The Office for National Statistics has responded to an article carried by The Guardian newspaper today (11 July 2013) about potential cuts to statistical outputs outlined in a letter to government departments dating back to April this year.
The letter was sent in the early stages of ONS's discussions with the Treasury about the Comprehensive Spending Review settlement to ensure we had a clear picture of the initial views from other government departments about potential reductions to outputs. The settlement is now final and, in common with much of the public sector, ONS will have to continue to make considerable efficiencies across the organisation. These will be challenging and difficult decisions will need to be made.
Most of ONS's statistical outputs are required by legislation and this settlement ensures that ONS can continue to meet these legal obligations and produce the majority of its other statistics. However, some cuts will still be necessary. Now that the settlement is known, ONS is preparing a public consultation, to begin within the next month, on potential areas where outputs might need to be reduced. The level of output reduction will be well below the options shown to government departments in April and will be published when the consultation begins.