Regulatory guidance – Publishing official statistics and National Statistics

31 October 2018
Last updated:
30 June 2022

Pre-announcing the release of statistics

Do we have to list our statistical outputs on the release calendar on GOV.UK or can we use our own calendar?

The key issue is about being transparent about the forthcoming release of your statistics. Ideally consider using GOV.UK or other central release calendar (in addition to your own website), as the overriding consideration is to ensure that the range of your users and potential users is aware of forthcoming publications. [Practice T3.1]

What if I need to delay, postpone or stop publishing my statistics?

Central to maintaining public confidence in official statistics is keeping users informed in a timely way about changes to publication dates, giving reasons for the delay or deferment. [Practice 3.1]

Decisions on whether to cease the publication of official statistics should be made openly, involving users in the process. This final decision should be authorised by the Head of Profession for Statistics. [Practices T2.1, T3.2, and V1.6]

The Head of Profession for Statistics may wish to seek the advice of the National Statistician and Director General for Regulation when considering the cessation of statistics. The Director General should be contacted when you have concerns about meeting the principles of the Code. [Practice 2.8]

Think about the impact a change, delay or cessation would have on the public value of official statistics, and ensure that known users’ needs are considered. It may be that the decision is based on the limited value of the existing statistics, for example, if another source better meets user needs or if the needs change. [Practice V1.6]

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