T3: Orderly release

Organisations should commit to releasing their statistics in an open and transparent manner that promotes public confidence.


What you should commit to

T3.1 The release of both regular and ad hoc official statistics should be pre-announced through a 12-month release calendar, giving a specific release date at least four weeks in advance where practicable.

T3.2 Changes to pre-announced release dates or times should be agreed by the Chief Statistician/Head of Profession for Statistics. Any changes should be announced promptly, explaining the reasons for the change.

T3.3 Access to statistics before their public release should be limited to those involved in the production of the statistics and the preparation of the release, and for quality assurance and operational purposes. Accurate records of those who have access before they are finalised should be maintained.

T3.4 The circulation of statistics in their final form ahead of their publication should be restricted to eligible recipients, in line with the rules and principles on pre-release access set out in legislation for the UK and devolved administrations. The details of those granted access should be recorded, together with clear justifications for access. No indication of the statistics should be made public and the statistics should not be given to any other party without prior permission for access. The list of recipients should be reviewed regularly and kept to a minimum.

T3.5 Statistics and data should be released on a timely basis and at intervals that meet the needs of users as far as practicable. The statistics should be released as soon as they are considered ready, under the guidance of the Chief Statistician/Head of Profession for Statistics.

T3.6 Statistics should be released to all users at 9.30am on a weekday.

T3.7 The name and contact information of the lead statistician or analyst responsible for production should be included in the published statistics.

T3.8 Policy, press or ministerial statements referring to regular or ad hoc official statistics should be issued separately from, and contain a prominent link to, the source statistics. The statements should meet basic professional standards of statistical presentation, including accuracy, clarity and impartiality. The lead statistician or analyst should advise on the appropriate use of the statistics within these statements.

T3.9 Scheduled revisions or unscheduled corrections to the statistics and data should be released as soon as practicable. The changes should be handled transparently in line with a published policy.


Guidance and resources

DescriptionLinkSource
Answers to questions OSR has received about publishing official statistics in line with the Code. Topics covered include: pre-announcing the release of statistics, labeling the status of the statistics and publishing ad-hoc statistics releases.Regulatory guidance on publishing official statistics and National StatisticsOSR
How to report a breach against the Code of Practice for Statistics for when an organisation fails to meet the standards set out in the Code. Breaches should be reported to the Government Statistical Service’s (GSS) Good Practice Team.Reporting a breach of the CodeGSS
Examples of published breach reports.Breach reportsUKSA
A list of pre-release access orders. These orders set out the principles and rules that govern pre-release access to official statistics in their final form before publication.Pre-Release Access Orders, including devolved administrationsUKSA
Guidance that provides advice on how government departments should treat management information to get maximum value from it while protecting public trust in official statistics. The sections of this guidance relating to pre-release access are mandatory.Publishing management informationGSS
Guidance that aims to help producers of official statistics consider how best to involve other administrations.Working across the devolved administrationsGSS
Published and upcoming official statistics from across UK government, including statistical releases and data tables.gov.uk statistics release calendarUK Government