Today the Office for Statistics Regulation has published its Annual Review of Casework, that continues to demonstrate enduring public interest in the trustworthiness, quality and value of statistics.

The Office for Statistics Regulation makes public statements on the dissemination and use of statistics, leading the UK Statistics Authority’s statutory objective to promote and safeguard official statistics.

During 2022/23 our focus has included a wide range of issues where OSR has proactively and reactively investigated cases including:

• The increased use of management information to meet user demand – Home Office statistics on migration;
• The impact of social media on the topics and volume of cases raised with us – Weights and measures consultation; and
• Improving our casework capability to support the statistical system to prevent misuse – Independent Review of the Covid Infection Survey.

This report notes a further increase in how management information is used and communicated across government. There is also a noticeable impact of social media, making it much easier to share concerns around data and statistics as well as in some cases contributing to concerns.

Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation commented:

“OSR is delighted to see continued public interest in data and statistics through our casework activity. We are responsive to concerns that are raised with us and are always open to your feedback on how to improve our work in supporting public debate.”

Notes to editors

OSR has seen impact from our interventions this year and will continue to use this work as a powerful tool to serve the public and ensure that statistics serve the public good. This will enable the public have confidence in the statistics produced and used by governments.

We expect to continue responding to high numbers of casework in 2023/24, having seen increased cases in the first quarter compared to the same time last year.

As part of our commitment to transparency, we are publishing more detailed management information from 2019 to 2023 alongside this year’s casework report. Although this release will come with clear caveats, the data should provide more context for the annual casework report.

We have identified key outcomes of our casework this year. This continues to include (but is not limited to) outcomes where we have made significant impacts on statistical production and communication within departments, as well as references to our casework in the media, where appropriate, to demonstrate that we are taking appropriate action to support public confidence.

Impacts that we have identified through tracking our casework have included that: data have been released following our intervention; misleading tweets or blogs have been removed; improvements have been made to methodology information or referencing of the source of statistics; and analysts have been more involved in the drafting of blogs and press releases.

We have also continued to benefit from a positive working relationship with a wide range of other organisations such as other regulators, societal groups, fact checking organisations and regularly engage with all UK Parliaments.

For more information about our casework or regulatory work programme, please contact Email: Tel: +44 (0)207 592 8659

Related links:

Annual review of casework 2022-23

OSR Casework function