Regulatory guidance on intelligent transparency

2 February 2022
Last updated:
1 December 2023


This guidance was updated on 01 December 2023 to replace an error on the PDF download

Intelligent Transparency

Statistics and data should allow individuals and organisations to reach informed decisions, answer important questions and provide a mechanism for holding governments to account. Intelligent transparency ensures public understanding of, and confidence in, numbers used by governments. It involves proactively taking an open, clear, and accessible approach to the release and use of data and statistics so that they can be easily accessed, scrutinised and used appropriately. 

Equality of access


Data used by government in the public domain should be made available to all in an accessible and timely way.

Enhancing understanding

Sources for figures should be cited and appropriate explanation of context, including strengths and limitations, communicated clearly alongside figures.

Independent Decision Making and Leadership

Decisions about the publication of statistics and data, such as content and timing, should be independent of political influence and policy processes.

How to achieve intelligent transparency

Intelligent transparency should be the default approach to communicating all statistics, data, and wider analysis. Everyone in government has an important role to play in achieving this by: 

  1. Considering data needs and seeking analytical advice and input at the earliest stage when developing policies and management systems
  2. Publishing data used publicly in an accessible and timely way 
  3. Aiding understanding and preventing misinterpretation through clear presentation and communication of statistics and data


 Questions to ask yourself:

If you are using statistics and data publicly, ask yourself: 

  • Is the source for the figure in the public domain?

  • Are there limitations or caveats which impact how the figure should be used?

  • Is there context about the figure which impacts its interpretation?

  • Could this figure be misinterpreted or misused if taken out of context?

  • Would further support to ensure intelligent transparency is achieved be helpful?


Back to top
Download PDF version (149.91 KB)