Equality of access to official statistics is a fundamental principle of statistical good practice. As of 1 July 2017, pre-release access to Office for National Statistics (ONS) statistics was removed in all but exceptional circumstances. Whenever a decision is taken by the National Statistician to grant pre-release access in future, details will be published here.

For further information about ending pre-release access for ONS statistics, please see the letter from the former National Statistician John Pullinger to Sir David Norgrove, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority (15 June 2017) and Sir David Norgrove’s reply (15 June 2017).

Exchange of letters between Jonathan Athow and Ben Broadbent regarding exceptional pre-release access – 13 to 18 July 2017

Exchange of letters between John Pullinger, Iain Bell and Robert Chote regarding exceptional pre-release access – 18 to 20 October 2017

Exchange of letters between Jonathan Athow and Robert Chote regarding exceptional pre-release access – 19 February 2018

Exchange of letters between Jonathan Athow and Ben Broadbent regarding exceptional pre-release access – February 2020

Statement on exceptional pre-release access granted to Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales: week ending 20 March 2020 to 31 March 2020

Previously, under regulations made under the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, the ONS briefed certain accredited news agencies on some market-sensitive economic releases shortly in advance of the standard 9:30am publications, under secure conditions that ensured they could not be reported until publication time. As set out by the National Statistician, because of the COVID-19 pandemic this practice has been suspended and the release time of affected statistics brought forward to 7am. The releases to which this applies are:

  • Monthly GDP and its associated output indicators (construction, production, services and UK trade)
  • Labour market statistics
  • Consumer and producer prices
  • Retail sales
  • Public sector finances
  • Quarterly National Accounts and associated indicators (business investment, balance of payments, quarterly sector accounts)