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Frameworks for the Access and Use of Administrative Data, With the Example of Current Practice in the UK Steven Vale Office for National Statistics UK
Contents • Types of Framework • Legal • Policy • Organisational • Technical • Current Practice in the UK
Legal Framework • Legal frameworks are mainly at the national level • Most national statistical institutes have legislation defining roles and responsibilities, e.g. Statistics Act • International legal frameworks, e.g. for the European Union
Statistical Laws • Existing statistical laws been revised to include use of administrative data • Many new statistical laws introduced in the last 10 - 15 years • Some national legal frameworks give more powers than others for access to administrative data
National Frameworks • Historical, political and cultural factors will have an impact on national frameworks, therefore these are not harmonised between countries • International legal frameworks are important for statistical harmonisation
Legal Acts on the Web • Ireland - www.irishstatutebook.ie/ZZA21Y1993.html • See sections 30 and 31 • Norway - www.ssb.no/english/about_ssb/statlaw/statlov_en.html • See chapter 3-2 • Germany - www.destatis.de/download/ueber/bstag03_e.pdf • See article 8
UK Legal Framework • No specific Statistics Act • Access to administrative data controlled by source-specific acts • Subject to European Union legislation • Independence legislation may increase access
Policy Framework • Government policy on data sharing • How can the national statistical institute influence this? • Codes of practice • International • National
International Codes of Practice • United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics • Principle 5: Data for statistical purposes may be drawn from all types of sources, be they statistical surveys or administrative records. Statistical agencies are to choose the source with regard to quality, timeliness, costs and the burden on respondents
International Codes of Practice • European Statistical System Code of Practice • Principle 2: Statistical authorities must have a clear legal mandate to collect information for European statistical purposes. Administrations, enterprises and households, and the public at large may be compelled by law to allow access to or deliver data for European statistical purposes at the request of statistical authorities
National Codes of Practice • Can reassure the public that data will only be used for specific and reasonable purposes • Should be made available to the public, e.g. via the internet site of the national statistical institute.
UK Policy Framework • Government policy favours more data sharing • Cross-government projects: • Single business identifier • Business Index • Requirement to cut costs and the burden on businesses
UK Policy Framework • Codes of Practice • UK supports international standards • National Code of Practice • Supported by protocols, e.g. Protocol on Managing Respondent Load • Statistical business register is the gateway for all administrative micro-data on businesses
Organisational Framework • Agreement between supplier and user of administrative data • Contract • Service Level Agreement • Protocol • Concordat
Agreement Contents • Legal basis • Names of persons transferring and receiving data • Detailed description of data covered • Frequency of data supply • Quality standards • Confidentiality rules
Agreement Contents • Technical standards • Provision of metadata • Provisions for payment for supply data • Period of agreement • Contingencies for changes in circumstances • Procedure for resolving disputes
UK Organisational Framework • Service Level Agreements with other government departments • Statistical analyses / tools provided in return • Suppliers represented on business register management committee • Contracts with commercial data suppliers
Technical Framework • Mechanisms for data transfer • Paper • Magnetic media • Secure connection • Data / metadata standards • XML • SDMX • GESMES
UK Technical Framework • Mostly quarterly copies of administrative registers on CD-ROM • Government Secure Intranet link for daily updates from Value Added Tax • Flat text files • Metadata as separate tables
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