RSS responds to the Statutory Inquiries Committee’s call for submissions

We have submitted a response to the Statutory Inquiries Committee in response to their inquiry into statutory inquiries, highlighting the vital role of statistics and data in all inquiries and calling for greater consideration to be given to data and statistics from the start of every inquiry. 

The submission provided examples of the crucial role played by statistics in inquiries – such as estimating infection rates or detecting numerical anomalies – further highlighting how misrepresentation of statistical evidence can lead to resource waste, delays and misguided lines of inquiry. 

In order to make best use of the inquiries system, the Society recommends:  

  • Integrating statistical expertise into inquiries from the outset to ensure appropriate consideration of potential pitfalls, such as ascertainment bias 

  • Ensuring an inquiry’s terms of reference explicitly address the use of data and statistics and that inquiry teams have the necessary statistical understanding to interpret evidence correctly  

  • Where necessary, seeking external statistical expertise and encouraging collaboration between statisticians and experts from other fields relevant to the inquiry 

  • Making statistical information used in inquiries accessible and understandable to the public to facilitate informed understanding and public debate. 

Read the full response.  

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