Dear Ed


Thank you for your letter sharing with us the findings from your review of devolved public finance statistics, which made interesting reading.

You specifically asked whether OBR has prepared a summary of its data needs and the steps that have been taken in meeting them, and whether we saw any potential for doing so. At present, we have not prepared such a summary, although our various publications explicitly or implicitly identify data needs.

We can see the value of bringing our requirements from the ONS, and possibly
some other departments, together in a document designed for that purpose, where we can be specific and explicit about our requirements. This would build on the excellent working relationship we maintain with the ONS on these issues and would enable us to give credit when they and other organisations make progress in areas that have been identified. Therefore we believe it is a good idea in principle, and will look into it further over the next few months. Given likely pressures from a post-election Budget, it is likely to be the next financial year before we could complete such an exercise, although we would be happy to discuss it with you in the meantime.

Yours sincerely,
Steve Farrington
Chief of Staff

Related Links:

Further steps to bolster the value of public finance statistics for the UK’s countries and regions (September 2019)