Help shape Society response to major House of Commons inquiry on official statistics

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Latest call-outs to members

Interested fellows are invited to take part in developing the Royal Statistical Society’s response to the House of Commons’ Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) inquiry into UK official statistics and the effect of the 2007 Statistics and Registration Service Act.
The inquiry is being conducted through ten separate studies. PASC has given its call for written evidence on the first subject, ‘The operation of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007’. The deadline is 3 August 2012.
The Society’s response to this call for evidence is being coordinated by its National Statistics Working Party (NSWP).
There are three different ways to give your views 
  1. The working party has set up on an online survey through which Fellows can provide their views on the nine areas on which PASC seeks responses for this study.
  2. NSWP members are also keen for there to be discussion on the issues and is arranging for this to be done electronically. Those wishing to take part are asked to email Andrew Garratt in the first instance.
  3. Fellows can also give their views by writing to the Society at: PASC statistics inquiry response, Royal Statistical Society, 12 Errol Street, London EC1Y 8LX or by faxing 020 7638 8998.
The nine areas on which PASC is focusing in its first study are:
  1. To what extent has the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 achieved its original goal of ensuring the quality and integrity of official statistics? How have practices to promote and safeguard statistics changed as a result of the legislation?
  2. To what extent has public confidence in official statistics improved since the implementation of the Act and how has the experience of the user of statistics changed as a result of the legislation?
  3. How well is the organisational structure of the UK Statistics Authority working, in particular its dual roles as a producer (through the Office for National Statistics) and a regulator of statistics? How clearly are the dual roles defined?
  4. How well have the data sharing and confidentiality powers in the Act worked and to what extent, if any, do you think that the data sharing powers under the Act should be increased, why, and with what safeguards?
  5. How reasonable are the costs associated with compliance with the Code of Practice for official statistics and the assessment of National Statistics, and is there any way that they can or should be reduced?
  6. How well is the two-tier system of “official statistics” and “National Statistics” working, and how clear is the demarcation between the two categories?
  7. Are the current arrangements for pre-release access to official statistics reasonable and working well?
  8. How well is the Consumer Prices Advisory Committee working, particularly in the light of the recent economic crisis?
  9. Is there sufficient flexibility in the new system to respond to changing needs?

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