The Office for Statistics Regulation has completed its review of release times of official statistics and analysis of the consultation feedback. We submitted our recommendations to the UK Statistics Authority Board, which has approved that the Code of Practice be updated. The consultation findings are described below, with details of the changes that will be made. We envisage most official statistics releases will remain at 9.30am; an alternative release time can be agreed with the Director General for Regulation where it is determined to best serve the public good.
The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the importance of ensuring statistics are available to everyone at the same time. It is vital that they are shared in ways that reassure users about their integrity and independence.
During the pandemic, the Director General for Regulation granted several exemptions for release times other than 9.30am – to key economic statistics at 7.00am and to some COVID-19 related statistics, which were released later in the day at agreed times, as soon as they were prepared and quality assured. The Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) undertook this review of the release practices to consider whether greater flexibility in release arrangements should be formalised within the Code of Practice for Statistics.
OSR invited comments on proposals to revise two release practices in the Orderly Release principle of the Code of Practice for Statistics. The consultation ran between 28 September 2021 and 21 December 2021.
We are grateful to all those who have taken the time to consider the issues raised in our consultation paper. We received 35 responses from organisations and individuals. Twenty responses were from statistics producer bodies and analysts, eight were from people working in businesses, four were from statistics users, two were from other stakeholder organisations and one was from a media organisation.
In coming to our recommendations, we have also considered the earlier informal responses we received from a range of stakeholders, including business and media organisations, as well as producers of official statistics, and personal feedback from some individuals.Back to top