HC Deb 01 February 1991 vol 184 c678W
Mrs. Maureen Hicks

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how he has decided to obtain independent advice on the confidentiality arrangements for samples of anonymised records from the 1991 census.

Mr. Dorrell

The president of the Royal Statistical Society, having been consulted about the best procedure, has nominated Professor D. Holt, deputy vice chancellor of the University of Southampton, as technical assessor. I am pleased to be able to announce that Professor Holt has agreed to act in this capacity. He will consider I he confidentiality arrangements for the samples of anonymised records (SARs) requested from the 1991 census of Great Britain by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and will assess whether or not the arrangements ensure that any risk of inadvertent disclosure of census information about identifiable individuals is minimised. He will advise the registrars general both on the confidentiality measures included in draft specifications of the SARs and on the proposals for their subsequent use. Once the draft specifications have been revised (if appropriate) as a result of his advice, he will prepare a report for Ministers on the proposed confidentiality arrangements. That report will be considered before any final approval is given for the production and supply of the SARs.

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