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ONS achievements in reporting on government activity

Released: 24 January 2012 Download PDF

The UK Centre for the Measurement of Government Activity (UKCeMGA) at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today published its Annual Report.  The Report draws attention to a number of major enhancements to the measurement of Government output and productivity achieved by implementing the majority of the recommendations contained in the Atkinson Report which was published in 2005.

For example, the UK National Accounts now contain:

  • Direct methods for measuring the output of the courts, prisons and social security administration, and

  • Direct methods for measuring the output of adult and some of children’s social services

ONS also produces, among other indicators, statistics on:

  • NHS hospital output reflecting survival rates following  successful treatment of patients

  • Public service education output reflecting the examination performance of pupils, and

  • Labour inputs for health and education using direct methods of measurement based on full-time equivalent staff numbers adjusted for skill levels

Developments over the last year include the inclusion of Further Education inputs and outputs in the measurement of public service education productivity and improved national coverage of healthcare output.

Although there are no longer sufficient resources for further UKCeMGA development work, ONS will continue to produce its regular articles on public sector productivity.

Provisional publication dates for the main articles on public service productivity for 2012 are:

  • March 2012 – Public service productivity estimates on education

  • October 2012 – Public service productivity estimates on healthcare

  • December 2012 – Total public service productivity estimates

Total public service productivity estimates provide figures for healthcare and education productivity alongside other areas of Government expenditure such as adult and children’s social care, police, defence, and social security administration.

Background notes

  1. The ONS review of its priorities following the Comprehensive Spending Review of 2010 concluded that there were no longer substantial resources available for development work and further implementation of the Atkinson Recommendations

  2. In the light of this decision, the UKCeMGA Advisory Board agreed that it would not meet again. 

  3. Important ongoing functions of the board such as support for the quality assurance process of productivity articles and supplementary tables will be maintained through normal ONS processes and procedures. 
  4. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.
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