Re-appointment of Professor David Hand OBE FBA

The UK Statistics Authority is pleased to announce the re-appointment of Professor David Hand as a non-executive member of the UK Statistics Authority Board.

Professor Hand’s re-appointment was approved under the provisions of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. He has been re-appointed for a period of three years, ending on 1 April 2021.

Release of the refreshed Code of Practice for Statistics

Today, the UK Statistics Authority has released the refreshed Code of Practice for Statistics. 

The Code plays a vital role as statistics are the lifeblood of our democracy and an important public asset for society. It enables users and producers to have a set of principles that underpin independent statistics production and presentation, ensuring confidence in this essential public asset.

The refreshed Code builds on the previous version, but develops thinking on statistics as a public asset based on three pillars – Trustworthiness, Quality and Value. This recognises statistics as a dynamic public service that helps people make decisions, measure performance and hold Government to account.

 

Sir David Norgrove, Chairman of the UK Statistics Authority said:

“The UK is fortunate to be one of the only countries in the world to have an independent regulator of official statistics.  Its work is underpinned by a statutory Code of Practice, which has helped drive substantial improvements.  But the Code is now nine years old, and today’s publication draws in that experience to deliver a refreshed Code that will deliver better statistics, to support better decisions.”

 

John Pullinger, National Statistician said:

For the Government Statistical Service it is our professionalism which earns us trust. We have no axe to grind in any debate save that it is well informed. We cherish our values of honesty, integrity, objectivity and impartiality. The refreshed Code of Practice continues to enhance the rigor, integrity and competence required for high quality statistics, and will be welcomed by the whole professional statistical community.”

 

Ed Humpherson, DG for Regulation said: 

My thanks go to everyone that has participated in the refresh of the Code, we have received a huge range of brilliant comments, advice and support from inside and outside Government. My team at the Office for Statistics Regulation has worked extremely hard to collate, shape and deliver this refreshed Code of Practice for statistics.  

He continued: “Integrity of statistics is at the heart of the refreshed Code: supporting the people who provide them, the people who use them, and the people who benefit from them. The pillars of Trustworthiness, Quality and Value provide a simple way of making sure statistics serve all these people.”

 

Note for Editors

The refreshed Code is available in three formats, as a booklet, an online pdf and a newly developed interactive code with case study examples, please visit: https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/code-of-practice/

This comes during an important year that marks the tenth anniversary since the creation of the Authority by Parliament to promote, improve and safeguard official statistics across the UK. It is also the fiftieth anniversary of the Government Statistics Service (GSS), celebrating the development and delivery of high quality evidence that has supported decision making and commanded long-term confidence.

The Code of Practice for Statistics is an important tool in protecting official statistics by setting the standards which must be met to ensure the public can have confidence in them.

These standards are used:

  • By statisticians, and other analysts when producing and publishing official statistics;
  • By the Office for Statistics Regulation when determining whether official statistics can be called National Statistics;
  • By the Authority when publically challenging the misuse of statistics; and
  • are helpful in general to support judgements about the publication of wider numerical information.

The refreshed Code of Practice was subject to an extensive consultation and stocktake, during which we have worked closely with members of the Government Statistical Service and the user community.

Consultation on the Voluntary Application of the Code of Practice for Statistics. We are developing a guide that explains why and how voluntary adoption of the Code of Practice for Statistics can help organisations publishing data, statistics and analysis to produce analytical outputs that are high quality, useful for supporting decisions, and well-respected. We would welcome your views, to take part in an informal consultation on this draft guide (that runs until 22 March 2018). Please email any comments you may have to the regulation team.

 

The Office for Statistics Regulation wishes to thank everyone that has been interested and involved in the refreshed Code of Practice, we have received a massive amount of useful comments and input that we considered very carefully. 

If you have an enquiry or require further information about the refreshed Code of Practice please email the regulation team.

Changes to our website

Removal of the National Statistician section

The content currently provided under the National Statistician section will be moved to the About menu. At the same time we will remove some duplication.

As part of this move, we are re-writing our About content to be more concise and structured. This includes breaking up blocks of text and using best practice for header sizes, so that our pages read well for screen-readers.

We will set up re-directs for the existing links. This means anyone who has bookmarked the original link will be automatically taken to the content’s new home.

When?

4pm, 16 February 2018

We don’t anticipate any downtime.

Why?

Our users have fed back that they don’t expect the content in this section to be where it is… so they don’t find it. This includes insights from user testing and feedback given via our online form. They expect this content to be on the GSS site or within the About section, under What We Do or UK Statistical System. As a result, the National Statistician menu will be disappearing and the content within moved to our About section. The policy store will move to the GSS website later this year.

At the same time we will re-write some content to increase readability, leading to greater understanding of the UK Statistics Authority’s remit and mission.

This will also improve the search function on our site, preventing it from bringing up irrelevant items in search results. Having a more manageable structure means it will be quicker and easier to maintain and update content. This allows us to maximise our publishing resources and take a more strategic approach to increasing user engagement.

 


Update 4 January 2018

We have sucessfully moved all Committees and panels content to our new Committees section. Re-directs are in place for old existing links. This means if you have saved any old links you will be automatically taken to new links.

 


Update 3 January 2018

We have sucessfully moved Data Ethics Advisory Committee, Administrative Data Research Network and Crime Statistics Advisory Committee content to our new Committees section. Re-directs are in place for old existing links. This means if you have saved any old links you will be automatically taken to the content’s new home. Content for Advisory Panels on Consumer Prices: Stakeholder and Technical is on track to move at 5pm, 4 January 2018

 


What will change?

There will be a new section for Committees and Panels, which will sit on our About the Authority menu. The current content will be moved from the National Statistician menu to the new section.

The content itself will not change, but the web page addresses will. We are setting up re-directs for the existing links. This means if you have saved the original link you will be automatically taken to the content’s new home.

For example, instead of links for the Crime Statistics Advisory Committee starting like this: https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/national-statistician/ns-reports-reviews-guidance-and-advisory-committees/national-statisticians-advisory-committees/crime-statistics-advisory-committee

You would be redirected to: https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/about-the-authority/committees/national-statisticians-crime-statistics-advisory-committee

When will it change?

3 January 2018: Data Ethics Advisory Committee, Administrative Data Research Network and Crime Statistics Advisory Committee.

4 January 2018: Advisory Panels on Consumer Prices: Stakeholder and Technical.

The changes are being done in the background, so there should not be any downtime.

Why is this changing?

Our users have fed back that they don’t expect the content in this section to be where it is… so they don’t find it. Users expected to find this content in the same menu as the Board content, so we are re-locating it to match these expectations. The new Committees section will also take fewer clicks to access.

 

Public value of statistics on Housing and Planning in the UK

Housing matters and it affects all citizens in the UK. Official statistics on housing and planning play a vital role in helping to inform decision-making of all kinds.

This review and its findings are focussed on the user perspective. We’ve heard a number of users’ views across the UK on the value of these statistics, and how well they meet their needs. This perspective – based on feedback from over 60 users across 43 organisations – has allowed us to build a picture about the statistical landscape for this topic, and the necessary drivers needed to improve these statistics to increase their public value. Value means that the data and statistics are easy to use, remain relevant, and benefit society, helping the public to understand important issues and answer key questions.

Overall, the topic of housing and planning appears to be well served by an impressive volume of official statistics. Our report highlights a number of areas of good practice in statistical production from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We have also identified opportunities for improvements to the statistical landscape at two levels: firstly, improvements to statistical outputs can help shine a light on society’s evolving questions about housing and planning in the UK. Secondly, more strategic coordination and collaboration between statistics producers across the UK, as well as greater engagement with users, can help drive improvements in outputs.

We think that starting from the users’ perspective is an essential prerequisite to improvements. This review provides a user-based stocktake, and it is therefore the starting point for these improvements. We welcome statistics producers being open to feedback and willing to listen to these views. We would be very happy to help facilitate changes, and to that end will continue to engage with producers and users of these statistics.

 

We thank everyone who responded to our consultation on a refreshed Code of Practice

Our consultation on a refreshed Code of Practice is now closed. This three month consultation took place from 5 July 2017 until 5 October 2017.

It provided an opportunity for producers, users and the wider community to see how we propose to refresh the Code of Practice.

The Office for Statistics Regulation wishes to thank everyone that has been interested and involved in this work, we have received some useful comments and will consider them all very carefully.

We aim to complete this work as quickly as possible, with the new ‘Code of Practice’ available and published in early 2018.

 

Note for Editors

The consultation was the next-stage in a year-long ‘stock-take’ of the Code of Practice, during which we have worked closely with members of the Government Statistical Service and the user community.

If you have any queries concerning the consultation please email: regulation@statistics.gov.uk

The Code of Practice for Statistics is an important tool in protecting official statistics by setting the standards which must be met to ensure the public can have confidence in them.

These standards are used:

  • By statisticians, and other analysts when producing and publishing official statistics;
  • By the Office for Statistics Regulation when determining whether official statistics can be called National Statistics;
  • By the Authority when publically challenging the misuse of statistics; and
  • are helpful in general to support judgements about the publication of wider numerical information.

Re-appointment of Dr David Levy

The UK Statistics Authority is pleased to announce the re-appointment of Dr David Levy as a non-executive member of the Board of the UK Statistics Authority following the approval of the Minister for the Cabinet Office under the provisions of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. Dr David Levy has been re-appointed for a term of twenty-two months, ending on 31 May 2019.

Iain Bell appointed as Deputy National Statistician for Population and Public Policy at ONS

Iain Bell has been appointed at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to support the National Statistician, John Pullinger, in leading UK National Statistics.

Iain, who is currently Chief Data Officer at the Department for Education, has been appointed as Deputy National Statistician for Population and Public Policy, and will take up post in early June.

Iain will join Heather Savory (Deputy National Statistician for Data Capability) and Jonathan Athow (Deputy National Statistician for Economic Statistics), all reporting to John Pullinger as National Statistician, to deliver the strategic vision for ‘Better Statistics, Better Decisions‘.

Speaking today, John Pullinger, the National Statistician said:

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Iain Bell as Deputy National Statistician for Population and Public Policy, joining Heather, Jonathan, and me as the senior leadership team. Together with our colleagues across the Government Statistical Service we are ready to take the statistical evidence base of the nation to a new level mobilising the power of data to help Britain make better decisions”

Iain Bell, the new Deputy National Statistician for Population and Public Policy said:

“ONS and the Government Statistical Service has a huge opportunity to provide high quality statistical evidence that drives insight into the decisions being made in Britain today. I am excited by the opportunity to work with colleagues in ONS and across Government to deliver this”

For more information please contact 07411 212300 or 07795 841283.


Biography

Iain is currently Chief Data Officer at the Department for Education where he has been responsible for how the Department collects, uses and publishes information and transforming how this is done. Iain has been a member of the Government Statistical Service since 1993 and his career spans labour market, justice, finance and transport statistics in many Departments including ONS.

Candidate for Next Chair of the UK Statistics Authority Announced

Following an open recruitment exercise Sir David Norgrove has been selected as the preferred candidate for appointment as the next Chair of the UK Statistics Authority. The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee will hold a pre-appointment hearing on 24 January. Our current Chair, Sir Andrew Dilnot CBE, has held the post since 2012 and will step down at the end of his term on 31 March 2017. More information can be found here.


Notes for editors

The UK Statistics Authority was established on 1 April 2008 by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, with a statutory objective to promote and safeguard the production and publication of official statistics that serve the public good. The Chair of the Authority is a Crown appointment made with the approval of Parliament. Sir Andrew took up post in April 2012 for a five-year term.

Appointments to the Board of the UK Statistics Authority

The UK Statistics Authority warmly welcomes the appointment of Nora Nanayakkara and Sian Jones (née Baldwin) as non-executive members of the UK Statistics Authority Board, starting in post on 1 July 2016 for a period of appointment of three years.

Speaking today, Sir Andrew Dilnot CBE, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Nora and Sian as non-executive members of the UK Statistics Authority. Nora’s experience in digital technology and independent regulation and Sian’s experience in digital technology and transformation will be of great benefit to the UK Statistics Authority Board. I look forward to working with Nora and Sian.”

For more information please contact +44 (0)7795 841 283 or +44 (0)7818 011 583.


Notes for Editors:

The UK Statistics Authority is an independent body operating at arm’s length from government as a non-ministerial department, directly accountable to Parliament. It was established on 1 April 2008 by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.

The Authority’s statutory objective is to promote and safeguard the production and publication of official statistics that serve the public good. It is also required to promote and safeguard the quality and comprehensiveness of official statistics, and ensure good practice in relation to official statistics.

The Authority’s functions relate to its statutory areas of responsibility:
– oversight of the UK official statistics system, which includes around 30 central government departments and the devolved administrations, and the promotion, safeguarding and monitoring of quality, comprehensiveness and good practice in relation to all official statistics, wherever produced;
– production of a Code of Practice for Statistics and assessment of official statistics against the Code; and,
– governance of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the UK’s National Statistical Institute and the largest producer of official statistics.

Further information about the UK Statistics Authority is available on the Authority’s website www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk

 

Nora Nanayakkara

Nora Nanayakkara has been appointed as a non-executive director of the UK Statistics Authority with effect from 1 July 2016 for a period of three years.

Since 2009, Nora has been Non-Executive Director on the Board of Nominet, the technology company that manages the .uk domain name registry. In 2013, she was appointed to the Steering Board of The Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights.  In this role, she focuses particularly on the organisation’s  digital agenda.

Nora also sits as an independent Non-Executive Director on the inaugural Audit and Assurance Board of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and serves on its Performance Subcommittee.  She contributes to the regulation of the dental profession through her role as a Lay Fitness-to-Practice Panellist at the General Dental Council (GDC). Nora has also been appointed as a subject-matter expert to several working groups at Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the global coordinating and policy-making body of the domain name system.

Prior to 2009, Nora developed her career in the digital and technology start-up sector and has worked in digital service and programme delivery operations management.  She completed an MBA in 2007.

 

Sian Jones(née Baldwin)

Sian Jones (née Baldwin) has been appointed as a non-executive director of the UK Statistics Authority with effect from 1 July 2016 for a period of three years.

From 2004 until 2014 Sian held a number of senior positions at British Telecom (BT). Most notably, she was responsible for BT’s wholesale broadband portfolio, doubling the speed and coverage of copper broadband availability in the UK during her tenure. She has held a number of Chief Information Officer and digital strategy roles at BT and subsequently at Clarks, spanning both large infrastructure and consumer facing technologies and business models.

Alongside a background in data analytics systems, Sian’s main area of specialism is how to bring about significant technology transformation, where cultural, employee and customer transformation are required in parallel.

Sian studied Artificial Intelligence at Sussex University and management at Harvard Business School.

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