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									SERVICE DELIVERY AGREEMENT A. DELIVERING KEY RESULTS The aim of ONS is: To provide high quality statistical and registration services A.1. Key performance targets

1. To provide high quality statistics

• To publish all national statistics at the pre-announced time, with revision levels consistent with user delivery requirements • To deliver all Service Level Agreements outputs, to time, cost and service delivery standard • To introduce by March 2003 neighbourhood statistics at ward level covering a range of pre-agreed measures of social and economic deprivation, and report these annually • To complete 8 methodological reviews of existing statistical activity a year with action plans agreed and published within 3 months of the end of the review • To develop a measure of public confidence in official statistics

2. To provide Parliament, central and local government, public, business and the research community with excellent access to high quality statistical data sources

In line with our e-business strategy, ONS will ensure: • By March 2004 80% of output will be available on the Internet

• By March 2004 provide a single port-of-call for both internal and external users to be able to access, analyse and drill-down data across subject areas

2000 Spending review: ONS Service Delivery Agreement – October 2000

3. To conduct a good value for money Census of Population within the budget provided

• • •

Conduct Census of Population on 29 April 2001 Conduct Census Coverage Survey by June 2001 Complete data capture and coding by March 2002

• First results (for population estimates) available by August 2002 • Make statistics required for Standard Spending Assessment Grant purposes available by March 2003. 4. Provide efficient and accurate registration service of key life events • The registration of births does not fall below 99 per cent of all births. • Births and deaths are registered within the timescales set down in legislation • 90% Principal Registration Officers will meet the required professional standards 5. To make a measurably improved contribution to European and other international statistics in timing, funding awarded and harmonisation • To meet targets to improve the provision of statistics to the European Commission as set out in the UK action plan

A.2. Measuring performance
The key performance targets detailed above are embedded within the ONS Business plan which is submitted annually for Ministerial approval. The targets are monitored closely by the ONS Executive Committee. Assurance of the integrity of performance information is attained through: • internal audit (the annual programme of audit reviews is agreed by the Audit Committee, which includes the non-Executive directors of ONS); • the programme of quality reviews outlined in the SDA, which will provide information about the quality of statistical performance; • the Statistics Commission, who will play a key role in ensuring that official statistics are trustworthy and responsive to public needs;


2000 Spending Review: ONS Service Delivery Agreement – October 2000

• compliance with the expectation of customers and stakeholders, including concordat holders and European institutions; • compliance with ONS’s pre-announced plan for statistical releases; and, • regular reviews of performance.

B.1. Strategies for Improving Performance

The ONS Business Strategy (details are published in the ONS Business Plan) is designed to enable ONS to deliver more efficient services at higher quality standards. The key components are: • • • • • • • • • • • • strategic management of National Statistics National Statistics Code of Practice ONS and National Statistics key partnerships continuity of statistical processes Census 2001 Registration services integrated statistical infrastructure Information Age access human resource management modernising systems modernising ONS business management ONS engagement in wider Government modernisation.


2000 Spending Review: ONS Service Delivery Agreement – October 2000

ONS will implement the outcome of the 2000 Business Strategy Review and relevant elements of the 1998-99 Efficiency Review over the period. All performance improvement projects are also specified in ONS’s Business Plan and are monitored quarterly. The improvement programme also covers: • the introduction of a pay and appraisal system (see section D) to support the ONS’s performance management system that applies the Productivity Panel’s performance management model; • a review of the wider application of the European Foundation for Quality Management Model (EFQM – formerly known as the Business Excellence Model) within the department with a view to establishing a corporate implementation plan before April 2001; and, • continued use of a corporately monitored and supported project management regime for major projects, both statistical and non-statistical. In addition, ONS will subject all activities and services to a Better Quality Services review by March 2004. B.2. Value for money targets

By March 2004 the new business strategy, together with savings accruing from the efficiency programmes initiated under the 1998 Public Service Agreement, will enable ONS to make substantial progress towards expansion of its statistical output portfolio. The annual value of additional outputs (over March 2001) is targeted to rise to £15 million by March 2004. ONS will continue to make further efficiency

improvements beyond this period, with the objective of achieving annual output gains of £20 million. The timetable for reaching that figure will be reviewed as part of the 2002 Spending Review B.3. Variations in performance

ONS will: • identify a suitable basis for comparison with other statistical organisations by March 2001, including identifying appropriate variables for comparison; 4
2000 Spending Review: ONS Service Delivery Agreement – October 2000

• will collect baseline data on the variables by March 2002 and, subject to confidentiality undertakings, will publish the data by March 2003; and, • will set targets for improvement by March 2004. ONS, along with a number of other national statistics organisations, is currently developing international comparisons. B.4. Procurement

ONS will work closely with the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) to contribute to economies of scale across government. ONS will comply with OGC gateway processes for all large, complex or novel projects. Key performance

indicators will be developed in consultation with the OGC from March 2001. B.5. Fraud

ONS plays a full part in interdepartmental work to combat fraud. Following the Grabiner review on benefit fraud, by the end of 2002, ONS will be providing more specific information to other government departments that will improve their ability to detect the fraudulent use of birth certificates. ONS will set targets for detection and for reducing the level of other areas of fraud by March 2001 C. CONSUMER (including SUPPLIER) FOCUS C.1. Consumer consultation and tests

Users were consulted as part of a review to create a modern registration service. ONS also uses mystery shoppers to test the registration services offered to the public and is considering extending their use to statistical public enquiries. There are

surveys of visitors to the Family Record Centre (FRC). One outcome has been the extended opening hours at the FRC; a direct response to an expressed customer need. ONS will: • provide UK-wide statistics where component series are produced by devolved administrations 5
2000 Spending Review: ONS Service Delivery Agreement – October 2000

• develop a programme to improve data supplier relations, including ensuring that, by March 2004 80% of information required of businesses will be capable of being received electronically • continue to minimise the costs to businesses of complying with statistical inquiries, commensurate with the delivery of statistical objectives, and so that by 2001-2002 compliance costs are back at the 1999-2000 level of £22m. • ensure all major outputs are reviewed within a 5 year time frame, with a strong user focus, and user consultation, to ensure they are continuing to meet user needs; and, • pay all bills promptly. C.2. Consumer access

ONS will implement a dissemination strategy which maximises electronic rather than paper channels. The strategy will cover all channels, including the web, internet security, pricing and charging policy and will allow ONS and customers to take advantage of new technology. The National Statistics web-site is at http://www.statistics.gov.uk and should, among other things be the prime means of delivering official statistics, managing statistical enquiries and meeting obligations to provide access to information about statistical practice in the UK. The site currently has over 50,000 “hits” a day. The National Statistics web-site will be a wholly integrated part of internal ONS statistical and business systems. The web-site will consist of five quite distinct elements, which will be linked where relevant: pictures of the UK; information gathering; access to sources; documentation; and, special services. Future planned developments by March 2004 include: • optimising access to statistics by creating links from a wide range of commercial and public sector sites


2000 Spending Review: ONS Service Delivery Agreement – October 2000

• developing the capability to cross analyse data sets and to create graphs and charts • a seamless on-line ordering and distribution system that includes customer data capture and analysis • sophisticated customer feedback mechanisms and a regular cycle of qualitative and quantitative research C.3. Awards for Excellence in Service Delivery

ONS has Investors in People accreditation and the production of the Retail Price Index (RPI) has ISO (International Standards Organisation) 9002 accreditation We have developed plans for achieving BS (British Standard) 7799 (Information security management) compliance. C.4. Prompt handling of correspondence and requests for certified copies of

births, marriage and death entries ONS’ s targets are to: • answer 99% public enquiries about statistical activities within 10 days • process urgent registration casework within 5 days; non-urgent within 20 days • post or have available for personal collection (at the Family Records Centre only) applications for certified copies of birth, marriage and death entries received by personal application, post, electronically or by telephone within the specified delivery target for the service (details of all the services are on the ONS website). D. MANAGING PEOPLE D.1. Civil Service reform


2000 Spending Review: ONS Service Delivery Agreement – October 2000

ONS’s Civil Service Reform programme covers six themes – leadership, business planning, diversity, bringing-in and bringing-on talent, performance management and a new deal for staff. Key issues and targets for ONS’s action plan include: New pay and appraisal systems ONS introduced a new appraisal system for the reporting year April 1999 to June 2000. The principles are consistent with those in the Performance Management Group Report. Individuals have objectives linked to business objectives as well as personal development plans (PDPs) which cover development of key competences. The appraisal system is reviewed regularly. ONS is also looking at introducing nonfinancial rewards and a bonus scheme Maintaining IiP accreditation The Registration Division of ONS achieved IiP recognition in 1998 and was successfully re-assessed in 1999. The rest of ONS achieved IiP recognition in 2000. Both areas will be re-assessed in 2001 and ONS will aim for whole organisation IiP accreditation in late 2002. Diversity ONS monitors the distribution of gender, ethnicity and people with disabilities at all grades in the organisation. We have set diversity targets for the Senior Civil Service (SCS) – see below - and middle management grades and will extend these to all grades by April 2001. By March 2001 we will have established local recruitment targets and introduced equality proof recruitment, appraisal and promotion systems. A diversity awareness programme of training will be developed and delivered to all staff by October 2001. The SCS diversity targets, and the current position are: All SCS 1.4.2000 28% 72% 0 3% 31.3.2002 29% 71% 0 3% 31.3.2005 29% 71% 3% 3%

Women Men Ethnic minorities Staff with disabilities 8

2000 Spending Review: ONS Service Delivery Agreement – October 2000

JESP score 13+ 1.4.2000 20% 80% 31.3.2002 33% 67% 31.3.2005 33% 67%

Women Men

Family friendly policies ONS implements family friendly policies designed to aid recruitment and retention. We are looking at ways of improving our provision and support for childcare. Leadership ONS plans the following: • • • • a succession planning strategy by December 2000 360 degree feedback for SCS staff by February 2001 delivery of a leadership programme for the top 300 staff by June 2001 preparation for 360 degree feedback for staff below SCS by December 2001 Consulting with staff Staff are consulted and involved wherever possible. A Staff Perception Survey has been carried out annually since ONS was created. The results are used in HR policy formulation and feed into business area action plans to improve management practices and policies. D.2. Wider Public Sector Reform

ONS works closely with other public sector agencies in the implementation of its Civil Service Reform and Modernising Government initiatives. D.3. Sickness Absence


2000 Spending Review: ONS Service Delivery Agreement – October 2000

ONS will achieve a reduction in the annual average rate of 10.7 days to 7.2 days by 2003. ONS will also operate effective occupational health policies and sound management practices that achieve levels of ill health retirement by 2005 consistent with or better than 3.72 retirements per 1000 employees. E. ELECTRONIC GOVERNMENT ONS is committed to putting all its services on-line by 2005. To date, ONS has identified three main areas for the electronic delivery of services:
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Dissemination of statistical outputs – see C2 above. Electronic data collection from business – provision of survey data currently collected in paper format. An Internet pilot is scheduled for 2000-01 and facility for electronic submission for all firms wanting to use it should be in place before 2005.


Civil Registration – registration of key life events by members of the public and the replacement of birth, etc, certificates. However such

reform could only be undertaken following legislation and would need to maintain safeguards (e.g. ensuring that the birth or death had occurred). The second version of the ONS e-business strategy, due in early 2001, may add further projects in this area.


2000 Spending Review: ONS Service Delivery Agreement – October 2000

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