Code of Practice for Statistics

V5: Efficiency and proportionality

Statistics and data should be published in forms that enable their reuse. Producers should use existing data wherever possible and only ask for more where justified.


V5.1 Opportunities for data sharing, data linkage, cross-analysis of sources, and the reuse of data should be taken wherever feasible. Recognised standards, classifications, definitions, and methods should be applied to data wherever possible.

V5.2 Statistics producers should make supplementary analyses available for reuse where practicable and consider the release of statistics and data that are the subject of regular queries during statistics planning.

V5.3 The suitability of existing data, including administrative, open and privately-held data, should be assessed before undertaking a new data collection.

V5.4 Voluntary participation in statistical data collection should be sought, rather than using statutory powers, wherever possible.

V5.5 Statistics producers should be transparent in their approach to monitoring and reducing the burden on those providing their information, and on those involved in collecting, recording and supplying data. The burden imposed should be proportionate to the benefits arising from the use of the statistics.

V5.6 Statistics producers should analyse the impact of new data requirements or extending existing collections on those involved in the collection, recording and supply of data, against the potential value of the statistics in serving the public good.

Description Link Source
The Government Statistical Service’s (GSS) open data webpage contains policy and guidance, open data e-learning, examples of good practice on making data open and advice on where to go to make data open. GSS open data webpage GSS
A document setting out the GSS’s ambitions for producing open data and what it is looking to achieve in this area. Open data and the Government Statistical Service (2012) (PDF) GSS
National Statistician’s guidance on interpreting and implementing the principles and practices of Code of Practice 1.0. This document will be updated to better reflect Code of Practice 2.0, but producers will still find it useful. National Statistician’s Guidance: Quality, Methods, and Harmonisation (2009) (PDF) UKSA
A webpage with links to a series of guidance documents on harmonisation, including what harmonisation is and its aims, the Harmonisation Handbook and the GSS Harmonised Principles. Harmonisation within the GSS webpage GSS
A quarterly newsletter that provides updates on harmonisation practice in business and social surveys and any other relevant information. GSS harmonisation newsletter GSS
The GSS Data Strategy provides strategic direction and an overarching plan for the GSS on the data challenges it faces. It takes into consideration the wider perspective of individual departments, devolved administrations and the UK government, as well as their existing and planned activities. Data for the Public Good: GSS Data Strategy (2013) (PDF) GSS
National Statistician’s guidance on the publication and release of management information (MI) and official statistics. It includes information on the value of MI and the importance of proportionality and equality of access. National Statistician’s Guidance: Management Information and Official Statistics (PDF) UKSA
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) handbook for using administrative and secondary sources for official statistics provides international methodological guidelines to help those in the early stages of using administrative data. Using Administrative and Secondary Sources for Official Statistics: A Handbook of Principles and Practices (2011) UNECE


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