Separation of Statistical Regulation and Production
The Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 requires the strict separation of the functions of production and regulation. The UK Statistics Authority has established the following arrangements to ensure this separation.
Led by the Director General for Regulation
The Office for Statistics Regulation is led by the Director General for Regulation, who reports directly to the Chair of the Authority and operates independently from the National Statistician and all statistical producers, and has full decision making autonomy from ONS.
Independent appointment and reporting
The appointment of the Director General for Regulation is through an open process, based on appropriate professional credentials. By statute this appointment must be confirmed by the non-executive members of the Authority Board. For personal objectives, appraisal and development purposes, the Director General for Regulation reports to the Chair of the Authority.
Direct access to the Board
The Director General for Regulation is a Statistics Authority Board Member so there are no reporting intermediaries between him and the Board. The Board prioritises regulatory activities as part of its governance. Regulation is a standing item on the Board’s agenda and the Director General reports on regulation at every board meeting. The Director General enjoys unimpeded access to the Chair should there be a need to swiftly and directly escalate issues.
Regular oversight by the Authority’s Regulation Committee
Oversight of the Office for Statistics Regulation is through a sub-Committee of the Statistics Authority Board – the Regulation Committee. Under its terms of reference, the Regulation Committee has the power to initiate assessment reports and other work related to its scrutiny function, and also gives to the Committee the power to determine whether sets of official statistics may be designated as National Statistics or not, subject to the agreement of the Chair of the Authority acting on behalf of the Authority Board. The Committee makes recommendations to the Authority Board on the overall programme of which statistics should be assessed and re-assessed, and to recommend any changes to that programme that might be necessary.
More broadly, the Regulation Committee may review any other work produced by the Director General for Regulation, as determined appropriate by the Deputy Chair, and to make recommendations to the Authority Chair on these matters. The Office for Statistics Regulation has sole executive responsibility for producing reports for the Regulation Committee, and the Director General for Regulation is the Committee’s only executive member.
Compliance and candour
All public bodies that produce National Statistics, including ONS, have a statutory duty to ensure that their National Statistics comply with the Code. There is a duty of candour incumbent on producer bodies to inform the Director General for Regulation, without delay, of any material issue affecting the trustworthiness, quality or public value of their National Statistics.
The Office for Statistics Regulation has its own distinct branding identity, separate from that of the ONS and other statistical producers. The round ‘tick’ logo with the words, ‘National Statistics’ are the brand identifier for National Statistics.
Access to Office for Statistics Regulation IT system and files is for Office for Statistics Regulation staff only. The Office for Statistics Regulation has a closed access system.