V5: Efficiency and proportionality

Statistics and data should be published in forms that enable their reuse. Producers should use existing data wherever possible and only ask for more where justified.

What you should commit to

V5.1 Opportunities for data sharing, data linkage, cross-analysis of sources, and the reuse of data should be taken wherever feasible. Recognised standards, classifications, definitions, and methods should be applied to data wherever possible.

V5.2 Statistics producers should make supplementary analyses available for reuse where practicable and consider the release of statistics and data that are the subject of regular queries during statistics planning.

V5.3 The suitability of existing data, including administrative, open and privately-held data, should be assessed before undertaking a new data collection.

V5.4 Voluntary participation in statistical data collection should be sought, rather than using statutory powers, wherever possible.

V5.5 Statistics producers should be transparent in their approach to monitoring and reducing the burden on those providing their information, and on those involved in collecting, recording and supplying data. The burden imposed should be proportionate to the benefits arising from the use of the statistics.

V5.6 Statistics producers should analyse the impact of new data requirements or extending existing collections on those involved in the collection, recording and supply of data, against the potential value of the statistics in serving the public good.

Guidance and resources

A webpage with links to a series of guidance documents on harmonisation, including what harmonisation is and its aims, the Harmonisation Handbook and the Government Statistical Service's (GSS) Harmonised Principles.Harmonisation within the GSS webpageGSS
This guidance 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
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) handbook for using administrative and secondary sources for official statistics provides international methodological guidelines to help those in the early stages of using administrative data.Using Administrative and Secondary Sources for Official Statistics: A Handbook of Principles and Practices (2011)UNECE