Audit Commission calls for better quality public data

The Audit Commission has released a set of standards that define the
arrangements public bodies can put in place to improve the quality of data they
use to manage and report their activities.

The voluntary guidelines were developed in the light of previous work in the
police, health, youth offending and social care services, which highlighted the
importance of data quality in assessing performance.

The commission said it had incorporated recognised good practice with
information gained from wide consultation within the public sector. Audit
Scotland, the Wales Audit Office, the Northern Ireland Audit Office and the
Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy have all endorsed the

Steve Bundred, chief executive of the Audit Commission, said: ‘Auditors
recognise that service providers need reliable, accurate, timely and clear
information to make judgements about the efficiency, effectiveness and
responsiveness of their services. Data quality is increasingly important and
these voluntary standards have been put together to help organisations make
often complex decisions about their priorities.They are not a rigid set of
requirements but are intended to be used flexibly and proportionately, depending
on local risks and circumstances.’

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