The Code of Practice for Official Statistics
The Code of Practice encompasses the production, management and dissemination of official statistics – this covers the entire statistical process from the identification of needs, to the decision to collect or compile data, through to providing advice to the user. It requires statistical producers to ensure that administrative sources are fully exploited for statistical purposes, with appropriate safeguards in place and that they:
- Use data based on definitions and concepts which approximate well with those required for the statistics.
- Inform users about the quality of their statistical outputs, including estimates of the main sources of bias and other errors in the data and the quality and reliability of statistics in relation to the range of potential uses.
- Publish supporting metadata which includes information about the quality assurance procedures, quality guidelines, the administrative systems used in the production of official statistics and those with the potential to be so used, and the arrangements for auditing the quality of the data.
- Identify arrangements for allowing statistical staff access to administrative data for statistical purposes and ensure that full account is taken of the implication for official statistics when changes to administrative systems are considered.
- Promote statistical purposes actively in the design of administrative systems in order to enhance the statistical potential of administrative records.
- Maximise opportunities for the use of administrative data, cross-analysis of sources and for the exchange and re-use of data, to avoid duplicating requests for information.