From time to time the Authority will commission its Monitoring and Assessment Team to produce brief notes in response to concerns raised publicly or privately in relation to a particular statistical series or issue. These notes will be discussed with producers of statistics to ensure factual correctness, and will then be published on the Authority’s website.
In considering whether to publish such a note, the Monitoring and Assessment Team will have regard to the significance or topicality of the issue, to whether there is a clear link between the issue concerned and trust in the statistical service, to whether there are messages from the issue that could relate to other statistical producers or products, and to whether the necessary resources are available to address the issue at the present time.
Monitoring Reviews are produced according to a series of standard stages. The first main stage is to define the scope of the Review, and to prepare an agreed 'Outline' document. This typically sets out the 'concern' to which the Review relates, addresses the geographic coverage of the Review, the issues to be explored, a broad timetable, the proposed structure of the Review, and the broad methodology. "Outlines" may be subject to updating or amendment; if changed substantially the revised version will be placed on the website.
The second main stage is to gather, evaluate and quality assure the evidence; the final stage is to write the Review and take it through a series of approval stages including, as the final step before publication, consideration and approval by the Board of the Statistics Authority. Given this, there may be a period of several months between the posting of an Outline and completion of the associated Monitoring Review.
These notes were published as "M&A Notes" and then as "Monitoring Briefs" until November 2012, after which we have labelled them "Monitoring Reviews" to reflect better their nature. For convenience we have continued the numbering sequence of earlier papers.
The Monitoring and Assessment Team has been established to fulfil the requirements for independent oversight of official statistics as provided for in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. The Team operates transparently and is committed to enhancing the value of official statistics.