Annex A – 2020/21 Performance Review

Further information can be found in 2020/21 Performance Summary and the 2020/21 Annual Report and Accounts (link to be inserted once published), but this Annex presents an assessment of our performance against the key milestones in the 2020/21 Strategic Business Plan.

  • July 2020 – Inclusion and Diversity Action Plan launched
  • October 2020 – Experimental publication of GDP estimates using double deflation. We published experimental estimates of industry level Gross Value Added using double deflation, a key recommendation from the Independent Review of Economic Statistics. We will be fully incorporating these world leading methods into our GDP estimates in September 2021.
  • October 2020 Scale up the COVID-19 Infection Survey to full capacity. Achieved with over 150k households tested on a fortnightly basis from October across all four nations of the UK informing governments, businesses and society on the prevalence of the infection. See CIS section above for further information.
  • October 2020 Trade improvements implemented in Blue Book and Pink Book. A number of improvements were implemented in the National Accounts Blue Book and Pink Book 2020. These were mainly focused on addressing Gross National Income (GNI) reservations but also enabling improvements into Trade in Services as a result, the areas of development were disbursements, estimating cost of freight services, cross border travel estimates and transport account estimates (through the inclusion of new sources of data from the Chamber of Shipping and Civil Aviation Authority).
  • January 2021 Phase 2 Analytical Lighthouse projects launched through the Integrated Data Programme. The initial series of Analytical Lighthouse Projects provided policymakers with evidence and analyses to support major policy initiatives such as Net Zero and the most recent publication on understanding towns in England and Wales – helping Government address the Levelling-Up agenda. The COVID-19 risk factors Analytical Lighthouse Project created unique linked data resource that combines Census, healthcare and death registration data. This enabled fast production of essential insights into health inequalities to inform government priorities for shielding and lockdown measures. These Lighthouse Projects serve as practical, benefit generating examples of how IDP will operate in the future demonstrating our approach to working with other government colleagues to unlock value even in the initial pilot phases of our programmes.
  • February 2021 Phase 1 completion of business prices annual chain linking. We implemented annually chain-linked business prices in line with international best practice for the first time, improving consistency with other price indices such as the Consumer Prices Index (CPI)
  • March 2021 Business case developed for future Enterprise Resource Planning solution. This has been addressed through the initiation, including business case approval, of our Corporate Systems Improvement Programme (CSIP) in readiness for a planned procurement exercise in 2022.
  • March 2021 Census 2021. It was a critical year in preparing for Census 2021 with Census Day on 21 March. Census 2021 is the core strategic deliverable of ONS’s wider Census and Data Collection Transformation Programme; focusing on transforming the population and social statistics system to produce data that reflects everyone in society; and the first Census where completion was made primarily through the electronic questionnaire, allowing the public to complete online at a scale never before seen. By March 2021 the creation of an in-house digital cloud infrastructure successfully delivered this first online Census, enabling 30 million respondents to access their Census survey online. 15,341 FTE Census Field Staff were recruited and employed in year on short term fixed contracts highlighting the scale of Census operation. In a press release of 4 May 2021, we published our headline figures for completion which at the time of writing stands at 97% which exceeds the overall target response rate of 94%. This is a significant achievement made more so given that the Census 2021 activities have progressed during the time of the unprecedented COVID19 pandemic. Using the lessons learned as we have progressed in our Census planning, research has continued to support recommendations the National Statistician will make in 2023 on the future of the Census. The recommendations will cover the measures necessary to support the transformed system and will be shaped through consultation and engagement with a broad range of audiences.
  • March 2021 Deliver the Full Business Case for the Integrated Data Programme. The Integrated Data Programme Full Business Case was submitted to HM Treasury on 25 March 2021, See IDP sections above for further information.
Back to top

Annex B – Workforce Breakdown

The tables below provide an overview of our current workforce; all figures are Full-Time Equivalent:

Workforce by Profession

Profession of PostFull-Time Equivalent
Digital, Data and Technology587
Government Commercial Service34
Government Communication Service82
Government Economic Service148
Government Finance55
Government Legal Service1
Government Operational Research Service26
Government Project Delivery Service222
Government Property Profession15
Government Social Research Profession521
Government Statistical Service Profession516
Human Resources Profession150
Internal Audit Profession3
Knowledge and Information Management Profession15
Operational Delivery Profession2498
Policy Profession55
Security Profession33

Workforce by Grade

GradeFull-Time Equivalent
AA or AO467
HEO Specialist264
SEO Specialist295
G6 or G7897

Workforce by Location

Base locationFull-Time Equivalent
National (Scotland)19

*The values for each profession have been rounded up to the nearest whole number.

Back to top

Annex C – ONS Priority Themes

The list below sets out the current ONS priorities that informed the 2021/22 Planning Round.

Core statistical areas

  • Economic Growth (GDP)
  • Inflation
  • UK Trade
  • Public Sector Finances
  • Population
  • Life Events
  • Migration
  • Labour Market
  • Health and Social Care
  • Crime
  • Household Finances
  • Environment

Horizontal lenses to be applied across statistical areas

  • Pandemic response and recovery (including productivity and wellbeing)
  • Inequalities – people (including Inclusive Data Taskforce)
  • Inequalities – place (including Levelling Up)
  • Faster Indicators

Analytical themes

  • Levelling up
  • EU Exit
  • Net zero
  • COVID-19

Invest to Save themes

  • Continuous improvement
  • Automation
  • Corporate systems

Strategic Enablers/Programmes

  • Census & Data Collection Transformation Programme (CDCTP)
  • Ambitious, Radical and Inclusive Economic Statistics Programme (ARIES)
  • COVID-19 Infection Survey (CIS)
  • Integrated Data Programme (IDP)
  • Corporate Systems Improvement Programme (CSIP)

Strategic Objectives

  • SO1 Analytical narrative
  • SO2 Integration of government data
  • SO3 Tools, technology, skills
  • SO4 Priority stats and outputs
  • SO5 Census
  • SO6 Utilise resources
  • SO7 Publication and two way engagement model
  • SO8 Working environment and One ONS
Back to top