Annex C – Statement of voluntary compliance

Voluntary statement of compliance

This statement of voluntary compliance shows how we have followed the principles of the Code of Practice for Statistics in the production and release of the management information for casework during 2021/22.

OSR does not produce Official Statistics, rather it regulates those who do produce Official Statistics and as such it is appropriate that we follow our own guidelines and voluntarily adopt the principles of the Code of Practice for Statistics as much as possible.

The Code of Practice for Statistics has three pillars:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Quality
  • Value
  1. Trustworthiness: Confidence in the people and organisations that produce statistics and data

As Civil servants all staff agree to abide by the Civil Service principles of integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality and undertake mandatory learning for information assurance and GDPR. The work we undertake is to ensure that confidence in the independence of statistics is not undermined and that statistics, data and explanatory materials are presented impartially and objectively. We do this through our casework function by looking into the concerns raised with us.

OSR is the regulatory arm of the UK Statistics Authority a non-ministerial department which means we are not accountable to a minister and so free from political pressures that other departments may face. We remain accountable to the Regulation Committee, a committee made up of Non-Executive Directors, the OSR Director General (DG) and the Chair of the Authority. This committee specifically excludes statistical producers, consistent with the statutory requirement for the separation of statistical production and assessment. When it comes to completing casework, our DG will sign off on all casework with the exception of when there is a conflict of interest. In this event the DG will not be involved in the casework process to reduce the opportunity for bias with our interventions.

This annual casework report was preannounced on our website ahead of publication (including any changes to the proposed date of publishing). Access to the MI in the report and the key messages was not shared outside of OSR before release however the case studies included were shared with the relevant departments ahead of publication to ensure factual accuracy and to provide advanced notice that their specific case would be included. The timing of the report is appropriate in order to summarise the casework year. Should users need data during the year they are able to access our issue logs weekly and a numerical table of our MI quarterly on our website.

Data is collected and stored securely with access to the data limited to those who need to see it. Our privacy policy on data collection is available on our website. Any personal data collected for MI purposes has been removed from this data release as appropriate.

  1. Quality: Data and methods that produce assured statistics

The data provided are collected by us during the year for each case we undertake. This MI enables us to get an insight into trends in year and previous years to see if there is anything we can learn or improve on in future.

Whilst we do make improvements year on year, the MI collected has remained largely the same. Where there are differences in what we collect year on year or when compared to what we do, these have been explained in the report and the assumptions section for the data. This includes where appropriate the limitations of the data and the conclusions we can make from it. This also includes explaining the potential impact the social media campaign had on our MI and what our conclusions would have been without it.

The data used in this report has been through internal quality assurance by someone not involved in the construction of the report who has the appropriate skills and experience to provide quality assurance. Whilst there were a number of casework managers in 2021/22 which had the potential to reduce the quality of the data, we are assured that after the QA processes the data is of an acceptable quality and this risk has been minimised.

  1. Value: Statistics that support society’s need for information

In order to increase the awareness of our annual casework report we have used our own social media and websites to highlight the release as well as using appropriate media and regulatory contacts to ask them to highlight our report or share our social media. Last year we promoted the annual report with a media interview and will be exploring the possibility of that for this year’s report.

Access to our annual report is free to access and available to everyone at the same time and the report is presented in a way that shows clear analysis and interpretation of the data with charts and tables as well as providing the raw data that underpins these assumptions. We have ensured that any colour in the charts comparing 2021/22 and 2020/21 remains consistent throughout the report to reduce the potential for misunderstanding.

We would love to better understand user needs when it comes to this annual report so if you have any feedback about this or previous year reports, please contact with your feedback or comments on how we can better meet your needs for future reports.

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