Official statistics are an essential public asset. The UK Statistics Authority works to promote, monitor and safeguard the production and publication of official statistics. In accordance with the statutory requirements set by the Statistics and Regulation Service Act 2007, we strive to ensure that official statistics are accessible, reliable and that they serve the public good.
The Authority’s casework function plays an important role in building public confidence in the production and use of official statistics. The Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) is responsible for the Authority’s casework function, undertaking monitoring to identify issues and investigating issues raised with the Authority. This report provides a summary of casework for the period from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 (2020/21).
This year, our report is split into three sections – Issues, Impact and Management. It provides a summary of the types of issues we have considered, the impact we have seen from our interventions, and some background on our processes and management approach. The report is supported by two annexes. Annex A provides a breakdown of the management information related to our casework, and Annex B provides examples of where our casework has been referenced in parliamentary debate.
To find out more about our casework process and how to submit a concern visit our Casework page.
About the data
- Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole per cent.
- When calculating response times, cases that were closed on the same day they came in, have a 1 day response time, rather than 0.
- Internally generated cases are issues that have been noticed by internal staff. The OSR team monitor the use of statistics in public debate including social media.
- The categories provided in this report are provided to give an indication of the areas and issues covered by casework. There may be cases which could be classified as multiple categories, in these cases a decision has been made on which category is most relevant. In each case only one has been selected. As part of a range of process improvements OSR is looking to develop the categories and make improvements to the management information associated with Casework.
- Casework issues are broadly split into two categories – use/misuse of statistics, and compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics. Use/misuse is where there are concerns that statistics have been used inappropriately or incorrectly in public debate (whether deliberately or not). Code compliance assesses whether official statistics have been produced and presented in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics. OSR also considers whether official statistics meet the expectations of the code through its range of other regulatory work.
- The time taken to complete casework can have a large level of skew and so, where possible, both the median and the arithmetic mean have been calculated. In order to offset the effects of this skewness the median is the headline measure used in discussion.
- You can see all cases considered during 2020/21 in the 2020/21 issues log. This includes information on the date the case was opened, date closed, description and outcome for all 323 cases considered in 2020/21. Issues logs are linked via the casework page on our website.