Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN)

Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN)

The Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN) is a UK wide partnership between universities, government departments and agencies, funders and the wider research community. The ADRN is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and has been established to facilitate accredited researchers in accessing de-identified administrative data for the purposes social and economic research.

More information on the ADRN can be found on the ADRN website.

The Role of the UK Statistics Authority

In December 2012 the Administrative Data Task Force Report was published. This report recommended that the UK Statistics Authority be the reporting body to UK parliament on the ADRN. Subsequently, the Authority established the ADRN Board, from which the Authority Board sought assurance for the robust performance and governance of the network. The ADRN Board:

  • guided the strategic direction for the Network and provided assurance to the Board of the UK Statistics Authority;
  • provided independent assurance that the Network was delivering against its core objectives and was being developed, managed and maintained in a way that maximised its benefit to researchers and policy makers, taking account of the project scope and resources; and
  • provided advice to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) on these matters.

In June 2017 the UK Statistics Authority and the ESRC reviewed the governance structure of the ADRN in light of the changing legislative environment created by the Digital Economy Act, which received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017. Parliament has decided that under the Digital Economy Act (Part 5, Chapter 5) the UK Statistics Authority will be responsible for the accreditation of processors, researchers and research projects in respect of sharing administrative data for research purposes. The horizon opened up by the Digital Economy Act involves the UKSA accrediting a wide range of organisations, which will go well beyond the current scope of the ADRN. Consequently, the UKSA and the ESRC has decided that it is appropriate that the UK Statistics Authority steps away from its role in the governance of the ADRN to take on this wider leadership role as Parliament has determined.

The ESRC has established a new Advisory Board to provide oversight of the ADRN during the remainder of the current investment period (the ADRN is funded until September 2018). More information on this can be found here.

The ADRN Board will complete its reporting duties and the 2016-2017 annual report will be published shortly.

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