Our story of 2022/23
We will publish a full annual report for 2022/23 in July 2023, but it is important that in looking forward to the coming year, we look back and evaluate how we have developed our approach to regulation, within the context of our high-level priorities.
Prioritise projects which improve public understanding of matters of greatest public interest
We have listened attentively to what matters to people and we have talked more loudly and confidently than ever before. We have applied all we learned during the pandemic about stepping in publicly to stand up for statistics to a broad range of issues that matter to people – for example, trust-led school systems, modern slavery, and excess death reporting. We have stayed agile and better flexed our resources, and those we have access to – such as social media – to ensure our message is received by the public. We have written publicly on important issues of concern around statistics and data – and related claims – clearly highlighting our position and expectations, with a focused campaign around intelligent transparency running through our work. In partnership with ADR UK, we have taken an important step this year towards understanding the perspective of the public. We heard directly from members of the public, allowing us to better evaluate the role that statistics play in the lives of the public and consider how to ensure that they serve the public good.
Promote data sharing and linkage in a secure manner
Promoting data sharing and linkage has become more embedded as a standard consideration in each of our regulatory projects and we have both championed and challenged producers. We would like to have said more this year strategically about data sharing and linkage and we now expect to publish our cross-cutting report on the state of data sharing and linkage across the public sector in the summer of 2023.
Widen our reach and influence
It is often our ‘softer’ capabilities – like how we engage – that allow us to consolidate our impact and extend our influence. We have talked to larger and wider audiences and had great engagement around topics that cut-across the statistical system – like communicating uncertainty and intelligent transparency. We hosted a successful programme of analytical webinars, bringing together analysts to discuss topics such as Reproducible Analytical Pipelines. (RAP) and data linkage. We’ve supported other organisations that are developing their thinking on regulatory systems. For example, we sent a colleague to Kenya to help support them to create a code of practice, and we have worked with Ofcom and UKRI who are developing their roles. There is growing interest in the voluntary application of our Code within the wider statistical community, including a recommendation by The Law Family Commission on Civil Society that the charity sector apply the Code standards.
More to do
At our best, we were able to balance our responsiveness with applying strategic foresight and investing in deep dives – particularly on issues of quality. We want to achieve this balance more consistently in 2023/24. We are ambitious to inject more pace into our interventions programme, stepping into public debate in a timelier way to clarify how statistics should be interpreted. We want to focus on factors supporting public confidence in statistics – for example, promoting better communication of statistics.