Select Committee on Treasury Written Evidence

Second Further supplementary memorandum from Mr Philip Redfern

  I have read the oral evidence to the Sub-committee and believe that an important point has been missed in the discussion. The effective use of administrative data to improve population statistics hinges on the data's accuracy, and therefore depends on the existence of a population register which is uniquely capable of improving data accuracy. Let me spell this out.

  Witnesses who appeared before the Sub-committee have urged ONS to explore the better use of administrative data. But these data will yield reliable population statistics only if they are accurate and up to date (qualities demanded by data protection legislation). Witnesses failed to articulate the necessary condition for a step change in data quality: namely, the discipline and inter-agency coordination that a population register would bring to citizens, public agencies and the Statistics Board. Without the coordination provided by such a register, money and effort devoted to the use of administrative data will achieve little.

4 March 2008

previous page contents

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2008
Prepared 22 May 2008