UK Statistics Authority criticises the DWP

The UK Statistics Authority has written to Iain Duncan Smith in terms which suggest mounting concern about the abuse of statistical information.  This time it was about claims made concerning the effect of benefit cap in persuading people into work.

In the manner and form published, the statistics do not comply fully with the principles of the Code of Practice, particularly in respect of accessibility to the sources of the data, information about  the  methodology  and  quality  of  the  statistics,  and  the  suggestion  that  the  statistics were shared with the media in advance of their publication.    In March, when considering a complaint about the handling of statistics on child support, I was  told  that  senior  DWP  officials  had  reiterated  to  their  staff  the  seriousness  of  their obligations  under  the  Code  of  Practice  … The  Board  of  the  Statistics  Authority  would  welcome  further  assurance …

This has been a recurrent theme on this blog.  Many of the claims are questionable; some seem to be made up.  The complaint that the figures are being ‘shared’ with the media is also noteworthy.

Leave a Reply