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Update on Key Statistical Developments - 19 January 2005 (ScotStat 1/05)

DescriptionPaper SCOTSTAT 1/05 on Update on Key Statistical Developments - 19 January 2005
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateFebruary 03, 2005


A. Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics (SNS)

ScotStat issues

See agenda item on Social & Welfare Committee

Other developments

The Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics (SNS) and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 2004 were released in June 2004.

The Office of Chief Statistician (OCS) is raising awareness of SNS and SIMD through a series of Community Planning Partnership roadshows in conjunction with Communities Scotland.

OCS continues to develop small area data for SNS with a particular focus over the coming year on filling population, household, housing, health and crime data gaps.

OCS is working to develop deprivation measures in Scotland as set out in our long term strategy for measuring deprivation in Scotland. A meeting of the SIMD Advisory group is planned for early February 2005.

OCS is developing small area analysis within the Scottish Executive and this will include a Social Focus on Deprived Areas publication which will look at the position of people living in the most deprived 15% of data zones.

B. Key statistics and performance information

ScotStat issues

Other developments

We are developing ideas for a new High Level Summary of Statistics which will bring together key statistics around the Partnership Agreement and link to internet developments.

We have postponed work on drawing together a database of targets till later this year to allow work to proceed.

C. Internet and other dissemination

ScotStat issues

Other developments

The revised SE statistics site remains one of the most visited parts of the SE website. Statistics topics pages have been expanded in several areas.

OCS is setting up a new internal cross office group to consider development of the internet and intranet sites, with a strong emphasis on improving access to information.

D. Scottish Executive Statistics Plan and Annual Report

ScotStat issues

Other developments

Ministerial consideration of the 2004 Plan and Annual Report has been deferred so it has still not been published. The plan content has already been the subject of consultation and will form the basis for next year's plan.

Topic plans for 2005/06 should have been or will be the subject of consultation with ScotStat Committees and there will be an opportunity for Board members to comment on the 2005 update of the overview plan in the next couple of months.

E. Statistics Commission

ScotStat issues

Options for the Commission in Scotland were discussed at last January's ScotStat.

Other developments

No progress to report on issues identified with the Commission last February.

The Commission's new sub committee on Devolution & Regional Statistics met in October

(see and Regional Statistics01/Minutes 25.10.04.pdf

No response is planned meantime to the Commission's report on UK statistics legislation.

F. Equality/diversity statistics

ScotStat issues

This falls under the Social and Welfare Committee, but there has been very limited discussion of this area.

Other developments

A social focus report on disability was published in the autumn.

Equality fact sheets are being developed by OCS exploring equality issues across a range of policy areas.

Work is progressing on ethnicity classifications, with research currently commissioned as part of a work programme aiming to develop options for an improved classification in time for the Census test.


G. Statistical methodology

ScotStat issues

Other developments

OCS hopes to expand its capacity in its Glasgow branch soon, and this will allow us to then develop a programme of activity in this area over the coming months.

H. Population and household survey harmonisation and co-ordination

ScotStat issues

Partly covered in paper on Social & Welfare Committee.

SE held a seminar on these issues in September. This was well attended and the issues raised informed the joint SE/GROS response to ONS on their Continuous Population Survey (CPS) consultation.

Other developments

ONS decision on whether to go ahead with the CPS is to be made in Spring 2007. If agreed, the CPS would go live in January 2008

A meeting with ONS and the other devolved administration is scheduled for 17th June.

OCS is developing a long term strategy for survey development in Scotland for discussion with the Scottish Population Survey Co-ordinating Committee. This will consider the CPS issues for Scotland and the scope for better integration of surveys.

I. Census Futures

ScotStat issues

Ganka Mueller has joined GROS as the head of the new Census Alternatives branch which will be looking at administrative and survey data for future Censuses and demographic estimates. The work will initially concentrate on Council Area, Health Board Area and small area population estimates by evaluating them against survey and administrative sources.

Other developments

The dual policy of developing conventional Census and alternatives in parallel continues. GROS recently held three very successful consultation events on the 2011 Census and will be firming up on questions to be asked in the 2006 test over the coming months. GROS hope to make full use of the ScotStat Committees to inform their consultation.

The SPSCC will take forward work on integrating statistical surveys. Parallel discussions on UK Surveys covering Scotland are taking place between SE and ONS and links with the Census offices are maintained on a four nations basis.

J. Statistical geography

ScotStat issues

The SNSDG agreed the plan to develop the Intermediate Geography and the general approach to SNS geography.

Other developments

The data zone geography is being used extensively and is the key small area statistical geography. OCS is developing the process to maintain data zones taking account of population changes on the ground.

OCS has developed the new Intermediate Geography which will be used to disseminate statistics through SNS that are currently disseminated at the ward level. The Intermediate Geography will be released in February 2005 and this will include guidance on its use and the geographic information to allow users to use of it in analytical work.

OCS released an updated Scottish Executive Urban Rural classification in June 2004. The boundaries and look-up tables to allow use of the classification are available on CD - almost 150 CDs have been issued to date.

OCS continues to work closely with GROS and other Government Departments across the UK through the National Statistics Geography Group.

K. Data protection, data sharing and use of administrative data

ScotStat issues

The ScotStat meeting last January agreed that SE would prepare papers on disclosure control and data protection i) in the context of Neighbourhood Statistics and ii) on processes in relation to National Statistics.

Other developments

SE has published guidance on the SNS website on precautions taken, including disclosure control methods, to ensure data published on the NS website does not release any identifiable information.

SE has compiled the compliance statement for the Data Access and Confidentiality protocol which includes an agreement to continually review disclosure security and to carry out a formal review in December 2005 and every five years hence. This is due to be considered by Ministers soon.

New software, Argus, has been evaluated and is now available. This will assist SNS data providers in ensuring the data published on the NS website is not disclosive and should enable more data to be published at the lower geographical areas. SE is still contributing to the enhancements of the software along with ONS and other European agencies. Practical demonstrations using the current version and assistance in the use of the program will be given to SNS data providers and other interested government bodies throughout 2005.

L. National Statistics Code of Practice

ScotStat issues

Other developments

The full set of National Statistics protocols was published in October.

A Scottish Executive Compliance Statement is under consideration.

A review of the Framework and Code of Practice is due to commence soon.

M. Freedom of Information

ScotStat issues

Other developments

A revised version of the Executive's internal guidance on statistics under FoI has been placed on the ScotStat website.


14 January 2005