Dear Tom

ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC EXPENDITURE STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: COUNTRY AND REGIONAL ANALYSIS STATISTICS

We have completed the assessment of these statistics and have today published our Assessment Report. I am grateful for your positive contribution and that of your staff for their engagement throughout the assessment process.

The Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis: Country and Regional Analysis (CRA) are widely used as the main source of country and regional spending data by analysts inside and outside government. Comparative public spending between nations and regions is a matter of great public interest, and very important for monitoring how new funding systems (fiscal frameworks) are operating. Our report highlights many examples of good practice, in particular:

  • the capability to manipulate the statistics in interactive tables, allowing users to conduct bespoke analysis based on the data
  • the statistics being the sole authoritative source for spending per head of population figures in the UK’s countries and regions
  • the framework used to create the statistics (the Total Expenditure on Services (TES) framework) is resilient to changes resulting from the creation or amalgamation of departments or by programmes of work moving between departments
  • positive feedback from users of government spending statistics based on CRA source data such as ONS’s Country and Regional Public Sector Finances, who see the statistics as trustworthy, and demonstrated confidence in them

We judge that the existing National Statistics designation of the Country and Regional Analysis can be confirmed once the seven requirements set out in the report have been met. This will demonstrate that your statistics meet the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality and public value and comply with the Code of Practice for Statistics. You are due to report back to us by 30 August 2019 outlining how you have addressed the requirements.

We have also published today findings from our review work on the public value of devolved public finance statistics. Taken together this suite of work aims to enhance the coherence and transparency of devolved public finances statistics, and allow people to use the statistics for new fiscal analyses.

Please feel free to discuss any aspect of this with me or my team at any time.

Yours sincerely

Ed Humpherson
Director General for Regulation

 

Related Links:

Statistics on Government Spending: Country and Regional Analysis (May 2019)

Systemic Review: The Public Value of Devolved Public Finance Statistics (May 2019)

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Steps towards transparent fiscal statistics (May 2019)

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