Treasury Committee press notice no. 36

Session 2005-06, 27 April 2006

New inquiry into Independence for statistics

The Treasury Sub-Committee intends to undertake an inquiry into Independence for statistics. The inquiry will focus on the Government's consultation paper, Independence for statistics, published on 22 March 2006. The Government has sought responses to its consultation paper by 14 June 2006. The Sub-Committee therefore invites written evidence by Friday 19 May, to enable it to take oral evidence on this inquiry in late May and early June.

The Sub-Committee expects to examine the Government's proposals for:

€ the Office for National Statistics;

€ an independent governing board, the method of making appointments to it and provisions for

its reporting and accountability to Parliament;

€ ensuring the quality and integrity of National Statistics;

€ winding up the Statistics Commission.

The Sub-Committee also expects to consider other issues, including:

€ the definition of National Statistics, and the status of other official statistics;

€ the apparently low levels of public trust in official statistics;

€ the role of statisticians working outside the Office for National Statistics, in central government

and the devolved administrations;

€ any lessons to be learnt from other countries' legislative frameworks for independence for statistics.

The Government's consultation paper can be found on the Treasury website,, at:


1. Notes for submitters: Written evidence should be in Word or rich text format and sent by e-mail to The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from. The deadline is 3.00 pm on Friday 19 May 2006. Submissions should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum and should not exceed 3,000 words in length. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary, ideally no more than one page long. Committees make public much of the evidence they receive during inquiries. If you do not wish your submission to be published, you must clearly say so. If you wish to include private or confidential information in your submission to the Committee, please contact the Clerk of the Committee to discuss this. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases. Personal information, such as address and contact details, should be provided separately from the body of your submission. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, no public use should be made of the submission unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.

2. Committee Membership is as follows: Rt Hon John McFall (Chairman), Mr Colin Breed, Jim Cousins, Angela Eagle, Mr Michael Fallon (Chairman, Sub-Committee), Mr David Gauke, Ms Sally Keeble, Mr Andrew Love, Kerry McCarthy, Mr George Mudie, Mr Brooks Newmark, John Thurso, Mr Mark Todd, Peter Viggers.

3. Press Notice No. 36

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