Statistics Commission

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The Commission's logo

The Statistics Commission was a non-departmental public body established in June 2000 by the UK Government to oversee the work of the Office for National Statistics.[1] [2] Its chairman was Professor David Rhind who succeeded the first chairman, Sir John Kingman, in May 2003.[3] Although it was non-departmental, the Commission was funded by grant-in-aid from the Treasury.[4] Following the implementation of the Statistics & Registration Services Act 2007, the commission was abolished. Its functions were to be taken over and considerably enhanced by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), whose powers began on 1 April 2008 under the chairmanship of Sir Michael Scholar. Professor Rhind is among the non-executive members of the new authority, to which the ONS is accountable. This contrasts with the duties of the previous Commission which were limited to reporting, observing and criticizing ONS while it, until 2008, has been publicly accountable via a Treasury minister.


The Commission arose from an election manifesto commitment by the Labour Government whilst in Opposition to provide independent national statistics.[1] The commitment was implemented by the Government first publishing a Green Paper in 1998 inviting consultation which offered four options for overseeing the production of statistics for ministers.[5] The subsequent White Paper revealed that, of those four options, the one which received significantly more support than the others was the establishment of a Commission[2][6] Consequently, in drawing up the new framework for national statistics,[1][7] the Statistics Commission was established. Its main function is to

"...give independent, reliable and relevant advice on National Statistics to Ministers and, by so doing, to provide an additional safeguard on the quality and integrity of National Statistics."[1]

The White Paper charged the Commission with four principal aims:[6]

  • To consider and comment to government on National Statistics's programme and scope of work
  • To comment on National Statistics's quality assurance processes and to arrange audits where it finds concern
  • To comment on the application of the code of practice for official statistics
  • To prepare for the UK Parliament an annual report on National Statistics and the Commission


The last Commissioners were:[3]

The chief executive was Richard Alldritt

See also[edit]


  1. "Framework for National Statistics", First Edition, Operational from June 2000
  2. H.M. Treasury press release announcing outcome of White Paper and creation of the Commission.
  3. List of Statistics Commissioners.
  4. Frequently-asked-questions on the Commission's website
  5. H.M. Treasury (February 1998). Statistics: A Matter of Trust - A Consultation Document. The Stationery Office Books. ISBN 0-10-138822-5. Cm. 3882. 
  6. H.M. Treasury (October 1999). Building Trust in Statistics (Command Paper). The Stationery Office Books. ISBN 0-10-144122-3. Cm. 4412. 
  7. Treasury announcement of the Framework document.

External links[edit]