We want to see statistics that serve the public good. This report shows how this vision drives everyone in the OSR team and how brilliantly and hard the whole OSR team have worked. I would like to thank them all publicly for what they’ve achieved this year.

Over the last year, statistics and data have been more important than ever – informing the public about the pandemic and its impacts, right at the centre of public life.

We’ve been contributing to this central importance through our regulatory role. We’ve upheld the trustworthiness, quality and value through a series of regulatory reviews, for example, our review of the COVID-19 Infection Survey. We’ve protected the role of statistics in public debate – handling a larger volume of cases than ever before, some of them very high profile, like the reporting of COVID-19 testing capacity. And we’ve enhanced understanding of the public good provided by statistics, through our burgeoning research programme.

It’s not all been about COVID-19 data either. We’ve delivered a whole range of outputs that are about enhancing the statistical system: our review of quality of statistics at HMRC, which has had a significant impact on how HMRC runs its statistics and analysis operations; advocating statistical leadership and methodological innovations like Reproducible Analytical Pipelines; and identifying lessons learned from the use of models to award exam grades in the summer of 2020, one of the most high profile stories about statistics of this or any year.

In short, wherever statistics have been prominent, we’ve been there too – supporting, challenging, enhancing, advising, all in the name of the public good of statistics.


Ed Humpherson

Director General for Regulation

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