We can report some great progress in our campaign to end pre-release access to official statistics for Ministers and their political and media advisers.
The Times has today (8th May) published an RSS letter which calls on the next government, whatever its political complexion, to abolish all such advance access.
This simple reform, the letter argues, would make politics fairer, increase public trust in statistics and reduce the risk of official data (including market-sensitive information) being leaked or abused.
The case for change is best demonstrated by the labour market statistics, which are seen by no fewer than 114 politicians and advisers before being formally published. Accordingly, the RSS has gathered 114 signatures - from eminent statisticians, academics and other experts - in support of its letter, calling for reform.
Led by Sir David Spiegelhalter (RSS’s President), the signatories include ex-National Statisticians, a former Chair of the UK Statistics Authority and the directors of think-tanks as diverse as the Institute for Public Policy Research and the Adam Smith Institute.
We’re grateful to the dozens of RSS fellows who’ve joined our call for reform and added their names to this important letter.