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Official Statistics New Producers’ Seminar Thursday 24 th February 2011.

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1 Official Statistics New Producers’ Seminar Thursday 24 th February 2011

2 SEMINAR AGENDA Seminar introduction - aims & key roles Julie Wilson, Deputy Chief Statistician Welcome from the Chief Statistician Rob Wishart, Chief Statistician The Code of Practice for Official Statistics Janette Purbrick, Office of the Chief Statistician Pre-release Access to Official Statistics Rob Wishart and Janette Purbrick Statistical Support for Public Bodies Chris Newson, Office of the Chief Statistician Introduction to how Official Statistics become National Statistics Janette Purbrick The Role of the UK Statistics Authority Neil Jackson, head of the Edinburgh branch of the Authority

3 Seminar introduction - aims & key roles Julie Wilson Deputy Chief Statistician Office of the Chief Statistician Thursday 24 th February 2011

4 Seminar delegates today Crown bodies – Official Statistics producers because of the Act Non-Crown bodies – Official Statistics producers because of Parliamentary Order Scottish Government statistical and policy staff

5 Today’s Aims Background Legislation Practicalities Other services Understanding key roles Broader Context

6 Background – key legislation Statistics and Registration Services Act –Defined ‘Official Statistics’ and stated who produces them The S&RS Act 2007 defined Official Statistics as those statistics produced by the Scottish Administration and Crown bodies (primary legislation)….. ….. and other bodies that Scottish Ministers agree to by parliamentary order (secondary legislation) –Created UK Statistics Authority –Created ‘Code of Practice for Official Statistics’ –Assessment and Designation for National Statistics status Pre-release access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order Official Statistics (Scotland) Order Official Statistics (Scotland) Amended Order

7 Key roles Lead official within the producer body responsible for the production of statistical outputs within their organisation ie operational matters, and for compliance with the Code of Practice and pre- release arrangements. Sponsoring ASD and SG to provide statistical advice, on code compliance etc. Chief Statistician to provide statistical advice on breaches and other issues (like Chief Statistician’s current role for GROS & ISD)

8 Communication channel Producer Body Ministers Scottish Government - ASD Scottish Government - Chief Statistician

9 Welcome from the Chief Statistician Rob Wishart Thursday 24 th February 2011

10 Why are statistics different  What’s special about statistics  inform government  inform the public about government  International standards  Issues in Britain

11 Developments in UK  First Official Statistics Code  1997 elections and development of “National Statistics”  Run up to Statistics & Registration Service Act 2007  Scottish Parliament endorsement

12 Scotland and UK - differences  Fewer issues of perceived interference  So less emphasis on trust and more on usefulness/relevance to decision making  Very different approach to pre-release access  Reminder that statistics are devolved  Not the UK “transparency” agenda  Our own Framework – comments welcome: ramework/frameworkcon#top ramework/frameworkcon#top

13 Differences for new producers  Should not diminish the degree of autonomy from Ministers  Key role of Ministers in setting framework  Importance of meeting key standards now  Staged approach to other standards  Resource issues  Role of Responsible person

14 Role of Chief Statistician and Heads of Profession  The “responsible statistician”  Susan Burney covers NHS – National Services Scotland  Chief Statistician covers everything else except GROS  Roles set out in Framework  But some differences for new producers – to be explained later

15 Role of National Statistician  Indirect role in Scotland  Use of National Statistician’s guidance  When should National Statistician be involved

16 Conclusions  Crucial role of statistics in informing government and public  Impact of NPF/SOA – importance of quality statistics

17 Code of Practice for Official Statistics & Guidance Janette Purbrick Office of the Chief Statistician 24 February 2011

18 Today’s aims…. Code Code Guidance Guidance Breaches Breaches

19 Statistics and Registration Act 2007 Overall objective: To promote and safeguard the quality of official statistics that serve the public good. To promote and safeguard the quality of official statistics that serve the public good. Created UK Statistics Authority: Prepare, adopt and publish a code of practice. Prepare, adopt and publish a code of practice.

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21 Code of Practice for Official Statistics Replaced the National Statistics Code of Practice (the old code) Replaced the National Statistics Code of Practice (the old code) Draws on international guidelines Draws on international guidelines Extensive public consultation (published) Extensive public consultation (published) 8 Principles with 53 practices 8 Principles with 53 practices 3 Protocols with further 21 practices 3 Protocols with further 21 practices

22 Principle 1: Meeting user needs Principle 1: Meeting user needs Principle 2: Impartiality and objectivity Principle 2: Impartiality and objectivity Principle 3: Integrity Principle 3: Integrity Principle 4: Sound methods and assured quality Principle 4: Sound methods and assured quality Principle 5: Confidentiality Principle 5: Confidentiality Principle 6: Proportionate burden Principle 6: Proportionate burden Principle 7: Resources Principle 7: Resources Principle 8: Frankness and accessibility Principle 8: Frankness and accessibility Protocol 1: User engagement Protocol 1: User engagement Protocol 2: Release practices Protocol 2: Release practices Protocol 3: The use of administrative sources for Protocol 3: The use of administrative sources for statistical purposes statistical purposes

23 Where not to interpret the code too literally: –Where there is a reference to the National Statistician this should be read as the Chief Statistician (3.5, 5.5, Procolol 2.8) –The point in Procotol 2.3 is organised centrally in Scotland – the UK Hub links to our statistics topic pages rather than individual publications. You should think about how you plan to promote your outputs through the Hub. It is important that users go to your website as the prime place to go for your statistics rather than the UK Hub.

24 Worth noting 1 Best practice guide for Official Statistics Best practice guide for Official Statistics Code has been framed to support assessment of compliance Code has been framed to support assessment of compliance National Statistics = Code Certified National Statistics = Code Certified Exceptions/Exemptions – UKSA decide if OK Exceptions/Exemptions – UKSA decide if OK Does not cover Pre-release Access (except early access for Quality Assurance) Does not cover Pre-release Access (except early access for Quality Assurance) Breadth of Official statistics Breadth of Official statistics UK Statistics Authority considers Official Statistics to be National Statistics in waiting UK Statistics Authority considers Official Statistics to be National Statistics in waiting

25 Worth noting 2 USER engagement has stronger focus than ever USER engagement has stronger focus than ever Admin sources and MI recognised as increasingly important issues Admin sources and MI recognised as increasingly important issues Focus on what’s relevant today? Focus on what’s relevant today? Code will be reviewed and updated Code will be reviewed and updated Code is IMPERATIVE & DYNAMIC…. Code is IMPERATIVE & DYNAMIC….

26 Code vocabulary…. ENGAGE DOCUMENT PUBLISH PRESENT ANNOUNCE PRESENT ANNOUNCE RELEASE ISSUE INFORM PROMOTE PRODUCE PROMOTE PRODUCE PREPARE REPORT CONSULT DISSEMINATE PUBLICISE DISSEMINATE PUBLICISE IDENTIFY IDENTIFY

27 Why DYNAMIC? From Thesaurus ‘dynamic’ means…. activating changing compelling activating changing compelling driving effective driving effective influential potent powerful influential potent powerful forceful/forcible forceful/forcible productive progressive productive progressive

28 How do we use the Code? Refer, assess, interpret Refer, assess, interpret Satisfy yourself that you are complying Satisfy yourself that you are complying Refer to your sponsor ASD if in doubt Refer to your sponsor ASD if in doubt Note any weakness (and strengths) – build into your improvement plans Note any weakness (and strengths) – build into your improvement plans Code is top tier of the guidance Code is top tier of the guidance

29 Guidance TIER 1 – UK Statistics Authority Code of Practice TIER 2 – National Statistician’s guidance booklets booklets TIER 3 – Scottish Government guidance TIER 4 – Your own guidance?

30 National Statistician’s guidance booklets Quality & Methodology Quality & Methodology Publication & Presentation Publication & Presentation Confidentiality Confidentiality Use of Administrative or Management Sources Use of Administrative or Management Sources

31 Scottish Government guidance On SG Intranet On SG Intranet Detailed and procedural – always evolving Detailed and procedural – always evolving Useful to staff as sets out what to do Useful to staff as sets out what to do Encompass SG/ Devolved Administration considerations Encompass SG/ Devolved Administration considerationsNEW!! Concise and consolidated version for New Producers with focus on Official Statistics. Concise and consolidated version for New Producers with focus on Official Statistics. On internet for bodies to access: On internet for bodies to access:

32 SG guidance - Corporate Policy Statements As per the Code of Practice, you will find the following on the Statistics pages on SG website: SG Revisions Policy SG Revisions Policy SG Confidentiality Policy SG Confidentiality Policy SG Quality Assurance guidance SG Quality Assurance guidance SG Statement of Administrative Sources SG Statement of Administrative Sources New Producers should think about their own version of these and publish them on their website. Your statistical staff should comply with these policies. New Producers should think about their own version of these and publish them on their website. Your statistical staff should comply with these policies.

33 SG guidance for New Producers 1. Pre-Announcement 2. Release practices 3. Unbiased commentary and presentation 4. Quality Assurance 5. Consultation/engaging with users 6. Management information 7. Other requirements 8. Scrutiny by the UK Statistics Authority 9. Pre-release Access order

34 Your own Guidance Inevitable that you will develop this as your experience of producing Official Statistics grows Inevitable that you will develop this as your experience of producing Official Statistics grows Tailor it to suit your Organisational needs and particluar data needs Tailor it to suit your Organisational needs and particluar data needs

35 You could develop your own Example Bank to sit with your guidance……. ……think about what you do when you apply the code to your work…. Collection of REAL instances of applying Code……CASE LAW? Collection of REAL instances of applying Code……CASE LAW? Particularly helpful for those grey areas Particularly helpful for those grey areas Helps you share best practice Helps you share best practice Helps you understand best practice Helps you understand best practice Lets you demonstrate best practice Lets you demonstrate best practice Helps you drive up standards Helps you drive up standards Efficient! Efficient!

36 Breaches Alert your own ‘HoP’ and your ASD contact who will alert the SG ASD Senior Statistician & Chief Statistician Alert your own ‘HoP’ and your ASD contact who will alert the SG ASD Senior Statistician & Chief Statistician Investigation needed then report breach (if a major breach). Keep records of minor breaches. Investigation needed then report breach (if a major breach). Keep records of minor breaches. National Statistician involvement National Statistician involvement Public acknowledgment on your website and on UKSA site Public acknowledgment on your website and on UKSA site NB - Learn from mistakes. Improve procedures. NB - Learn from mistakes. Improve procedures. UK Statistics Authority publicly praised us for our timely updates to breaches part of our website – helps with integrity and public perception of the statistics UK Statistics Authority publicly praised us for our timely updates to breaches part of our website – helps with integrity and public perception of the statistics

37 Considerations…. Official statistics Official statistics –comply with key parts of Code National Statistics National Statistics –future programme of work for bodies –can you demonstrate Code compliance? Breaches – minimise and learn from Breaches – minimise and learn from

38 PRE-RELEASE ACCESS TO OFFICIAL STATISTICS Thursday 24 th February 2011

39 To cover Legislation – background, scope & purpose Legislation – background, scope & purpose Arrangements across the UK Arrangements across the UK When should you give pre-release access? When should you give pre-release access? What should you be doing? What should you be doing? Responsibilities of those receiving pre-release access Responsibilities of those receiving pre-release access How the UK Government rules affect you How the UK Government rules affect you Experience to date and issues that have arisen Experience to date and issues that have arisen Considerations Considerations Where to go for help Where to go for help

40 Legislation - Background New Code of Practice applies to whole of UK but separate pre-release access arrangements in each administration New Code of Practice applies to whole of UK but separate pre-release access arrangements in each administration Pre-Release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008 came into force on 1 December 2008 Pre-Release Access to Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008 came into force on 1 December 2008 Applies to early access given to Ministers and others to official statistics in their final form prior to publication. Applies to early access given to Ministers and others to official statistics in their final form prior to publication. Timing remains at 5 working days (1 day for market sensitive statistics) Timing remains at 5 working days (1 day for market sensitive statistics) Procedures and compliance are now stricter Procedures and compliance are now stricter Compliance (for National Statistics) will be assessed by UK Statistics Authority Compliance (for National Statistics) will be assessed by UK Statistics Authority

41 Legislation - scope Order applies to all official statistics Order applies to all official statistics Order does not apply to early access to statistics for QA purposes – this is covered by the Code of Practice Order does not apply to early access to statistics for QA purposes – this is covered by the Code of Practice QA access timing is at the discretion of the responsible statistician QA access timing is at the discretion of the responsible statistician You must be able to evidence that value is added by involving colleagues in QA You must be able to evidence that value is added by involving colleagues in QA The QA period must not be used for preparing ministerial briefing The QA period must not be used for preparing ministerial briefing

42 Legislation - purpose To increase public trust in official statistics through greater clarity and transparency To increase public trust in official statistics through greater clarity and transparency Internationally recognised principle of equality of access to National Statistics Internationally recognised principle of equality of access to National Statistics Pre-release access on a “need to know” basis Pre-release access on a “need to know” basis Ensures that those who need to comment at the time of release can be properly informed Ensures that those who need to comment at the time of release can be properly informed

43 Arrangements across the UK Different arrangements for each administration UK Government & Northern Ireland – 24 hours for all official statistics UK Government & Northern Ireland – 24 hours for all official statistics Wales – similar to Scotland – 5 working days Wales – similar to Scotland – 5 working days And now onto the practicalities….

44 When should you give pre-release access? To ensure Ministers and key officials can comment on the statistics on an informed basis at the time of release To ensure Ministers and key officials can comment on the statistics on an informed basis at the time of release To enable public bodies whose functions are described by the statistics to comment on an informed basis To enable public bodies whose functions are described by the statistics to comment on an informed basis To allow Communications staff to comment on the statistical news release To allow Communications staff to comment on the statistical news release To ensure related publications or other material being prepared for release at some time (or shortly after) are properly informed by the correct figures To ensure related publications or other material being prepared for release at some time (or shortly after) are properly informed by the correct figures In other exceptional cases where this would not damage public trust In other exceptional cases where this would not damage public trust

45 What should you be doing? Ensuring key policy and communications contacts are aware of new rules Ensuring key policy and communications contacts are aware of new rules Ensuring recipients are told why they are given access and that they must only use the statistics for this purpose Ensuring recipients are told why they are given access and that they must only use the statistics for this purpose Ensuring recipients are aware of their responsibilities under the pre-release order Ensuring recipients are aware of their responsibilities under the pre-release order Marking all files relating to pre-release statistics as “ restricted” until the date of release Marking all files relating to pre-release statistics as “ restricted” until the date of release Only sending pre-release statistics to named individuals, not generic mailboxes. We have some exceptions in SG: Only sending pre-release statistics to named individuals, not generic mailboxes. We have some exceptions in SG: Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers Directors General Directors General OCS Forthcoming publications OCS Forthcoming publications

46 What should you be doing? – cont. Ensuring we can justify why access is being given and keeping a record of all recipients and reason for access Ensuring we can justify why access is being given and keeping a record of all recipients and reason for access Reporting any wrongful disclosure to your statistical Head of Profession (Breaches) Reporting any wrongful disclosure to your statistical Head of Profession (Breaches) The UK Statistics Authority may investigate possible breaches The UK Statistics Authority may investigate possible breaches

47 Responsibilities of those receiving pre-release access Responsibilities of those receiving pre-release access Must only use pre-release statistics for the purpose for which access granted Must only use pre-release statistics for the purpose for which access granted Must not use the access for personal or political gain Must not use the access for personal or political gain Must not pass pre-release statistics on to others or disclose any indication of the content Must not pass pre-release statistics on to others or disclose any indication of the content Must not use early access for quality assurance purposes as time to prepare ministerial briefing Must not use early access for quality assurance purposes as time to prepare ministerial briefing Must not save to a shared area Must not save to a shared area

48 Responsibilities of those receiving pre-release access – cont. Ministerial statements and policy briefing on the statistics must retain marking “Restricted Statistics” until the time of publication Ministerial statements and policy briefing on the statistics must retain marking “Restricted Statistics” until the time of publication Embargoed early access can no longer be given to journalists Embargoed early access can no longer be given to journalists Any accidental or wrongful release must be reported to the responsible statistician Any accidental or wrongful release must be reported to the responsible statistician Non-disclosure agreements (NDA) useful Non-disclosure agreements (NDA) useful

49 How UK Government rules affect us Where UK Depts publish devolved statistics it is not always clear which pre-release access rules apply Where UK Depts publish devolved statistics it is not always clear which pre-release access rules apply Depends on the type of publication. E.g. Depends on the type of publication. E.g. Joint publication - where we publish devolved statistics at the same time as UK Gov Dept publishes UK-wide statistics - e.g. Income inequality and poverty statistics Joint publication - where we publish devolved statistics at the same time as UK Gov Dept publishes UK-wide statistics - e.g. Income inequality and poverty statistics Government Compendia – publishing comparisons across the UK – e.g. General Household report on smoking and drinking Government Compendia – publishing comparisons across the UK – e.g. General Household report on smoking and drinking Where UK Government or a UK-wide body publishes a separate country publication on a devolved matter Where UK Government or a UK-wide body publishes a separate country publication on a devolved matter

50 Experience to date Some issues that have arisen: Some issues that have arisen: Pre-release access to representative bodies Pre-release access to representative bodies Senior Management Team (SMT) Senior Management Team (SMT) Access to draft pages on your internet editor Access to draft pages on your internet editor Issues around access to management information Issues around access to management information

51 Considerations SG Pre-release access review in 2010 concluded that rules were working well. SG Pre-release access review in 2010 concluded that rules were working well. UK Statistics Authority constantly campaign for PRA to be minimised. UK Statistics Authority constantly campaign for PRA to be minimised. Your duty to uphold rules – minimise leaks Your duty to uphold rules – minimise leaks

52 For help…. Guidance is available Guidance is available Please continue to contact your sponsor ASD for advice. They will pass ‘grey area’ queries to OCS. Please continue to contact your sponsor ASD for advice. They will pass ‘grey area’ queries to OCS.

53 Statistical Support for Public Bodies Chris Newson Office of the Chief Statistician Scottish Government

54 Presentation Outline Today I will talk to you about: Today I will talk to you about: The role of ASD Support Teams; The role of ASD Support Teams; The ScotStat Public Sector Analysts Network; The ScotStat Public Sector Analysts Network; Online resources that may be of use; and Online resources that may be of use; and The support the Office of the Chief Statistician can provide. The support the Office of the Chief Statistician can provide. Time at the end for any questions Time at the end for any questions

55 ASD Support Teams It is the role of analytical staff in teams sponsoring the public body to provide support and advice on compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics, this may cover: It is the role of analytical staff in teams sponsoring the public body to provide support and advice on compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics, this may cover: Pre Release Access Pre Release Access Preparing for product assessment Preparing for product assessment The principals and protocols within the Code The principals and protocols within the Code Ministerial correspondence Ministerial correspondence

56 ScotStat Public Sector Analysts Network Open to anyone from Local Government or other public bodies as well as academics No need to be an analyst by profession About sharing analytical knowledge and experience For more information or to join please visit For more information or to join please visit Or contact me at: Or contact me at:

57 Network Purpose Develop mutual understanding of statistical needs and opportunities between local authorities, public bodies and Scottish Government; Develop mutual understanding of statistical needs and opportunities between local authorities, public bodies and Scottish Government; Consider the best means for Scottish Government to share its analytical resources with other public bodies to build analytical capacity more widely; Consider the best means for Scottish Government to share its analytical resources with other public bodies to build analytical capacity more widely; Consider issues across public bodies in data collection in order to take a strategic approach to harmonisation and efficient use of resources; Consider issues across public bodies in data collection in order to take a strategic approach to harmonisation and efficient use of resources; Discuss how Scottish Government statistics are used by public bodies and how they might be improved to be of more benefit; Discuss how Scottish Government statistics are used by public bodies and how they might be improved to be of more benefit; Increase knowledge and understanding of functional issues (e.g. Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics, Sample Surveys, Official Statistics), cross cutting themes (e.g. equality statistics, geographical statistics) and methodological issues (e.g. measuring change, reporting on targets). Increase knowledge and understanding of functional issues (e.g. Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics, Sample Surveys, Official Statistics), cross cutting themes (e.g. equality statistics, geographical statistics) and methodological issues (e.g. measuring change, reporting on targets).

58 What the Network does The Network’s aims are met through demand-led local workshops and short lived working groups. The Network’s aims are met through demand-led local workshops and short lived working groups. Decisions of working groups and workshops are made by Network members. Decisions of working groups and workshops are made by Network members. Network members contribute to arrangement for workshops with support from Scottish Government Network members contribute to arrangement for workshops with support from Scottish Government Workshops can be tailored to specific needs Workshops can be tailored to specific needs The Network also aims to keep members informed of related work that may be of interest, such as the Local Outcome Indicators Project. The Network also aims to keep members informed of related work that may be of interest, such as the Local Outcome Indicators Project.

59 Analysts Network Workshops Can cover any methodological or cross-cutting issue, such as: Can cover any methodological or cross-cutting issue, such as: Presenting data Presenting data Using administrative sources Using administrative sources Understanding the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) Understanding the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) Using Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics (www.sns.gov.uk) Using Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics (www.sns.gov.uk)www.sns.gov.uk Or many other issues… Or many other issues… Free to attend Free to attend Held in a variety of locations, decided by members Held in a variety of locations, decided by members Tend to have 15 to 20 attendees so they can be interactive and tailored to specific needs or issues Tend to have 15 to 20 attendees so they can be interactive and tailored to specific needs or issues

60 Analysts Network Workshops All details of past workshops including materials and feedback received are available on the network website: Workshops All details of past workshops including materials and feedback received are available on the network website: Workshops Workshops Workshops Most past workshops can be re-run if there is sufficient demand from Network members. Most past workshops can be re-run if there is sufficient demand from Network members. Currently putting together a programme of workshops to be delivered throughout Currently putting together a programme of workshops to be delivered throughout 2011.

61 Some of the Past Network Workshops Understanding Economic Statistics, Edinburgh Understanding Economic Statistics, Edinburgh Contribution Analysis, Ayr Contribution Analysis, Ayr Interpreting the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, Glasgow Caledonian University Interpreting the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, Glasgow Caledonian University Forecasting and Projections, Aberdeen Forecasting and Projections, Aberdeen Data Access, Data Sharing and the Data Protection Act, Kirkcaldy Data Access, Data Sharing and the Data Protection Act, Kirkcaldy Measuring Change and Monitoring Targets, Kirkcaldy Measuring Change and Monitoring Targets, Kirkcaldy Statistics, Orkney Statistics, Orkney An Introduction to Understanding Data and Setting Targets, Edinburgh An Introduction to Understanding Data and Setting Targets, Edinburgh Survey Design and Analysis, Edinburgh City Council Survey Design and Analysis, Edinburgh City Council Surveys, Falkirk Surveys, Falkirk Equalities Data Workshop, Edinburgh Equalities Data Workshop, Edinburgh Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics, Inverness Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics, Inverness

62 Analysts Network Contact Details Website: Phone:

63 Analytical Guidance Library Created by a short-lived working group of the Analysts Network Created by a short-lived working group of the Analysts Network Electronic library of analytical guidance material Electronic library of analytical guidance material Covers a magnitude of topic areas: Covers a magnitude of topic areas: Confidence intervals Confidence intervals Ethics Ethics Modelling Modelling Statistical Process Control Statistical Process Control tsnetwork/AnalyticalGuidanceLibrary tsnetwork/AnalyticalGuidanceLibrary tsnetwork/AnalyticalGuidanceLibrary tsnetwork/AnalyticalGuidanceLibrary

64 Methodology Glossary Quick reference materials for specific analytical techniques Quick reference materials for specific analytical techniques No previous understanding required, covers different levels (Tiers 1, 2 and 3?) No previous understanding required, covers different levels (Tiers 1, 2 and 3?) Will be further developed soon to include a “How Do I…” section linking all papers related to a specific technique. Will be further developed soon to include a “How Do I…” section linking all papers related to a specific technique. Will be adding a glossary of key statistical terms Will be adding a glossary of key statistical terms dology/Glossary dology/Glossary dology/Glossary dology/Glossary

65 One-to-one and Hands-on Analytical Support Available from the Office of the Chief Statistician

66 What other support can we offer? Statistical Support for Public Bodies Branch in the Office of the Chief Statistician Statistical Support for Public Bodies Branch in the Office of the Chief Statistician Methodological Questions Methodological Questions Advice or ‘sounding board’ for analytical projects Advice or ‘sounding board’ for analytical projects May be able to be involved in Local projects May be able to be involved in Local projects

67 Example I Involvement in a working group looking at data availability within a Community Planning Partnership (CPP) area Involvement in a working group looking at data availability within a Community Planning Partnership (CPP) area Offering critical friend and challenge role Offering critical friend and challenge role Information on data suitability and availability Information on data suitability and availability Liaise with colleagues in SG on specific topics Liaise with colleagues in SG on specific topics Helped in the production of a report setting out the current state of play in the CPP to assist in identifying priority areas of concern for the future Helped in the production of a report setting out the current state of play in the CPP to assist in identifying priority areas of concern for the future This developed the relationship we have with the CPP which is beneficial for both parties This developed the relationship we have with the CPP which is beneficial for both parties

68 Example II Methodological advice and assistance on hypothesis testing Methodological advice and assistance on hypothesis testing A colleague in Local Government was interested in analysing survey results by equalities characteristics and wanted to test for association between variables A colleague in Local Government was interested in analysing survey results by equalities characteristics and wanted to test for association between variables We provided advice on most appropriate test to use for this case We provided advice on most appropriate test to use for this case Developed a detailed how to guide that became part of the methodology glossary Developed a detailed how to guide that became part of the methodology glossary Provided further assistance to review the approach taken. Provided further assistance to review the approach taken. In the end because of the sample size it was difficult to use this technique however, we were still able to provide advice on the analysis and interpretation of the survey results In the end because of the sample size it was difficult to use this technique however, we were still able to provide advice on the analysis and interpretation of the survey results

69 Any Questions? Check out the Network website: If you think of anything later, feel free to contact us:

70 Introduction to Official Statistics becoming National Statistics Janette Purbrick Office of the Chief Statistician Thursday 24 th February 2011

71 Some common labels: Data being developed (aka experimental statistics) –published output but not ‘fit for purpose’. Useful way to shape an output by getting user views/feedback Official Statistics –Minister has agreed Scope. Deemed ‘fit for purpose’ National Statistics –Subset of ‘Official Statistics’ certified as Code compliant by UK Statistics Authority Provisional results –published OS or NS with pending planned revisions to make final results

72 Assessment and Designation Two routes Section 12 of Act – Producer body requests that an output is assessed Section 16 of Act – The Authority invokes the assessment of an output

73 Process of Assessment Four main stages Written Evidence for Assessment Assessment Report Reporting Back Designation as a National Statistic

74 Our experience Authority very fair throughout the process Brings the Code of Practice and PRA Order to life Driving up statistical standards Independent scrutiny adds value to the statistics – impetus for change

75 Reflections from SG assessees Clear that documentation is key to demonstrating good practice Time consuming process but not difficult Overall process was really helpful A valuable way of self-assessing your products Makes it easier for us to form an action plan for improvement to strengthen product Pre-release Access Order Know more about our products than before - specifically aware of products strengths/weaknesses against the Code of Practice

76 What you can do to get ready.. NOW…..look at output WEFA for your products Can you answer all the questions in the WEFA? For each question are you: – confident – partially confident – not confident ….of meeting the Code? What documentation do we have/need? Ensure you have relevant documentation (stakeholder lists/individuals with pre-release access/stakeholder consultation material/changes to methodology etc). Publish where applicable Start now…save time later!

77 The role of the UK Statistics Authority Neil Jackson Official Statistics - New Producers’ Seminar 24 February 2011

78 Coverage of presentation Background to establishing the Authority The Monitoring Function Assessment function The Impact of Assessment

79 ONS Omnibus, 2007 Figures are generally accurate Figures are produced without political interference Government uses figures honestly %% Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Base = 100%1112 Views about official statistics in general

80 EU Eurobarometer 2007 Do you trust official statistics?

81 UK Statistics Authority Authority established by the Statistics and Registration Service Act, 2007 to promote and safeguard the production and publication of official statistics that serve the public good A non-ministerial Department – overseen by Parliament, not a Government Minister Authority’s responsibilities extend to the whole of the UK - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

82 Monitoring and Assessment Functions The Board is to monitor the production and publication of official statistics The Board is to prepare, adopt and publish a Code of Practice for Official Statistics Assess and determine whether the Code of Practice has been complied with

83 What the Authority is aiming to achieve Right statistics – the statistics produced are of greatest relevance and importance Right standards – in line with a formal Code of Practice Right explanation – well communicated and explained, including strengths and weaknesses – to support decision-making

84 Monitoring Function Issues Log Correspondence Monitoring Reports Monitoring Briefs

85 Volatility of the Retail Sales Index Knife Crime Statistics Release on UK Born and non-UK Born Employment Gender Pay Gap Discussion of Trends in Violent Crime Scotland's Major Population Surveys Communicating Inflation Improving the reporting of road casualties

86 Aims of Assessment to help the producers of official statistics to enhance the quality of the statistical service over a period of time to communicate to Parliament and the public the extent of compliance with the Code

87 Designation Statistics… Meet identified user needs Are produced, managed and disseminated to high standards Are well explained.

88 Published Assessment Reports Scottish Government14 Information Services Division5 Northern Ireland8 Welsh Assembly Government8 UK Government Departments33 Office for National Statistics19 Other9 Total96

89 Distribution of Requirements by Principle

90 Typical Requirements Take steps to develop a greater understanding of the use made of the statistics and publish the relevant information Provide more information about the quality of the statistics, including relevance and accuracy Provide additional commentary and analysis that aid interpretation; and provide factual information about the policy and wider context of these statistics

91 Emerging Findings Need for more systematic engagement with users Needs a clearer understanding of the uses made of official statistics Better documentation of strengths and weaknesses of statistics in relation to their uses Scope to enhance the presentation of the statistics and the accompanying commentary

92 ISD User Engagement An enhanced user / customer survey A revamped website that will allow users to provide feedback on individual statistical releases Seek feedback from users who have recently requested information and publish a summary of the results (currently being piloted). Publish web links to the minutes of steering / reference group meetings, or make these minutes available on request.

93 NHS Information Centre Mental Health Statistics ‘It is not clear why there has been a decrease in formal admissions to independent sector hospitals. It could be due to the NHS commissioners sending fewer patients to independent sector hospitals to reduce costs. Other possible explanations could be that there are more NHS beds available due to admitting fewer informal patients’

94 Impact of assessment Enhancing producers’ understanding of the use made of their statistics; Improving producers’ engagement with users of statistics outside their own organisations; and Improving the quality and accessibility of statistical releases – the ‘shop window’ of the statistical service

95 A statistical system that is more demonstrably trustworthy the Authority’s various public interventions have reminded Parliament and the public that the statistical service is independently regulated; the position of statistics professionals working in departments has been strengthened, in response to this regulatory environment.


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