Foreword by the Director General for Regulation
It is something of an understatement to say that, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, public interest in statistics has grown. Statistics became more relevant and interesting for the public; the number of people accessing dashboards and websites was significant; and we saw a growing public expectation that decisions affecting all aspects of our lives will be evidenced by trustworthy and accessible statistics.
Our business plan for 2022/23 recognises and builds on this public interest. Rooted in our vision for statistics serving the public good, we will focus our regulatory programme this year on projects that will improve public understanding of the issues, current and emerging, that people want to be sighted on – for example, the cost of living and the lasting impacts of the pandemic.
We will also develop a stronger focus on data linkage and joining up data for public benefit. This has been a long-term interest of ours, as shown by our excellent Joining up Data report from 2018 and its follow-ups. But during the last couple of years, we may have focused on this less than on the immediate availability and presentation of statistics that helped people understand the pandemic. In 2022/23 we want to track progress on this crucial element of statistics servicing the public good.
We also aim to widen our reach. There is an increasing range of ways that statistics and data are communicated to the public. We want the power of the TQV framework to extend to these new ways, so that public confidence is maintained and enhanced. And we will draw out and share insights from across our activity – providing thought leadership is an important aspect of our role and one we know allows us to reach a wider range of communities, especially when we work with experts and recognised voices in society.
Since OSR’s foundation in 2017, we have had a determined focus on increasing our capability. This year, we will continue our drive to raise our organisational maturity, by focusing on how we generate insight; how we support staff development and leadership; and how we communicate and make accessible our findings.
I hope you find this business plan helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please do contact us.
Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation, May 2022