10 August 2017
As part of our development of a balanced measure of regional GVA with a more detailed industrial breakdown we have investigated the potential for disclosure of information about specific identifiable companies, in order to ensure that no such identifiable information can be derived from the data we publish. In so doing we have discovered that, in certain areas at the NUTS2 level and below, there are only one or two companies operating within particular industries and we have therefore published potentially disclosive data in earlier publications.
Although these data are estimates produced by breaking down totals for the UK as a whole to smaller regions, and therefore do not represent actual measured data relating to these companies, the fact that there are so few companies operating in these areas could lead people to assume that the estimates are factual measures of the business activity of these companies. For this reason we have removed any such estimates from our previously published data, along with sufficient other estimates to prevent the missing figures being derived by subtraction from higher level estimates (what we term secondary suppression). Any figures removed in this way have been replaced with a letter ‘c’ to denote confidential information.
ONS has a policy of never knowingly publishing statistics that might reveal confidential information about individual people or companies. The steps we have taken ensure that no such potential disclosure will be possible in our future publications of regional GVA estimates.