2016 Code of Practice stock take – latest news

The Code Stocktake’s vision for a refreshed Code has been accepted by the Authority Board. This new strategic vision for the Code is based around the following insights which have been informed by your valuable feedback:

  • The Code should be seen as a transformational document, not a checklist, building on its current strengths but with a clearer emphasis on the high level outcomes of trustworthiness, quality and value it enables
  • The Code should continue to apply to official statistics, and the Authority’s regulatory function should focus on reviewing how official statistics comply with the Code
  • There is also a wide range of other information published by Government that is not, and should not be, official statistics. Yet the high level principles of the Code – of transparency, equality of access, and integrity – can apply more widely, and we should encourage those who disseminate information to look to the Code as a broad guide to good practice. We therefore propose that the Code makes a clearer distinction between high level principles – with which a range of organisations can comply on a voluntary basis – and the core practices which apply to official statistics.

Over the next few months we will develop proposals for a refreshed Code which supports this vision. Developing these proposals will require careful thought, both in terms of the content of the Code and in its application, and we will do this in a very consultative manner. We plan to publish the minutes and papers from September’s Steering Group shortly and a report of the Code Stocktake by the end of the year. This report will be an exposure draft, on which we will invite comments and observations from all of our stakeholders: policymakers, statisticians and users of statistics. Written comments would be welcome at any time, but would be particularly useful before February 2017. And, given that the Code is a statutory document, any specific changes to the content of the Code will be subject to a more formal consultation during 2017.

We want to advocate a refreshed Code to a wide range of users, and we would welcome any comments on this stocktake. For more information please email Siobhan.Tuohy-Smith@statistics.gsi.gov.uk and, if you are interested in providing feedback as part of a focus group in early 2017, please register your interest by emailing Georgia.Trewick@statistics.gsi.gov.uk.