National Statistics were originally produced under the auspices of the ‘Framework for National Statistics’ published in June 2000. That Framework has now been superseded by the provisions set out in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.
This Act established the United Kingdom Statistics Authority (referred to as the Statistics Board within the Act) as a non-ministerial department (NMD) operating at arm's length from government, and directly accountable to Parliament. The Act also abolished the former Statistics Commission.
The Authority's overall objective is to promote and safeguard the production and publication of official statistics that serve the public good. It is also required to promote and safeguard the quality and comprehensiveness of official statistics, and ensure good practice in relation to official statistics.
One of the Authority's functions is to develop and maintain a Code of Practice for Statistics and to assess all official statistics against this Code before deciding whether they can be badged as ‘National Statistics’.