The Statistics Authority has published three previous Monitoring Briefs summarising the findings of the Assessment Programme.

This Brief focuses on those reports published up to the end of December 2011; 168 reports completed of a planned 250.

Five main themes are now evident:

  1. The need to improve the text that accompanies the first release of official statistics.
  2. The need to better understand and communicate the use made of official statistics.
  3. The need to improve the documentation of sources and methods.
  4. The need to maximise the use of existing administrative data for statistical purposes.
  5. The need to improve comparability between some statistics produced by the four administrations of the UK.

This Brief explains these points and gives some examples of good practice. The Statistics Authority is planning to complete the first programme of assessment under the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 in the summer of 2012. During 2012, we will also publish a review of the entire programme and the way forward with the statutory assessment programme.