Statistics for the public good

This strategic plan was developed during the coronavirus pandemic. The experience of the pandemic has influenced our business plan in two ways.

Firstly, it has shown more clearly than ever the importance to the public of trustworthy, high quality, high value information. It’s not enough for good information to be available to decision-makers: for it to serve the public good, it must also be accessible, clearly explained and fairly presented to the public. Our work in the pandemic has involved stepping in to uphold these principles, and we have evolved our approach to support a fast changing statistical environment.

Second, the pandemic has shown us what the UK’s statistical system at its best can do: produce new statistics at great speed, using new and existing methods and data sources. We have highlighted the positive way the statistical system has stepped up, included in our July 2020 report on the state of the statistical system.

Embedding these developments, so that they become the norm, is the core ambition of this strategic plan.

We do not know all of the issues that are going to be at the centre of public debate over the next five years. But we do know that we will stand up for the public’s right to access statistics and data that exhibit trustworthiness, quality and value.

This plan accordingly does not map out a detailed set of deliverables for each of the next five years. Instead, it takes the four areas in the UK Statistics Authority’s strategy, and sets out what we are trying to achieve, including near term commitments, and medium term aspirations. And it sets out too what kind of regulator we want to be, using the maturity model set out on pages 12 to 27.

In summary, OSR needs to be agile, to focus on the interests of the public as users of statistics, and to continually develop our role as an independent regulator. This plan sets out how we aim to achieve these ambitions.

Ed Humpherson

Director General for Regulation