Dear Ed,

You will be aware of the decision made by ONS, NISRA and the other government departments to postpone or cancel all official statistics publications scheduled for release on Friday 9 September following the profoundly sad announcement of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The “Coronavirus Infection Survey – Northern Ireland” publication that was affected by this decision was subsequently re-scheduled for 9.30am on Monday 12 September 2022.

As a result it was necessary to extend the period of pre-release access for the ‘COVID-19 infection survey, Northern Ireland: weekly report 9th September 2022’ beyond 24 hours, as recipients were already in receipt of the official statistics prior to the decision being made.

It was judged that in these exceptional circumstances the public benefit likely to result from the extension of pre-release access (as a direct consequence of the postponement of the publication) significantly outweighed the detriment to public trust in official statistics likely to result from such extended access. This means that the extension is permitted under paragraph 5 (1) (a) of the Pre-Release Access to Official Statistics Order (NI). This judgement and the decision to postpone the publication was endorsed by the Northern Ireland Chief Statistician.

I am writing to advise you as required under paragraph 5 (4) (b) of the Order. An equivalent note has also been added to the published pre-release access list (see attached).

Yours sincerely,
Dr Eugene Mooney, Head of Information Analysis Directorate, Department of Health (NI)

Related links:

Ed Humpherson to Eugene Mooney: Extension of pre-release access to the Coronavirus Infections Survey (NI)