Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation, Office of Statistics Regulation to Peter Schofield, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

Dear Peter,

The Office for Statistics Regulation has published a review of the UK statistics system’s ability to provide greater insight to users via linked data: Joining Up Data for Better Statistics. It identifies six outcomes designed to ensure that the UK has a safe and effective data linkage system to support statistics production and statistical research. The key outcome, underpinning all others, is a system that demonstrates its trustworthiness as a custodian of public data and uses this as a platform to deliver insights about important issues. The UK’s National Statistician, John Pullinger, will be responding to the recommendations in the report with an action plan by the end of 2018.

Data linkage should be a vital component of the official statistics landscape. There are huge opportunities to be gained from making this happen. The Digital Economy Act (DEA) 2017 provides a clear legal framework for sharing data for statistics production and statistical research. Users’ aspirations within and beyond government are high and their demand is clear: make this work.

The Department for Work and Pensions holds valuable data that can deliver unique insights about the UK population, particularly when linked with other sources using secure and ethical processes. We welcome the work you are doing with ONS to support their plans to develop more valuable statistics using the DEA’s new provisions. We hope to see departments being enthusiastic supporters of all data access requests that meet the public interest criteria set out in the DEA.

I am copying this letter to John Pullinger, National Statistician, and Steve Ellerd-Elliott, Head of Profession for Statistics, Department for Work and Pensions.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Humpherson

Related Links

Ed Humpherson to Richard Heaton (October 2018)

Ed Humpherson to Jonathan Slater (October 2018)

Ed Humpherson to Jon Thompson (October 2018)

Data Governance Guidance (October 2018)

Jeni Tennison guest blog (September 2018)

Ed Humpherson blog (September 2018)