The Survey Control Unit (SCU) aims to promote good survey practice, prevent poor-quality or unnecessary surveys and ensure that respondent load is measured and minimised.
It is independent of areas that conduct surveys, and it serves to ensure that survey control procedures are followed by all parts of government, including ONS.
Particular emphasis is placed by the SCU on ensuring that:
new survey proposals are clearly justified
alternative sources are thoroughly examined
regular surveys are subject to periodic review
the respondent load is clearly measured and minimised
The work of the SCU ensures that burden on data providers is minimised and the promotion of survey best practice is continued across government.
The SCU manages a network of Survey Control Liaison Officers (SCLOs) across the Government Statistical Service (GSS), providing advice and guidance to departments on measuring and minimising respondent burden.
SCU also maintain an Online List of Government Statistical Surveys (OLGSS) that currently includes business and local authority surveys. In line with the Code of Practice, the list is being expanded to include surveys of households and individuals from January 2016.
Historically, SCU published the Annual Report on Government Statistical Surveys for Official Statistics of Businesses and Local Authorities.
Following the January 2015 publication, a user consultation was conducted and all future releases of this report have been cancelled. Information on surveys conducted by government departments along with their associated compliance costs can be found in the Online List of Government Statistical Surveys (OLGSS)
For further information, please contact the Survey Control Unit