The Code of Practice for Statistics is an important tool in protecting official statistics by setting the standards that ensure the public can have confidence in them. The code has not been updated since its initial publication in 2009.
The draft updated code places a greater emphasis on trustworthiness, quality and value. It also proposes a more explicit role for the Chief Statisticians and Heads of Profession for statistics and how these fit within the wider context of the organisation’s responsibilities; detailed changes to the principles and practices; and changes in scope. For example, ONS is interested to hear views on whether the Code should have a greater emphasis on innovation and coherence, and whether there is support for other parts of Government and the public sector to voluntarily comply with the code.
AGI/ RGS-IBG has submitted a response to this consultation, which is broadly supportive of the draft updated code, but also proposes ways to improve it. We have recommended retention of the specific reference to geographic referencing and coding in the code, which ONS has suggested be removed.
What happens next?
ONS will summarise the main findings from the consultation in a report in the autumn of 2017, alongside plans for launching a refreshed Code. The Board of the Authority will consider that report and make any decisions on launching the refreshed Code towards the end of 2017.