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Detailed information about the Office for National Statistics' governance arrangements for administrative or management sources

Arrangements for providing statistical staff (whether inside or outside the organisation) with access to administrative or management sources for statistical purposes

Apart from internal management information ONS only holds administrative information for statistical purposes. Within ONS access to administrative information is controlled by the relevant Information Asset Owner. The control is implemented through controlled login to the ONS network with access controls placed on individual systems.

Outside ONS access to administrative information is regulated by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. Access is granted to individual researchers and projects under a Data Access Agreement which specifies the terms and conditions under which the information can be processed. Such access is authorised by the Microdata Release Panel within ONS.

Administrative information that is received as a result of Information Sharing Orders (gained under section 47 of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007) is restricted to only those purposes prescribed in the Order.

Arrangements for auditing the quality of the original source data

Where administrative information is already held by ONS for statistical use, the quality of the source data is reassessed as part of the regular reviews of the wider statistical system that it is a part of.

For information that requires an Information Sharing Order the quality is tested early on in the process of gaining access. It is assessed by our own staff to ensure it is of sufficient quality for the intended statistical outputs as part of the feasibility study before a formal request is submitted for the information to be made available to ONS.
Procedures for handling changes, and possible discontinuities, in the underlying source data Where possible time series are recalculated to allow a period of comparison if there is a change or discontinuity in the underlying source data. Such events are always highlighted and described in any publication of the statistics.

Procedures for ensuring the security of the statistical processes which use administrative or management sources

ONS operates within a strong legal framework that provides safeguards for privacy. This is provided by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, the Statistics of Trade Act 1947, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998. 

ONS also aims to comply with the requirements identified by the Data Handling Review and the mandatory requirements stated in the Security Policy Framework. 

ONS also ensures that it has up to date and tested Business Continuity Plans in place to guard against the results of unforeseen threats to its statistical processes.
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