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About Statistics in Scotland - Chief Statistician and Data Officer

Chief Statistician and Data Officer

The Chief Statistician and Data Officer, Roger Halliday, has overall responsibility for the coordination and implementation of professional standards that help maintain trustworthiness in the use of data, its quality and delivers improved outcomes for people in Scotland. In particular, he helps coordinate high professional standards that statistical staff follow to ensure the statistics are independently produced.

Role of the Chief Statistician

The Chief Statistician is responsible for the following:

  • ensuring adherence to the Code of Practice for Statistics and resolving any issues concerning the interpretation of the Code in Scotland
  • setting Scottish standards for statistical classification and methods
  • reporting to Scottish Ministers on National Statistics performance in Scotland
  • ScotStat, which is a consultation network for users and providers of Scottish official statistics
  • dealing with any formal complaints concerning the statistical service provided

In his role as Chief Statistician, Roger works in consultation with the Registrar General for Scotland and the Director of the Information Services Divisions of NHS National Services Scotland who are responsible for the statistical work of their organisations.

Roger also functions as the statistics Head of Profession for Scottish Government directorates; with overall responsibility for the following:

  • the format, content and timing of Scottish Government official statistics publications
  • the quality and integrity of official statistics produced by the Scottish Government
  • reporting breaches of the Code of Practice to the UK National Statistician and UK Statistics Authority
  • ensuring and developing the professional competence of Scottish Government statistical staff

In fulfilling the role as Head of Profession, Roger works closely with Senior Statisticians who work in the Analytical Services Divisions of Scottish Government Directorates

Role of the Chief Data Officer

The Chief Data Officer is responsible for the following:

  • maintaining and enhancing Scottish Government’s reputation for the safe, secure and transparent use of data
  • the development of models of data innovation and support for Scottish Government colleagues to deliver change through data
  • making Scottish Government datasets discoverable, accessible to anyone and able to be freely used, re-used or redistributed by anyone
  • supporting legal and ethical data sharing across the public sector where this improves outcomes
  • developing and maintaining an approach to online identity assurance.

Further information

Roger Halliday started as Chief Statistician in November 2011 and brought this together with the Chief Data Officer role in April 2017. Before that, he worked in the Department of Health in England as a policy analyst managing evidence for decision making across NHS issues.

He qualified with a degree in statistics in 1993 from St. Andrews University and joined the Government fast stream as an assistant statistician. He worked for various UK Government Departments and at the Scottish Government in a number of statistical and policy making roles. His areas of expertise are around transforming services with data, and has experience working in the fields of health, children, learning, skills and the economy.