This report draws together our casework from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 (2022/23). It focuses on the issues and themes in the 372 pieces of casework we investigated.
Casework is generated when someone raises a concern with us, or when we identify a concern ourselves, regarding the production and use of statistics.
Casework provides an insight into issues that matter to the public and those with an interest in statistics and data. Our casework interventions are therefore a key part of helping to ensure that data and statistics serve the public good.
This year we identified three key themes from our casework.
The use of management information to meet user demand
- Concerns relating to the use of management information (MI) in public debate has increased this year.
- We found that the majority of casework regarding MI relate to topics of significant public interest or political debate, where Ministers are keen to use the most up to date information.
- When using MI in public, we expect the principles of intelligent transparency to be met.
- Where MI is repeatedly used on a topic to inform public debate, producers should consider whether the relevant official statistics are sufficiently meeting the needs of users and identify proportionate ways to release this information.
The impact of social media on concerns
- We have seen an increase in the dissemination of statistics through social media and other online platforms.
- Where statistics are misused in online communications, the potential for misleading messages to be spread instantly and widely creates a challenge for our role in protecting and safeguarding the use of statistics in public discourse.
- We have also seen an increase in cases raised directly with us through social media.
Improving our casework capability
- We have reviewed and refreshed our intelligent transparency guidance to reflect the changing nature of concerns raised with us.
- We will continue to build a picture of how statistics producers are embedding intelligent transparency across government.
- We want to engage with those beyond the statistical profession to encourage anyone communicating data to communicate in an intelligently transparent manner.
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