BERR | Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform  
  Economics and Statistics home
Statistics and Analysis Directorate:
  Customer Service and Complaints
We aim to meet the following standards:
Service to Data Suppliers
We will place the minimum load necessary on data providers. We will take good care of information provided to us and we will respect the confidentiality of identifying information.
Service to Users
We will direct our statistical activities to meet the needs of users, and where practicable, make sure that the information we provide is equally accessible to the whole community.
Service Standards
We will be polite, helpful and readily identify ourselves. We will make every reasonable effort to ensure that customers are provided with information that is timely, relevant and accurate, and we will endeavour to meet the following targets.
  • To respond to written external correspondence within 15 working days of receipt.
  • Our response will either be an answer to the issue raised, or a notification that the correspondence is being dealt with.
  • Our holding reply will either contain a date by which we intend to provide a full response, or a date by when we will contact you with a progress update.

If you have a concern about the quality of our service and you cannot resolve the problem with the person you have been dealing with, you can make a formal complaint. If so please follow our Complaints Procedure.



Our commitment

On receipt of your complaint we will
  • treat it seriously, and in confidence;
  • investigate it thoroughly and fairly;
  • resolve it promptly, and informally whenever possible ;
  • find a remedy wherever possible;
  • and learn from it to improve our services.

What to do if you have a formal complaint

You can complain in writing, by fax, by e-mail, by telephone or in person (by appointment). Please provide as much relevant information as possible so that we can deal with your case promptly.

If you know which part of our organisation is relevant to your complaint, or the name, or job title of the appropriate member of staff, please make your complaint direct to them (referring to this complaints procedure would be helpful).

If you do not have this information, please contact the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform enquiry unit. In such cases you will find it helpful to follow the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform’s standard complaints procedure and details of this can be at the following web site:


Publication Strategy
Knowing our customers – the content of our resources and products, and the supporting information we provide will be informed by an understanding of our customers’ needs.

Informing our users – we will help customers and users to understand our products by publishing or referring to supporting, background or educational information and material. We make it easy to identify which of our products have been branded as ‘National Statistics’ by listing them on the National Statistics web site.

Web focus – We will use the Web as our main channel for the dissemination of statistics. This means that our products may appear on the website before they become available in print. We will continue to provide products in other formats in line with our statutory obligations, and where there is sufficient demand.

Charging – All the information we publish on-line will be free at the point of use. Any charges will conform to the rules and procedures set out in the Protocol.


Revisions and Errors


We aim to be open and transparent about any revisions we make to our National Statistics.
We will achieve this aim by:

  • contributing to an area on the National Statistics website, which lists our key National Statistics products showing which are subject to revisions.

In addition, we will supply:

  • information on any revisions, corrections or changes to any of our National Statistics,;
  • explanations for revisions, corrections or methodological changes within any of the publications that incorporate them.

The National Statistician has also written a useful explanatory article on revisions and their role in measuring economic progress.

Correction of Errors

In the case of revisions that are the consequence of errors or weaknesses in our procedures or systems, we will follow the procedures described below.

Announcement of corrections

We will be open and transparent about the need for any unscheduled corrections caused by errors. In normal circumstances, once we ascertain the need for a correction, and become aware of its likely size and direction, we will inform users about our intention to issue corrections, and when.

In the case of market-sensitive statistics the Departmental Head of Profession, in conjunction with the National Statistician, will decide if users’ rights to know about impending corrections must give way to the requirement not to create market uncertainty. In such circumstances, and in due course, we will explain the reason for our chosen course of action.

Dissemination of corrections

Decisions relating to the dissemination of unscheduled corrections will be made by the relevant Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform statistical personnel in the light of the circumstances prevailing at the time but in general terms:

For web versions of releases/publications/tables/articles/etc

We will amend the electronic version of the release/publication as soon as possible after discovery and re-populate the website as soon as possible with the amended version. If the error is substantial or significant, we will issue a prominent alert on the website to notify users about the correction and the reason for its occurrence.

Paper versions of releases/publications/tables

Existing paper versions will not normally be recalled. The error will be corrected in the next edition.
However, if the error is substantial or significant, we will, where practicable, notify the recipients of paper versions and point them to the revised version available on the web. If the release or publication has a long shelf-life, we will consider re-issuing a revised paper version.


Confidentiality and Access

Arrangements for maintaining the confidentiality of statistical data

The security of relevant systems operated within the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform either conform directly to BS7799 or follow guidelines that are equivalent to BS7799.

Physical security

All staff working in the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and all visitors to its sites require a pass to access the premises. This pass must be worn at all times. There is no public access to any part of the organisation where confidential statistical data may be held. Information classified as “restricted” or above is kept in locked cabinets only accessible to authorised staff. Security reviews and inspections are regularly conducted to ensure that security procedures are followed.

Technical security

We maintain a GSI network. Transmission of micro-data is conducted either within the GSI network or on encrypted e-mail or password protected CDs.

Disclosure Security

We use data manipulation and/or statistical disclosure-control techniques to help ensure confidentiality.
Arrangements for providing controlled access to micro-data

Where micro-data is owned by a department or organisation other than Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, arrangements for access are in accordance with the Service Level Agreements, contracts or other confidentiality agreements between the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the data owners.

Access to micro-data collected and owned by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform is determined by the guarantees given to the data suppliers or contributors and is in accordance with statistical legislation covering the collection of these data or with the appropriate principles for the collection and use of administrative data.


Data Management

Data Managers

Each statistical dataset maintained by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform from which National Statistics outputs are produced will have a specified Data Manager. Their role is to ensure that the department manages its data resources in accordance with the best practice principles and standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice and its supporting Protocols; with the Statements and Policies which form part of this Compliance Statement; and in accordance with the department’s statutory obligations.


Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Statistics homepage


Last updated on 13 December, 2007