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.

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