Magazine article Public Finance

Government Data Should Be Audited, Says Watchdog

Magazine article Public Finance

Government Data Should Be Audited, Says Watchdog

Article excerpt

The national statistician should have the power to audit and, if necessary, qualify all statistics produced by government departments to help overcome public distrust of official data, an independent watchdog says.

The Statistics Commission wants the head of the Office for National Statistics, which it oversees, to have greater authority over the data produced by government departments to ensure their quality.

It says ONS head Karen Dunnell should be given statutory powers to set up and run an external audit programme covering the whole of government and the right to decide which departmental statistics to scrutinise and when.

The commissions report, due to be published on October 27, said these changes were necessary to improve public confidence.

'The quality of official statistics is fundamental to the quality of decision-making at all levels in society and to the trust citizens place in their government,' it added. …

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