Cross-party committee warns Whitehall on loopholes

Regulators must get a grip on government departments that are exploiting loopholes to avoid having the figures they produce properly scrutinised, a cross-party committee warned.

Whitehall is “finding ways around” its obligations to produce information that meets strict standards by listing it as “management information” or “administrative data” instead of official statistics, a report by the Commons Public Administration Select Committee found.

Despite improvements in the statistics system since laws were changed in 2007 there are still concerns about the way figures are produced and shared that “remain a genuine risk to public confidence” in the system, MPs said.

They called for ministerial access to official statistics in advance of publication to be
reduced to help boost public confidence in figures.