaints or requests for the data were received.

The Vital Statistics Unit is introducing a further step in the publication process whereby another member of the team, who is not involved in uploading the data, will be asked to check links as they become live to verify that the correct information is available.