While economic statistics play an unprecedentedly large part in public debate, and many experts make use of them, the UK does not have a dedicated academic centre of expertise. ONS is looking to establish such a centre of expertise for the analysis of emerging and future issues in measuring the modern economy. The centre will offer the capacity for fundamental methodological and conceptual work, which will include best ways to address the challenge of measuring new forms of economic activity in a globalised world, meeting the needs for local, city and regional statistics and the productivity puzzle. Additionally the ESCoE will form a platform for constructive discussion and dialogue around official statistics, to feed into the development and improvement of ONS economic statistics and data processing methodologies. The ESCoE will complement the mechanisms for greater collaboration between ONS and external experts as set out in “Improving Openness, Increasing Capability: setting the agenda”

The key roles of the ESCoE:

  • Deliver research and analysis that enables ONS to meet its vision of delivering world-class economic statistics.
  • Deliver research and conceptual work which is influential in the international standard-setting agenda, allowing ONS to exert greater influence over the direction of travel of such standards.
  • Deliver dissemination mechanisms to bring international expertise to bear on the ONS’s objectives, including through the medium of an annual conference with the object of sharing best practice and delivering world-class challenge to the work of the ESCoE.
  • Provide opportunities for joint-working between the ONS and academic community, with secondments, in-depth partnership working and opportunities to discuss and jointly develop results, methodologies and potential strategies to improve economic statistics in the UK.
  • Work in collaboration with the ONS Data Campus to develop new techniques and integrate these into the ESCoE’s work programme.
  • Provide a venue for the development of a wider academic community with skills and research experience in the area of economic statistics, creating the next generation of academic experts in this field, to deliver a body of academic expertise which will enable the UK to be a world-leading venue for this research into the foreseeable future.
  • Provide a mechanism to assess the value of Economic Statistics to the UK economy.
  • Provide a facility to allow the ONS to call-off specialist advice to meet ad-hoc requirements in relation to advice, review and investigation of key issues as required.
Key milestones:

May 2016 - Consultative workshop with economic experts to scope ESCoE
July 2016 - Market Engagement Event
August 2016 - Issue EScoE Invitation to Tender
December 2016 - Contract awarded
January 2017 - ESCoE launched