Would MPs do a better job in legislating, scrutinizing the executive and representing their constituents if they were more adept at data and understood statistics better? The strong consensus is yes and getstats is working with parliamentarians to raise their capacity. The evidence is that many MPs get by with only a primitive grasp of statistics.
So we are working with the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Statistics and other APPGs to interest MPs in the benefits of accuracy in using data, numbers and evidence, and with their staff.
We are liaising with the House of Commons Library and Information Service on a getstats in parliament project: seminars for parliamentarians and training and capacity building for those who work in their offices. We are also working with parliamentary officials on parliament’s own use of data. Also with the political parties on training candidates, and with others concerned about the capacity of parliament, including the Hansard Society and the Institute for Government.
We will continue to respond to policy consultations and public inquiries and play a part in the evidence for policy movement. Outside Westminster we will work with parliamentary authorities and Members of the Scottish Parliament, with Members of the Welsh Assembly and their advisers and eventually with assembly members in Northern Ireland. We aim to stimulate debate on the statistical needs and competence of local elected officials, including the police and crime commissioners chosen during 2012, and work with the Local Government Association, the Centre for Public Scrutiny and others on improvement. We are also working on the data handling capacity of school governors and non-executive board members in the voluntary and public sectors.