The Business plan quarterly data summary’s (QDS) primary purpose is to release management information held by government available to members of the public, on a regular basis.
This follows commitments made in the Budget 2011 and the Written ministerial statement on Business plans, on the Number Ten website.
We update the QDS each quarter, while an annual version of the data is also released.
The QDS template is the same for all government departments, though many of the individual indicators are unique to the department (especially input and impact indicators).
QDS’s are designed to fit on a single page to provide a quarterly snapshot on how each department is spending its budget, the results it has achieved and how it is deploying its workforce. The information is presented in excel format to allow the information to be presented in a re-usable format.
Over time we will be making improvements to the data quality and timeliness so that the public will be able to judge the performance of each department in a meaningful and understandable manner.
At the moment, people should not be using this data to make direct comparisons between departments for several reasons. Firstly, the business of each department is unique and it does not make sense to compare some measures across all departments. Secondly, many of the measures are not directly comparable because they do not have common definitions, time periods, or data collection processes.
Before using this data it may therefore be useful to see the caveats noted in the measurement annex.