The UK Statistics Authority’s statutory responsibilities extend to official statistics produced by a wide spectrum of organisations in the public sector, the majority of which are Crown bodies.
The majority of official statistics are produced by statisticians operating under the umbrella of the Government Statistical Service (GSS), working in either the Office for National Statistics, in UK government departments and agencies, or in one of the three devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Every public body with a significant GSS presence (in terms of statisticians involved in the production or use of official statistics) has its own designated Head of Profession for Statistics, and each of the three devolved administrations has its own Chief Statistician. The Heads of Profession and their staff in each organisation are accountable to the National Statistician acting in their capacity as the Head of the GSS.
The Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 defines ‘official statistics’ as those produced by Crown bodies. Section 6 of the Act also makes provision for Ministers to set-out in secondary legislation which non-Crown bodies may also be regarded as producers of ‘official statistics’.
If the statistics produced by a non-Crown body are ‘official statistics’, this means that:
- those statistics can be monitored, scrutinised and assessed by the UK Statistics Authority, who can subsequently comment on them
- those statistics will be eligible for assessment to become ‘National Statistics’, and
- the Code of Practice for Official Statistics (including the rules and principles for pre-release access) will apply to statistics produced by those bodies. However, unless those statistics are designated as National Statistics, compliance with the Code is encouraged, but not mandatory.
The Official Statistics (Wales) Order 2013
The Official Statistics Order (Northern Ireland) 2012
The Official Statistics Order 2010
The Official Statistics (Scotland) Amendment Order 2010
The Official Statistics Order 2009
The Official Statistics Order 2008
The Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008
Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 (220 Kb PDF document)