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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/beis-standards-for-official-statistics/statistical-public-engagement-and-data-standards
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) provides National and Official Statistics in line with the practices recommended in the Code of Practice for Statistics. This statement sets out the department’s commitments on public engagement (T4.1) and data standards (T6.1 and T6.4) as outlined by the code.
1. Public engagement
The department’s approach to public engagement can be divided into the following sections:
- access to statistics
- understanding customer needs
- service standards
- complaints procedure
Access to statistics
Routinely produced statistics are available free of charge on the BEIS section of the GOV.UK website. The department will generally announce the month of release of these statistics 12 months in advance and the exact date at least 4 weeks in advance. All published statistics are published at 9:30am on the scheduled day unless otherwise announced. Users can also be notified of publications of regular releases by joining the department’s email update alert service[footnote 1].
We are committed to making our statistical outputs accessible. We have reviewed our statistical outputs and made adjustments to bring the majority of outputs published from 23 September 2020 into line with The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018 legislation. Some statistical outputs BEIS publishes after 23 September 2020 may not be fully accessible, but we are striving to make all publications fully compliant with the legislation in the future.
In line with the legislation, we will provide a specific statistical publication in a different format if requested. If you require a document in an alternative format such as audio, braille or large print, then please contact the responsible statistician using the contact email addresses and telephone numbers included within the statistical release or provided on the accompanying statistical press release or alternatively please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Other enquiries regarding the contents of a specific release should be addressed to the responsible statistician.
For more general statistics enquiries, please contact the relevant team:
Media enquiries regarding the contents of a specific release should be directed to the BEIS press office.
Enquiries made under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act should be addressed to the department’s FOI team:
Freedom of Information requests
We are unable to respond promptly to letters sent in the post at the moment. Please email email@example.com to ensure we can respond to your enquiry as quickly as possible.
The department’s service in this will be fully compliant with the FOI Act, and where information cannot be disclosed, then individuals will be advised of this fact in accordance with the FOI Act.
BEIS ensures that on key developments to our statistics, there are transparent and clear processes allowing for views from both internal and external customers.
The decision to consult with users is solely on the authority of BEIS’s Head of Profession for Statistics. BEIS will undertake consultations when the department wishes to make:
- significant changes to the content of publications
- significant changes to the method of publication
- major methodological changes to the production of statistics
- significant changes to how the department publishes statistics (for example merging of several-related publications into a single publication on 1 day)
BEIS will provide a summary of all user responses to each consultation and the rationale for these decisions.
The primary vehicles for consultations on BEIS statistics will be the statistical pages of the BEIS section of GOV.UK and the BEIS consultations section of GOV.UK. Information on consultations, updates to the publication schedule, and changes to departmental policies and procedures will be publicised here.
In addition to formal consultations, BEIS will often seek views through the statistics section of GOV.UK or in its regular publications with regards to more modest or technical changes.
Understanding customer needs
The content of the department’s statistics and the supporting information provide will be informed by an understanding of customers’ needs.
BEIS will help customers and users to understand products by publishing or referring to supporting, background or educational information and material. BEIS makes it easy to identify which products have been branded as ‘National Statistics’ by marking them with the National Statistics logo.
BEIS also recognises that customers will have different needs and seek to establish ways of engaging with all user personas:
- expert analysts
- information foragers
- inquiring citizens
BEIS staff will be polite, helpful and readily identify themselves. The department will make every reasonable effort to ensure that customers are provided with information that is timely, relevant and accurate. BEIS aims to respond to written external correspondence within 20 working days of receipt, although it will usually be less.
The response will either be an answer to the issue raised, or a notification that the correspondence is being dealt with. The holding reply will either contain a date by which the department intends to provide a full response or a date by when the department will contact you with a progress update.
If you have a concern about the quality of the department’s service and you cannot resolve the problem with the person you have been dealing with, you can make a formal complaint. Please follow the complaints procedure below.
If for any reason you feel that the service you receive from BEIS has fallen below the standards you expect or has not lived up to the statements made in the departmental policies and procedures, then please let the department know.
On receipt of a complaint BEIS will:
- regard it seriously
- treat it in confidence
- deal with it independently and without favour
- resolve it promptly, and informally whenever possible
- find a remedy wherever possible
- learn from it to improve departmental services
Your complaint should initially be addressed to the person you have been dealing with.
To escalate your complaint, please address it to the Head of Profession for Statistics at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. You can make your complaint in writing, by phone, or email. Please provide as much relevant information as possible so that the department can deal with your case promptly.
Head of Profession for Statistics
If you are still not satisfied, and the issue relates to the Code of Practice for Statistics, then you can refer your complaint to the UK Statistics Authority:
UK Statistics Authority
2. Data Standards
Each statistical dataset maintained by BEIS from which National Statistics outputs are produced will have a specified data manager. Their role is to ensure that the department manages its data resources in accordance with the best practice principles and standards set out in the Code of Practice for Statistics and its supporting Protocols; with the department’s other corporate procedures and standards for statistics; and in accordance with the department’s statutory obligations.
BEIS follows the principles of good practice outlined in the information security management system ISO 27001.
BEIS adheres to the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the processing of personal data. All data sharing agreements, service level agreements, and procurements follow standard departmental procedures to ensure compliance with GDPR. Personal data is retained for the minimum period required and disposed of in a secure and responsible manner.
All staff working in BEIS and all visitors to its sites require a pass to access the premises. This pass must be worn at all times. There is no public access to any part of the organisation where confidential statistical data may be held. Information is classified according to standard government security classifications and managed according to its sensitivity, value, and criticality. Staff regularly monitor and review information security arrangements to ensure that policy, standards and procedures remain relevant and effective.
Mechanisms used to transmit micro-data will be appropriate to the sensitivity of the data and its classifications and will be encrypted as necessary. Where micro-data is owned by a department or organisation other than BEIS, arrangements for access are in accordance with the service level agreements, contracts or other confidentiality agreements between BEIS and the data owners. Access to micro-data collected and owned by BEIS is determined by the guarantees given to the data suppliers or contributors and is in accordance with statistical legislation covering the collection of these data or with the appropriate principles for the collection and use of administrative data.
BEIS will place the minimum load necessary on data providers.
If you sign up to receive email alerts, we will use your information only to provide the service you have requested. We may occasionally contact email alert subscribers to help us evaluate and improve the service we offer. If you inform us you wish to cancel alerts, we will remove you from our mailing list and your details will be deleted from our records. ↩