HC Deb 02 April 1968 vol 762 cc75-6W
Mr. du Cann

asked the Prime Minister what proposals he has for the improvement of Government statistical services in the light of Mr. Edward Jackson's report to him commissioned in April, 1966; whether he will place a copy of that report in the House of Commons Library; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

Since the Fourth Report of the Estimates Committee for 1966–67 the rôle of the Central Statistical Office has been extensively reviewed in the light both of proposals made by the Director of the C.S.O. and of the report from Mr. Jackson, which, as stated by my hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Economic Affairs on 23rd October last, is not in a form suitable for publication.

As a result of this review, several new developments have been put in hand. The most important are the establishment of a research section in the C.S.O.; the creation of four new units designed to improve and extend the co-ordination of statistical work throughout government with reference to computerisation, classifications and standards, survey control and statistical programme development; new arrangements to improve inter-departmental co-operation on social statistics; and the development of the Census Office of the Board of Trade into a Business Statistics Office which will be directed by a Management Committee under the Director of the C.S.O. and will ultimately be responsible for the collection of all the main industrial statistics.

A more detailed account of the new developments will be available in May in the first issue of "Statistical News"—a new publication by the C.S.O. designed to improve public knowledge of current statistical developments in all Government Departments.