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Official statistics, public policy and public trust

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The question of public confidence in official statistics has been central to government statistical policy for the last 10 years. This year the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 was passed. The paper suggests key characteristics of the new arrangements that will be needed if public confidence in the official statistics outputs is to be strengthened. It is argued that this will depend on public confidence in the statistical system as a whole rather than just the new Board. The organizational structure of the UK statistical system is described and this is linked to the issue of public confidence. Finally the wider questions of evidence-based policy and the use of statistics and statistical thinking throughout government are discussed.

Keywords: Evidence-based policy; Government statistical system; Official statistics; Organizational structures; Public confidence; Public policy; Public trust

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Southampton, UK

Publication date: April 1, 2008


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