Office for National Statistics
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New guidelines to improve trust in government data

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today published a new set of guidelines to help everyone in the public sector inform their decisions with the best possible data.

This new Government Data Quality Framework, developed by the Government Data Quality Hub in partnership with the Government Digital Service, provides five important principles for data quality management in government. It will help departments to effectively assess, use and communicate data quality, and is one of the actions set out in the National Data Strategy to tackle barriers to good quality data.

The framework will be presented to government departments and interested members of the public in an online talk later today with speakers including the ONS’s Deputy National Statistician and Director General for Data Capability Alison Pritchard, James Tucker (ONS), Lisa Allen (Ordnance Survey), and Nicola Askham (DAMA UK).

The five principles included in this new framework ask organisations to:

  • commit to data quality
  • know your users and their needs
  • assess quality throughout the data lifecycle
  • communicate data quality clearly and effectively
  • anticipate changes affecting data quality

James Tucker, Head of the Government Data Quality Hub, recently explained:

“A data revolution is transforming almost every aspect of people’s lives. Data held by the public sector is therefore one of the UK's most valuable assets, and it’s vital that it is fit for purpose.

“This framework sets out the principles and practices to enable Government to understand, communicate and improve quality, so that we can all have the utmost confidence in our data.”

Julia Lopez MP, Cabinet Office Parliamentary Secretary, recently said:

“The publication of this framework represents a milestone for data quality in government and is a step towards building a true data quality culture in the civil service.

“We hope to see more decisions being made on the basis of data that is complete, consistent, reliable and accurate.”

For details on how to join the discussion at 3pm today email

Notes to Editors:

The Government Data Quality Hub, based within the ONS, was funded in the March 2020 Budget, as part of an investment to set the foundations for better use of data in government.

The Government Digital Service is a part of the Cabinet Office and helps government work better for everyone by leading digital transformation.

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