This website uses non-intrusive cookies to improve your user experience. You can visit our cookie privacy page for more information.

GAP 5: Control of statistical surveys - Further information

From: Denise Williams
Survey Control Manager
Office for National Statistics

April 2004

I am writing to summarise departmental responsibility as outlined in the Prime Minister’s Instructions to promote best practice in the conduct of government statistical surveys, and to outline the procedures for controlling such surveys. This note describes the main issues, which need to be considered when planning and undertaking a statistical survey; summarises the role of your Survey Control Liaison Officer (SCLO) who will advise you regarding useful principles of good survey practice, and provide guidance on how to follow the survey control procedures.

Survey controls apply to all statistical surveys of businesses and local authorities, conducted by or on behalf of, Government departments or agencies where there is potentially a burden, or a perceived burden, on those approached to participate. This includes both regular and
Ad hoc surveys; both voluntary and statutory surveys. Surveys conducted by, or on behalf of, non-departmental public bodies are also covered.

Prior to the survey-taking place, survey sponsors must submit all proposals to their departmental SCLO. The information you provide will be recorded and later submitted to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) upon request for inclusion in the Government Statistical Service (GSS) Survey Activity Report. All surveys with compliance costs 50k plus, will be forward to the ONS Survey Control Unit (SCU). The survey request will be examined and feedback will be provided to survey sponsors in terms of both specific points and good practice.

Summary of Responsibilities under the New System (PM’s instructions Appendix 1)

Ministers (or Chief Executives):

Departments and agencies:

Independent Observers:

Survey Control Unit:

For a copy of the Prime Minister’s instructions on ‘Control of Statistical Surveys’ or if you require a copy of ‘Statistical Surveys & Their Control: A guide to Best Practice’ please contact your Survey Control Liaison Officer.

Updated 2010-07-26