The UK Statistics Authority has announced the launch of two reviews
(opens as pdf) relating to price indices.
The first review, led by Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, will consider what changes are needed to the range of consumer price statistics produced for the UK. Acknowledging that the measurement of price change is challenging, the Authority’s chair, Andrew Dilnot explained that the aim is ‘to recommend a framework for consumer prices statistics that understands and best meets the needs of users, and is accountable, flexible, and transparent’. A final report is due for publication by summer 2014 and the terms of reference are published here.
The second review, led by Sir Adrian Smith, the Statistics Authority’s deputy chair, will consider the governance arrangements and structures in place at the Office for National Statistics regarding the production of consumer price statistics. ‘Sir Adrian’s review will tackle the vitally important question for the governance arrangements supporting the production of price statistics to underpin the quality, integrity and independence of price statistics for the public good, explained Andrew Dilnot. A final report is due for publication by October 2013.
Jill Leyland, former RSS vice president, and a spokesperson for the Society on this subject, welcomed both reviews. ‘The Johnson review in particular has long been needed,’ she said. ‘The UK at the moment has an incoherent set of consumer price indices, with a number of user needs not properly catered for. The review needs to be fully comprehensive, consider all options and include wide-ranging consultation with actual and potential users.’