Dear John

INDIVIDUAL AND COMPANY INSOLVENCY STATISTICS

Thank you for the positive participation and engagement of you and your team during our recent short review of compliance of your Individual and Company Insolvency Statistics against the Code of Practice for Statistics. We appreciate the clear commitment to the development of these statistics that your team showed. I am pleased to confirm that these statistics should continue to be designated as National Statistics.

We chose to review these statistics based on their strategic importance in gauging the commercial and economic impact of the ongoing process of the UK’s departure from the European Union. Our focus has been on trustworthiness, the methodology for constructing these statistics, their public value, and how feedback from users has been incorporated into the innovation and development of these statistics.

We welcome the development of these statistics since our last compliance check in 2013.  We found a range of positive features, which demonstrate the quality and value of the statistics, including:

  • The regular review of the pre-release access lists prior to each publication, following which, we have seen no pre-release access breaches to date.
  • The clarity offered to users on the comparability of individual and corporate insolvency across the UK and the coverage of the different drivers of company insolvency, allowing users the opportunity to distinguish between insolvencies caused by changes in administrative policies and those driven by changes in the commercial risk climate. This ensures that users engaged in economic planning in the public sector are well-placed to develop effective policies to manage potential business failures.
  • The opportunities offered to users to feed into developments and innovation of these statistics. We welcome your ongoing engagement with industry bodies and government departments, supplemented by ad hoc user surveys which has, for example, provided the opportunity to examine additional perspectives on business failure, such as the focus on the causes driving compulsory business liquidations.
  • The development of the statistics based on feedback from users. In particular, the inclusion of details within the statistical release defining the nature and status of differing causes of insolvency, and the exclusion of “bulk” insolvencies from aggregate measures have added value to the understanding of corporate performance through the economic cycle.

We welcome your commitment to consider how you can add further value and insight to these statistics. We welcome the automation of the production process, which will speed up publication of the statistics. It also frees up additional capacity, which in turn enables you to develop additional insightful analysis on developments in company insolvencies within the wider context of business and economic indicators and across regions, and to consider possibilities for the wider dissemination opportunities of these statistics.

I am copying this letter to Neil Currie, Acting Head of Statistics at The Insolvency Service, and to David Fry, Head of Profession for Statistics at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Yours sincerely

Mark Pont
Assessment Programme Lead

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