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Assessment of Country and Regional Public Sector Finance Statistics

6 May 2022
Last updated:
6 May 2022

Statistical leadership

1.32 ONS showed strong statistical leadership in 2019 with the establishment of the working group, discussed earlier, in response to the findings and recommendations of OSR’s 2019 review of the accessibility of public finance statistics.

1.33 Throughout OSR’s assessment process the statistical team has demonstrated sound judgement, been professional and shown that it works collaboratively with partners both within and outside ONS.

1.34 Statistical production is supported by robust data governance. Stakeholders involved in quality assurance processes with ONS must sign an early access confidentiality form before quality assurance work can begin. ONS holds detailed records of those with access to the data along with reasons that access is necessary. ONS has a memorandum of understanding with both HMT and HMRC for the secure sharing of data.

1.35 The ONS UK Public Sector Finance team has secured funding from ONS’s Ambitious Radical Inclusive Economic Statistics (ARIES) development programme to re-develop its statistical production platform. The funding will be used for the re-development of its legacy production systems, moving part of the production process away from the use of excel spreadsheets on to a new production and analytical platform, thereby reducing the possibility of manual errors in data processing.

1.36 The new production systems will allow the statistics team to fulfil its commitment to construct Reproducible Analytical Pipelines (RAPs) for national PSF and CRPSF data. The outputs of the RAPs will help to create more efficient and accurate production processes and increase trust in quality and accuracy of CRPSF statistics. As discussed earlier the new system will allow the CRPSF team the opportunity to examine the feasibility of producing CRPSF statistics at a more disaggregated level, in line with users’ requests. It is worth noting that, given our earlier discussion on apportionment of revenue data statistical uncertainties, any new disaggregated measures below NUTS1 level, should be treated with caution.

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