Guidance

Single data list

The single data list is a list of all the datasets that local government must submit to central government.

Documents

The single data list: 2020 to 2021

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The single data list: a guide

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Changes to the single data list since April 2015

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Detailed single data list

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List of data collections that have ceased or been reduced between 2010 and 2016

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Details

The single data list (SDL) is a list of all the datasets that local government must submit to central government. If a data requirement is not on the list, councils won’t have to collect and provide it without receiving extra funding.

In recent weeks, and as part of the government’s overall COVID-19 response, the public bodies responsible for each of the data collections itemised in the latest SDL have reviewed their data needs in the light of the resourcing pressures placed on local authorities because of the pandemic, and in accordance with central guidance.

In those cases where a particular data collection has been deemed to be essential to the conduct of government business, or to contribute to the government’s COVID-19 response, the responsible bodies will continue with their data collection timetable unchanged.

In many other cases, however, the responsible bodies have decided to either minimise or pause a collection until conditions return to near normal, or to cancel a data collection outright. Most of the data collections itemised in the SDL will be delayed, along with the subsequent release of the compiled results. The relevant commissioning bodies will be alerting local authority data providers to these changes and should be the point of contact for queries about each particular SDL data collection.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government set up a ‘gateway group’ on July 2012, responsible for ensuring that any new proposed data requirement is necessary, places a minimal burden on local authorities, is fully funded as outlined in new burdens procedures and meets at least 1 of the 6 data principles before it can be added to the single data list.

Principles for assessing new data requirements from local government

Each data request must comply with at least one of these principles.

Central government may reasonably require data from local councils:

  • to fulfil international obligations, for example under EU directives
  • to support the effective administration of funding - clarity is important here in highlighting where data are being used as proxies (for example, data on free school meals being used as a proxy for need)
  • to support accountability to Parliament for national public funds and national policy decisions
  • to hold public services to account, for example holding government to account for national delivery
  • to support the evaluation of economic, social and environmental trends
  • to provide comparable local performance data, by exception, where it doesn’t already exist, to enable local people to hold local services to account
Published 17 October 2012
Last updated 7 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added The single data list: 2020 to 2021. Updated the Detailed single detail list, and Changes to the single data list since April 2015.

  2. Added The single data list: 2019 to 2020. Updated the Detailed single detail list, and Changes to the single data list since April 2015.

  3. Added Single Data List 2018 to 2019; updated list of changes to the Single Data List since April 2015; updated the detailed Single Data List.

  4. Added 'single data list: 2017 to 2018', updated detailed single data list, and 'changes to the single data list since April 2015'

  5. Single data list and supporting documents updated.

  6. Added updated single data list documents.

  7. Single data list documents updated.

  8. Added detailed single data list.

  9. Updated single data list added.

  10. First published.