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Women and Equalities Committee

Recorded coverage of the Women and Equalities Committee's session on the race disparity audit, from Wednesday 7 February.


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LineFromTo

Thank you so much for being with us

today and if everyone can take their

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seats. Sorry we are starting late.

And can I say good morning to you

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and also anybody who is working on

is back and watching online or the

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public gallery. This is the third

and last all evidence session into

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our enquiry into the Government's

raised its piracy audit which has

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provided evidence of disparity

between differences in ethic groups

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in public and services. We have two

witnesses today and after we have

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had this session will be hearing

from David Lidington in the Cabinet

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Office. Our panel here today gives

us more the opportunity to look at

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the office for National statistics

and equality and human rights

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commission's work in this area and

issues that should be addressed.

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Before I start, so could I ask you

to say your name and the

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organisation you represent.

I am Ian

Bell at the National statistics

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office.

Thank you all for being here

today and we will start are

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questioning today.

My question is to

Melanie. The E HRC submission to our

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enquiry seems to think that the work

your enquiry is doing is better at

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uncovering inequalities in the race

disparity order. In your opinion, do

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you think the audit has been a waste

of time?

No, I don't. Certainly we

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do to our own work, we have a

statutory duty to report to

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Parliament on progress towards

equality and human rights in Britain

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and we do that through our fear of

report. That's a very structured

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approach for which we use the

measurement framework, which that at

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all areas of life and uses a variety

of qualitative and quantitative data

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sources. The raised its piracy audit

is a different exercise and I think

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it fulfils a different purpose. --

race disparity audit. It does things

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are approach isn't able to do, in

terms of the amount of original

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analysis. But on the other hand, it

has gaps where we actually do

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publish data. They fulfil a

different purpose. I think it has

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also been extremely beneficial that

the Government has shown such an

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interest in this issue and it

certainly raised the profile of race

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disparity in society. So we welcome

that.

OK, but the EHRC did see the

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data lacks robustness, completeness

and comparability. Is there

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something that can be remedied? Do

you have some suggestions about

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making the audit and offensive?

Yes,

I think things can always be

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improved and that's probably equally

true for our own work and we always

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look to improve. We talk to the race

disparity unit on an ongoing basis

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about where we think additional data

would be useful and I know that they

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are planning to add more data to the

website. We will be helping to guide

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them in that. For example, on higher

education, we think that there is

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more data that is available and

could be used. The main issue for us

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is around setting the data in

context. So we think it would make

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the data more useful if there was

more contextual information which

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enables people to understand what it

means and that it drew links between

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different data sets. For example,

looking at the relationship between

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attainment in access to higher

education and linking that to

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employment.

But are the lessons that

we should be learning from the

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altered in terms of how Government

actually collects data and how we

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can make it more relevant, robust

and useful?

I think certainly and

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I'm sure ONS will have views on that

as well. There are differences in

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the way organisations disaggregate

ethnicity data which wakes it

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difficult to make comparisons,

things are changing the way people

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do things over time, making it

difficult to track progress. I think

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there are lessons to learn in terms

of completeness and consistency

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about how we look at these issues.

I'm just going to pressure a bit

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further on the usefulness of the

data. You've expend about having

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contacts, which makes sense. There's

any other way the data could have

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been presented which could have the

data more useful to us?

Well, the

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Government took a view that it was

going to publish the raw data, in

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effect, without putting any kind of

analysis or context around it and I

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can see that there are risks with

doing that for Government because it

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may be seen at being political spin,

the way that the information is

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presented if it isn't just resented

in its raw form. But for people to

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use the data, they needed that

analysis and context and therefore,

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we try to provide that with or

report. Our reporters on a different

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basis but I think there is room for

the Government to supplement what is

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the with a something that would make

it easier for people to actually

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use.

Ian, I don't know if you wanted

to comment on this point.

The point

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around the usefulness and

comparability? The way the system

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hopefully works is that we publish

in ONS what is called harmonisation

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guidance. Departments, whether the

our collecting administrative data

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for how they run benefit systems or

education systems and also the

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surveys the conduct, are then

advised to harmonise against those

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classifications. What became

apparent through the race disparity

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audit is something which I think was

no one but shone a light in this

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area. It is that many organisations

have yet to align the latest ONS

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classifications for the 2011 census

and of course we are now coming up

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of the 2021 census. In part of the

preparation for that, we are working

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through body ethnicity

classification should look like. We

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know there's a real job to do to

work with organisations across

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Government in order to get that

consistency of approach right of the

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way across the data collectors and

make sure that the harmonisation is

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there. Some NHS bodies are

collecting 2001 definitions still, I

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know the Department for Education,

my old apartment, was on a hybrid

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between 2001 and 2011. If we can get

everyone up to the same level and

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work with them towards the 2021

census, it will undertake and take

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that increase incompatibility

across-the-board. It is a task I

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have to take on as part of the next

stage of the census development.

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Scanner has a supplementary, they

worried about the robustness and

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consistency of the data. Whether

particular areas where the

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organisation was concerned about

that robustness of the data? That is

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worrying. I can understand

completeness and comparability. But

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if you are saying some of the data

wasn't robust, that would be useful

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to have a particular example.

I

think I will have to write to you

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about that.

Will you put in

something about how you would have

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done it differently? We are trying

to get at if something like an audit

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like this is done, the robustness

mixers question whether the

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integrity of the -- makes as

question whether the integrity of

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the data is correct.

We think it is

really important there is a central

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point that guy is a strategic

approach across Government to

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address the essays that occur across

all areas of life and equality.

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Following the recent cabinet

reshuffle, responsibility for the

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race disparity units now sits with

the Cabinet office with its

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coordination role. Recently, it was

a split responsibility. I think that

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is really welcome. I hope it is a

strong push from the centre to take

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coordinated action across all these

issues. In fact, we would like to

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see that happen all the quality

protector characteristics which have

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different responsibilities across

Government. And do not think it

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matters which department it sits in,

it is that it sits in a place which

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has an overview and is able to

influence action across Government.

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What do you think about the action

that has been taken so far by the

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Government, devolving to the

relevant departments?

I think there

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is a kind of push and pull thing

going on here. I think that is

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probably right. You need that kind

of point of view to say, what are

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the priority issues we need to focus

on getting traction on? And

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departments responsible for

particular issues, the best place to

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come up with policy responses that

we have not yet seen, really, what's

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those policy responses are going to

be.

What is the role of the

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Commission in all of this?

I think

the role of the Commission is to

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form our own views about what we

think the priorities are based on

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our analysis and understanding of

the data. And then to encourage and

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press Government to turn the

information into reaction.

Thank

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you.

The UK has been collecting

ethnicity data to identify

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inequalities for a good many years.

While there have been some successes

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in reducing inequalities in a few

areas, some issues remain stubbornly

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entrenched. Is it reasonable for us

and the HRC to assume this will make

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a significant inroads in tackling

the men -- more entrenched problems?

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To answer that you need to think

about what conditions you actually

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need to make progress on an issue. I

think that's transparency and

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leadership and commitment are part

of that. They are kind of the

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beginning of that journey. What then

needs to happen is for people to

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take ownership of the issues and

actually act on them. I think

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obviously we have known about a lot

of these issues for a very long

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time. They persist and progress has

not been as rapid as we would have

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liked to see.

Is this knowing it

every two bit more is going to

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change anything?

I think there is a

risk. Action should be based on

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evidence. There is a risk the search

for more and better evidence can

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delay action. I do not think, if we

know that certain ethnic groups are

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underachieving at school, it is

useful to know all the factors that

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contribute to that. It doesn't stop

the actually trying to do something

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in the classroom. -- you trying to

do something in the classroom.

You

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said the HRC will form their own

response to the audit. What form

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will that take when will we see it?

Republished our road map to race

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equality very shortly after the

audit was published. Which

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identified a number of areas we that

urgent action was needed and we

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worked with some race equality

organisations to produce that

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report.

Is there anything else you

are planning to do as a result of

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that?

We are continuing to keep an

eye on what is happening in touch

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with race disparity unit and we are

continuing to ask them how the

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policy responses are progressing.

Another thing we are doing at the

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moment is some research into the

public sector the quality duty. --

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equality duty. That followed on from

the earlier race equality duty. The

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policy idea behind it was it should

harness the power of the public

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sector in addressing persistent

equality issues. I think it is clear

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from the figures that hasn't been

entirely successful. We are looking

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at how the duty has been working and

considering whether we can make some

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recommendations about how it can be

improved to make it be more

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effective.

Did any of the data from

the audit surprise you in terms of

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inequalities, or was it called grand

you had expected and seen before? --

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and ground you had expected and seen

before?

I do not think there was

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anything that came as a massive

surprise.

-- old ground.

Your new

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audit is going to be looking at the

advantages and limitations of ONS

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data on... Is the fatal flaws?

The

work programme is broader than

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ethnicity. We are looking across the

protector characteristics and the

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aim of the audit is to look at the

data not just on ethnicity but

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across all the other

characteristics, disability, gender

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identity, sexual orientation.

The

inequalities data audit that we

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studied with Government bodies that

invited them to look through the

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baseline data we had available to us

and add to it has now concluded. We

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had 46 responses, which I think we

feel is particularly reassuring

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because it means for the majority of

our Government stakeholders, we

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already had a side of the data they

had. And it was being used either by

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us or through the race disparity

audit. 46 had something additionally

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to offer to us. We will look through

the quality and added value that

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that they take and give us.

How

satisfied are you that the data

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standards in the Government's audit

are high enough?

On race disparity?

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I think it is worth pointing out

that much of the data in the audit

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is already published in individual

departments and published often with

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the badges of national or official

statistics designed to provide

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reassurance that these are done in

line with the UK Statistics

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Authority code of practice and are

of high quality. The audit has tied

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together, provided overview across

the board. For many users interested

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at incoming -- coming at this from

race disparity angles, it makes it

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more easily acceptable... We

seconded out some staff to work in

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the audit and worked with them to

make sure the quality and accuracy

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was there within the audit on that

side.

We have covered this briefly

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but can I just ask, based on what

the audit revealed about how the

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public sector collects ethnicity

data, could there be improvements to

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how the public sector collects that

data?

Yes, they're in and out of the

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-ish room for us to get more

consistency -- undoubtably room for

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more consistency across the board.

If it ain't the interpretation and

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allows it to be easier to follow

through some of the disparities we

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have talked about already, if the

education system is not on the same

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definition as the labour market

data, it becomes harder for users to

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quickly come to conclusions.

So the

improvements you would recommend

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there are consistency, comparability

and similar definitions?

Alignment

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with the harmonised standards which

the public, yes.

Can I go back to

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the specifics of administrative

data? Which we are not

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statisticians, that we understand

there are real concerns about the

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way that data is gathered and then

used, and that the limitations of

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that data have to be carefully

considered. I am thinking

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particularly about Gypsy Roma

Traveller communities who can deal

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-- Roman that's their position in

the system is compounded. Would you

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agree?

We have different sources,

sensors, service, administrative

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data, all of which have different

strengths and limitations. The issue

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you highlight, for each of these, it

relies from census the surveys and

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administrative data, there are

different reasons for interacting

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with that. Every ten years, the

census, there must be trust in the

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system that the data is used in

partially and independently and we

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would like to think we enable that.

Surveys are usually run for

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households on a voluntary basis. For

those communities there are two

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issues which we recap. One is how do

we make sure that within it the

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survey House roads are even getting

to the population. -- households.

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Second, there are issues around with

a naturally respond to these data

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and that collection? And

administrative data, when the Gypsy

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Traveller community, data will be

collected as a by-product. It is

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recorded on what the person wants to

express their identity as being and

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relies on the person saying they

want their identity recorded in the

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assessment group. All rely on the

trust around how data is collected

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and the bodies who are doing it. I

think it is particularly for the

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group you highlight it, I think it

would be difficult to conclude that

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anyone system is better than any

other. I think each other strengths

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and limitations. In using the

different types of sources of data,

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it is important we make it clear

where the strengths and limitations

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are so people know and understand

the issues which can be done. I do

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not think it is fair to say

particularly that administrative

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data is particularly poor, but

compared to others, yes.

Given we

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are doing with groups were trust may

not be strong, what are you doing to

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ensure that new methodologies are

adopted to overcome that. Otherwise,

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we are living with a fatal flaw in

the data?

As I mentioned earlier, we

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are preparing for the 2021 census.

One of the core aspects is community

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engagement we will be undertaking,

we are already in large-scale

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stakeholder engagement on what are

the needs for a user ethnicity data

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and what is the suitability for

inclusion in the census. Our

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ambition in ONS, too often we have

set up community engagement which

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sets up groups to have trust and

fill it in for the census, but then

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the infrastructure tends to fade

into the background after the census

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has happened. We need to design it

so that we do not set up a community

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engagement programme for giving

statistical information that

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disappears again on an ongoing

basis. We need to build the trust,

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provide the information which allows

accurate data to be done. We're

0:24:000:24:03

building to that the moment and are

determined to sustain.

It feels you

0:24:030:24:10

might have a census to me that he

might have a mini- census. -- you

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might

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We have a programme of research at

the moment called the administrative

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data census and that is looking at

the information which is held across

0:24:260:24:32

Government at the moment and, could

we use that to provide updates on

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the population on an ongoing basis

in between census years? Yes, your

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assertion is we could be looking at

not many censuses in that sense but

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even many senses of the population

using data which exists already.

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Just moving back to the race

disparity audit, but it was

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important to know what datasets

might be available. Much of the

0:25:020:25:07

evidence we've received his calls

for far more granularity in the data

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that is included in the audit. And

the ability to control for variables

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so that it can be determined whether

race in the factor in causing a

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particular disparity. Do you think

the audit provides enough detail for

0:25:220:25:28

this sort of robust analysis of the

causes of disparities?

The audit

0:25:280:25:36

certainly, there are some examples

within it where it gave more

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information than just the ethnicity

breakdown. The one example which

0:25:410:25:44

immediately springs to mind is the

education where it also provided

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education on free school meals as an

education of income levels to try

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and get into deprivation. I think

where it summed it up was available

0:25:530:26:01

provided the information, but

fundamentally, I am turning to the

0:26:010:26:07

work of Emma's team. The importance

of the work is really the ability to

0:26:070:26:12

look at all the characteristics and

are not just race on this side. I

0:26:120:26:18

think it's our view that we need to

do a bigger job building on the work

0:26:180:26:22

we've just added with the audit we

mentioned earlier into much more of

0:26:220:26:29

round all the inequalities.

Just to

emphasise that we see the race

0:26:290:26:36

disparity audit as it currently

stands as the beginning. It is

0:26:360:26:41

providing common evidence base from

which we can build a variety of

0:26:410:26:45

different conversations. Whilst it

doesn't necessarily all, is a

0:26:450:26:50

surprise to some of us who are

familiar with the contents, there

0:26:500:26:55

are a number of third parties that

want to have had access to the

0:26:550:26:59

breadth of the content of the

current audit. It begins the right

0:26:590:27:07

sort of conversation and were ONS

can add value is starting to

0:27:070:27:13

introduce other variables, other

factors and start to broaden out the

0:27:130:27:17

intersection hours we were the data

that is available to us.

But our

0:27:170:27:22

statistical professionals, are you

not worried when, as we've had

0:27:220:27:27

evidence given to us which shows how

much this data could be

0:27:270:27:31

misinterpreted? I'm sure not

wilfully, but just by default. For

0:27:310:27:37

instance, the audit shows that black

women are almost twice as likely to

0:27:370:27:41

have a common mental health problem

as white women. But you could also

0:27:410:27:47

be looking in that same dataset that

information like housing tenure and

0:27:470:27:54

other elements which could provide

much more information than that

0:27:540:28:00

simple fact around mental health to

try and explain why that problem is

0:28:000:28:04

happening. Clearly not necessarily

driven, may not be driven by NHS

0:28:040:28:11

issues or access to NHS issues, but

maybe a disproportionate pub at

0:28:110:28:16

ability that they are living in

certain sort of housing or any other

0:28:160:28:20

number of things. Yet that Laura low

data isn't available.

I think the

0:28:200:28:27

audit was very clear, and the

caveats were there quite clearly

0:28:270:28:33

about how to use the data. But this

is always going to be a tension

0:28:330:28:39

within a statistical system, whereby

if you wait for fully understanding

0:28:390:28:45

and knowing all the causes of the

system, then the data may not have

0:28:450:28:49

seen the light of day for quite a

long time. And actually, that then

0:28:490:28:55

means that all the onus is on the

people who have the data in order to

0:28:550:28:59

fully analyse and do all the

causalities. And actually, what the

0:28:590:29:05

audit can usefully do is by putting

the data together in one place and

0:29:050:29:09

making it available, it can begin to

get better question is asked to

0:29:090:29:14

allow the evidence and analysis and

further research to get into

0:29:140:29:18

explaining the disparities. I view

it as being a starting point for

0:29:180:29:25

further research and analysis which

enables us to achieve more by having

0:29:250:29:29

out there and available to a wider

group of researchers than if it was

0:29:290:29:34

simply waited for until all of that

analysis was completed by the data

0:29:340:29:37

holders.

You talk about this tension

and I think you're absolutely right.

0:29:370:29:44

There is a concern again, different

amendment were coming from a

0:29:440:29:50

different set of witnesses, that if

you continue to segregate the data

0:29:500:29:53

you could always show that there are

other factors at work that could

0:29:530:29:58

conceal with disparities. What I

advise would you give to the

0:29:580:30:04

departments who are currently

analysing this data so that they get

0:30:040:30:07

that tension right?

The Government,

the departments across Government,

0:30:070:30:17

are part of the Government

statistical service, and they are

0:30:170:30:20

very used to this tension on a

day-to-day basis and manage it for

0:30:200:30:25

the datasets the release. They are

constantly weighing it up, not just

0:30:250:30:29

with the attention they have the but

also the risk of disclosure as we

0:30:290:30:33

get to smaller and smaller numbers

as well. And so they will be

0:30:330:30:38

factoring this in them. The best

advice we would be giving us that we

0:30:380:30:41

are here to help and advise in terms

of we have a lot of experience and

0:30:410:30:48

disclosure control as ONS and we are

here to help and advice, but

0:30:480:30:51

fundamentally it is about making

sure that there is and Melanie put

0:30:510:30:56

this very well, transparency is a

necessary condition for open data in

0:30:560:31:03

the transparency of the data

alongside the all analysis and

0:31:030:31:06

evidence they do have and the

appropriate caveats in order to make

0:31:060:31:09

sure that it is fully understood

what you can't and can't conclude it

0:31:090:31:14

is usually the best way to manage

your way through that tension. But

0:31:140:31:19

the transparency of the data is

essential.

That's really helpful,

0:31:190:31:23

brilliant. Any other questions?

Thank you so much for your time this

0:31:230:31:28

morning, really helpful in the

formulation of our report. Thank you

0:31:280:31:31

for your time and I know it takes a

lot of energy to come here and

0:31:310:31:35

prepare for it so we are immensely

grateful. We are now going to move

0:31:350:31:39

on to our next session. So if I

could ask eyewitnesses to leave and

0:31:390:31:45

any members of the audience who

wants to leave, please do. We are

0:31:450:31:50

moving on to our next session and

rigidly, seamlessly. If I could ask

0:31:500:31:57

eyewitnesses to take their seats and

also members of the audience who are

0:31:570:32:01

joining us, I'd be grateful, and I'd

like to welcome our minister, David

0:32:010:32:06

Lidington, and also mark Bell, who

is here from the Cabinet Office. And

0:32:060:32:13

two people who have joined us in the

audience as well. Minister, your

0:32:130:32:18

predecessor was keen to engage with

the committee about the next steps

0:32:180:32:21

the Government should take now that

the first stage of the race

0:32:210:32:25

disparity audit has been complacent.

We are grateful for that and we look

0:32:250:32:28

forward to assessing the evidence we

have heard and putting our

0:32:280:32:35

conclusions and recommendations into

the usual report. However, we do

0:32:350:32:39

want to learn today more about the

Government's on thinking, what

0:32:390:32:45

you've learnt about the audit and

what steps you plan to take to build

0:32:450:32:49

on that and to respond importantly

to its findings. I don't think I

0:32:490:32:55

need to ask you to introduce

yourselves, I think I've already

0:32:550:32:59

done that, but I will move in

rigidly on to our first set of

0:32:590:33:03

questions, which are going to be

asked by Jess.

Your predecessor so

0:33:030:33:15

describes it as explain or change.

Does this mean that if the disparity

0:33:150:33:20

can be explained that the Government

doesn't think it needs to be

0:33:200:33:22

changed?

It depends what the

explanation is. For example, one of

0:33:220:33:29

the lines of constructive criticism

that has been of some of the

0:33:290:33:33

statistics that we have presented in

the audit is that they've not been

0:33:330:33:38

adjusted for age or for other

characteristics, plus income level

0:33:380:33:46

that might provide a better, more

subtle explanation of the phenomenon

0:33:460:33:54

that we are seeing. So I would say

that the audit is unprecedented in

0:33:540:34:04

just the sheer scope and scale of

what is being presented and it is

0:34:040:34:11

backed up by a determination from

the Prime Minister personally Darren

0:34:110:34:20

to address racial disparities.

Obviously one looks at the evidence

0:34:200:34:24

and, for example, at the evidence

presented in the audit of

0:34:240:34:28

educational attainment at school.

Actually, you see different average

0:34:280:34:33

levels of attainment by boys and

girls within each ethnicity and you

0:34:330:34:42

see some quite stark differences

between the relative performance

0:34:420:34:45

levels on an average of different

ethnic minorities. So one needs to

0:34:450:34:50

think, what is it that lies behind

those inequalities? And then devise

0:34:500:34:56

a policy response that addresses

that.

In that case, even if you

0:34:560:35:01

could explain it, you would still

stick to change it.

The audit is the

0:35:010:35:07

starting point. You then say, if

there is this inequality in outcome,

0:35:070:35:12

is there some reason for it? That

may throw up a reason that goes

0:35:120:35:19

beyond a simple, say people are

judging those from one or another

0:35:190:35:30

minority group and further, there

may be other contributions, but then

0:35:300:35:33

you want to ensure that there is

genuine equality of opportunity in

0:35:330:35:38

things like education and you want

to ensure that all public services

0:35:380:35:41

are operating anyway that is fair to

all citizens of this country.

It

0:35:410:35:48

seems to me that you want to change

it regardless, which is not a bad

0:35:480:35:52

thing. It sounds like change or

change.

I think a challenge, I would

0:35:520:36:00

say, is the keyword there.

So, how

is the Government going about

0:36:000:36:08

explaining the disparities in the

audit?

We are now in the process of

0:36:080:36:14

getting the Whitehall machinery into

action about this. There have been a

0:36:140:36:24

number of early priorities, one

which, given my previous job, I knew

0:36:240:36:28

something about, the Government's

response to the report on the

0:36:280:36:33

experience of black and ethnic

minority people in the criminal

0:36:330:36:36

justice system. When Justice

Secretary, I announced the

0:36:360:36:42

Government's response to that at the

end of the last year, setting

0:36:420:36:46

demanding targets for the prison

service in terms of recruitment and

0:36:460:36:49

development into leadership

positions in the prison service. We

0:36:490:36:55

are also...

You're prioritising

certain areas.

Yes, and one of the

0:36:550:37:02

things I intend to do, having

inherited this position, is use the

0:37:020:37:09

grip on racial disparity which is

supported by the unit in the Cabinet

0:37:090:37:15

Office that Marcus herds to ensure

that each secretary of state, each

0:37:150:37:23

department are addressing those

things that fall within the areas of

0:37:230:37:29

responsibility. They will need to be

a system prioritisation here,

0:37:290:37:36

otherwise we will find effort and

resources spread too thinly to have

0:37:360:37:40

a proper understanding.

What if any

deadline have each Government

0:37:400:37:46

department been given for explaining

the areas of disparity?

We are not

0:37:460:37:53

at that stage yet. What I want to do

is make sure that when we are 12

0:37:530:37:59

months on from the initial

publication of the orders we are

0:37:590:38:02

able to say that there has been some

demonstrable progress made across

0:38:020:38:07

Government. The earliest priorities

have been the response to the

0:38:070:38:12

criminal Justice report, some work

that we are undertaking and

0:38:120:38:21

employment where we are targeting

efforts in about 20 areas of the

0:38:210:38:26

country which have both a high rates

of unemployment, high BAME

0:38:260:38:42

unemployment and white citizens gap

in unemployment and guess at what

0:38:420:38:44

lies behind those differences in

outcome and then we will be

0:38:440:38:49

announcing fairly certain and

externally led review of school

0:38:490:38:56

exclusions. Because again, you look

at the stats that are in the audit

0:38:560:38:59

and you see that there are more

black is being excluded from school

0:38:590:39:07

both temporarily and then

permanently and need to understand

0:39:070:39:09

what it says that is driving that

and what can be done about it.

0:39:090:39:13

You have to have 30s because the

Cabinet office is only as big as it

0:39:180:39:21

is. -- priorities. It will be

helpful to explain the findings of

0:39:210:39:28

the audit...

It will the

0:39:280:39:34

it will be the Secretary of State,

Cabinet officers, the Prime Minister

0:39:370:39:42

has made it clear she regards it as

a key aspect of the social policy

0:39:420:39:47

programme. But it will have to be

done within the Budget allocated.

0:39:470:39:53

The Secretary of State makes its for

spending...

What will happen if

0:39:530:40:04

nothing is done?

There will be

meetings of the ministerial group.

0:40:040:40:12

The unit, markets may want to add to

this, is talking to colleagues

0:40:120:40:19

around Whitehall the whole time

about what they are doing. One of

0:40:190:40:25

the things I have since being

appointed is where things now stand.

0:40:250:40:31

I have asked. And making sure they

have a follow-up...

All the data on

0:40:310:40:46

the website comes from departments,

it is not our data they sensed a us.

0:40:460:40:53

They have analysts more than capable

of conducting a thorough regression

0:40:530:41:00

analysis. They are doing that. They

have been asked by us to do a

0:41:000:41:06

regression analysis on all the

measures on site and we are

0:41:060:41:09

coordinating how they are doing

that.

Trying to explain, you have

0:41:090:41:16

analysts in every department that is

relevant. And so it is specifically

0:41:160:41:24

on data analysis?

That aspect is. We

are actively involved it on the

0:41:240:41:33

policy side.

You will be seeking

from fieldwork, talking to people?

0:41:330:41:42

That is for departments to decide

how they do that. We have asked them

0:41:420:41:49

to do a proper regression analysis

on data on the site.

Before I bring

0:41:490:41:56

in Eddie, can I ask for more

detailed? From what has said,

0:41:560:42:01

education and the criminal justice

Section could be top priorities in

0:42:010:42:04

what you are doing. They could be

cleared data on racial disparities,

0:42:040:42:11

exclusion particularly. The evidence

we have been given would suggest

0:42:110:42:17

that in other areas there will be

co-dependencies which are driving

0:42:170:42:21

disparity. We were given the example

that black women are twice as likely

0:42:210:42:28

to have mental health problems than

white women. More likely to be

0:42:280:42:33

living in social housing. It's maybe

that housing tenure is the problem

0:42:330:42:38

rather than race. How will you bring

that thinking together because

0:42:380:42:44

health and housing sit in different

Government departments? And do you

0:42:440:42:48

think there is room for a strategies

year so that those who are

0:42:480:42:55

interested -- strategy here so those

interested will know what priorities

0:42:550:42:59

you have decided our most important.

We have heard from O N as and HRC

0:42:590:43:12

that's transparency is essential for

good strategy... The data and is

0:43:120:43:24

that the data currently on the site

is that there are 130-140 measures.

0:43:240:43:31

We didn't have time to make linkages

between the different data sets.

0:43:310:43:36

That is something we could

prioritise in the second phase. It

0:43:360:43:39

would be interesting to know more

about the connections between

0:43:390:43:43

education, mental health, housing

and employment data. We are

0:43:430:43:48

discussing that other departments.

On the policy side, as you say, some

0:43:480:43:52

of the issues raised are classic

crosscutting Government policies,

0:43:520:43:57

whether there are serious

dependencies. We will be discussing

0:43:570:44:02

that between the connections between

education and deployment.

We have no

0:44:020:44:12

plans at the moment to have a formal

cross- Government strategy. But

0:44:120:44:20

rather to expect departments to take

account of the Prime Minister's

0:44:200:44:27

priority here to work within their

area of responsible to. Sometimes

0:44:270:44:37

taking initiatives on the back of

the audit. Sometimes using audit

0:44:370:44:43

findings to influence the

development of work they were doing

0:44:430:44:45

anyway to provide for more effective

policies. To take your mental health

0:44:450:44:52

example, the Secretary of State for

Health and social care is of course

0:44:520:44:55

already preparing a mental health

strategy that will be published

0:44:550:44:58

later this year. He and his team

will be looking to the results of

0:44:580:45:04

the audit and building that in

similarly, the Westway review was

0:45:040:45:10

established towards the end of last

year into detention under the Mental

0:45:100:45:16

Health Act. It is a matter of record

that black people in particular are

0:45:160:45:22

more likely statistically to the

subject to detention than white

0:45:220:45:28

people under the Mental Health Act.

He will no doubt want to take that

0:45:280:45:35

into account in his work.

You are

making choices with the wages use

0:45:350:45:43

scarce resources. How can this

committee scrutinise your choices.

0:45:430:45:50

-- with the way you use scarce

resources.

Ultimately, in policy

0:45:500:45:55

terms, the choices are for

secretaries of state. In their

0:45:550:45:59

departments. What we seek to do

through the ministerial group is to

0:45:590:46:11

both remind... To remind the

Secretary of State of state --

0:46:110:46:21

secretaries of state that the Prime

Minister attaches a high priority to

0:46:210:46:25

this and they are continuing to work

on this. Certainly, it would be

0:46:250:46:31

helpful to the committee, we could

look for ways to perhaps provide a

0:46:310:46:37

report to the committee from time to

time on progress so that the

0:46:370:46:41

committee has a view of what is

happening across Whitehall. I see no

0:46:410:46:46

problem about that as a matter of

principle. As I say, sometimes the

0:46:460:46:52

work to address the disparities

found in the audit will take place

0:46:520:46:55

within the context of a broader

policy works June that that

0:46:550:47:01

particular Secretary of State is

taking on.

I am sure the committee

0:47:010:47:06

would always relished any

information the Government could

0:47:060:47:09

furnish them with.

I am surprised.

You have had the data from the audit

0:47:090:47:16

for a very long time. Most of the

findings are not a secret. There is

0:47:160:47:21

no doubt there is a link between

people who do not receive a lot of

0:47:210:47:24

money in terms of employment and the

gap in pay for ethnic minority.

0:47:240:47:31

There is no chance of home ownership

for those who rent. It sounds

0:47:310:47:36

piecemeal, the approach. Unless you

have crosscutting Government

0:47:360:47:40

strategy, you cannot solve this. I

am sure you are aware of that. Is

0:47:400:47:45

there no chance of having perhaps a

minister for a race who can

0:47:450:47:49

coordinate everything that is

happening across departments? If it

0:47:490:47:54

is really a priority for the Prime

Minister and she is attaching

0:47:540:47:59

welcome importance, it doesn't sound

like you have an overall strategy.

0:47:590:48:02

Correct me if I am wrong but it

sounds like each department is doing

0:48:020:48:06

its own thing and that won't solve

the problem.

It is important that

0:48:060:48:11

each department feels like they have

responsibility here. I can

0:48:110:48:18

understand the argument. The risk

with designating a minister for race

0:48:180:48:23

equality, let's say, is that

departments then say it is that

0:48:230:48:34

minister's job rather than my job as

a minister for schools, courts, the

0:48:340:48:40

prison service. The police. To

address these problems in my

0:48:400:48:47

particular areas of responsibility

and dealing with the public services

0:48:470:48:49

for which in my ministerial capacity

I am responsible. The fact that the

0:48:490:48:56

unit is located in the Cabinet

office gives us a locus and

0:48:560:49:01

coordinating role to make sure

departments are being kept up to the

0:49:010:49:06

mark. I do not think that it would

be right to portray the Government's

0:49:060:49:14

response is in the recent sluggish.

We are determined to make certain of

0:49:140:49:18

the initiatives we take actually

identifying and apply policy

0:49:180:49:24

solutions that are going to work.

Taking your point about employment

0:49:240:49:29

and what we are doing their is to

establish 20 pilot projects as I

0:49:290:49:35

describe in areas of the country

where we have a high BAME population

0:49:350:49:41

and a large gap between ethnic

minority and white employment rates.

0:49:410:49:46

What we are doing is have Jobcentre

plus working with employers, the

0:49:460:49:52

voluntary sector, to understand and

take action to remedy those gaps.

0:49:520:50:02

Partly improving the training from

the Jobcentre staff dealing with

0:50:020:50:06

people from minority groups seeking

work. It also means talking to local

0:50:060:50:11

employers about things like perhaps

having a normalised job applications

0:50:110:50:21

addressing possible questions of

unconscious bias. It also means

0:50:210:50:25

talking to training providers

locally and education providers

0:50:250:50:29

because in some cases, I don't want

to speculate, but it may be we find

0:50:290:50:35

for some reason young people from

particular groups are not getting

0:50:350:50:44

access or gaining the qualifications

for which employers in that area are

0:50:440:50:49

looking. We need to get to grips

with the reason at a concrete level

0:50:490:50:53

and then put in place...

I don't

think any of this data comes as a

0:50:530:50:59

surprise. It has been around for

years, people from ethnic minority

0:50:590:51:04

communities not getting the right

kind of pay or jobs they want. To

0:51:040:51:07

deny the links with housing I think

is astonishing. To say that someone

0:51:070:51:13

doesn't get paid enough money

therefore they cannot get on the

0:51:130:51:16

housing ladder, cannot rent, not to

address the problems in the rental

0:51:160:51:21

market, housing, I do not think you

can do with these departments

0:51:210:51:26

individually. You must realise there

has to be a overall strategy. I do

0:51:260:51:32

not think establishing a minister of

race would be dodging

0:51:320:51:37

responsibility, I think it would be

establishing...

I have not ever said

0:51:370:51:46

that we will ignore the housing

question, or ignore possible

0:51:460:51:51

relationships there. I think that

when it comes to employment, there

0:51:510:51:59

have been some good signs of

progress. We know one of the groups

0:51:590:52:05

of people who are still least likely

to be in work are women from

0:52:050:52:10

Pakistani and Bangladeshi

communities in this country. It is

0:52:100:52:14

way below the national average for

female employment. It is still in

0:52:140:52:18

the last ten years we have seen a

significant increase in the number

0:52:180:52:24

of women from these communities

getting into employment. There are

0:52:240:52:27

success stories about the country we

can learn from and build on as well.

0:52:270:52:32

Are you satisfied with the level of

increase in the number of ethnic

0:52:320:52:37

minority women in 2018 that have got

jobs?

No. The fact it is way below

0:52:370:52:44

average we cannot be satisfied.

We

will need to move on for time.

0:52:440:52:49

Eddie?

When disparities cannot be

explained, what deadlines have been

0:52:490:52:56

set for departments to come up with

a plan?

We are still at relatively

0:52:560:53:03

early stages here, you will

appreciate I have been in the post

0:53:030:53:10

coming up to one month. In terms of

the work already done at official

0:53:100:53:16

level, I am not talking about sex

deadlines...

As you said earlier,

0:53:160:53:24

the general aim is to be able to

demonstrate very significant

0:53:240:53:27

progress in tackling some of the key

-- I am not talking about set

0:53:270:53:35

deadlines.

0:53:350:53:36

What streams have been started in

response to the Government's

0:53:420:53:45

findings?

The Government response to

the present enquiry was important.

0:53:450:53:58

The exclusion response where we will

have an external lead and a panel

0:53:580:54:02

will be set up externally to have a

member gratifies on that. Then we

0:54:020:54:07

have a number of work streams that

are going on within Government about

0:54:070:54:12

this. I mentioned the work that was

going on in terms of the review in

0:54:120:54:19

mental health, but when we go back

to education, the previous Secretary

0:54:190:54:23

of State for Education last autumn,

shortly before Christmas, launched a

0:54:230:54:29

social mobility plan for the

Department and findings of the audit

0:54:290:54:37

are being built into the ongoing

work of the department and social

0:54:370:54:40

mobility. So that's how the address

the broader issue of social

0:54:400:54:48

mobility, they are taking account of

the particular challenges thrown up

0:54:480:54:51

by the racial disparity audit. Not

to the exclusion of everyone else,

0:54:510:54:57

because it is a real challenge in

terms of kids from polar White

0:54:570:55:00

families in terms of

underperformance and schools as

0:55:000:55:04

well.

What criteria are you using to

determine how you focus your

0:55:040:55:14

efforts?

We are looking at the

findings of the audit. We are saying

0:55:140:55:21

to departments, where there is an

equality of outcome, the Prime

0:55:210:55:25

Minister will set this challenge

that you change or explain. We

0:55:250:55:30

accept that sometimes there will be

a crosscutting issue, other times it

0:55:300:55:38

may be that you are having to

address quite a deep-seated issues

0:55:380:55:45

about a relationship between people

in a particular community. The

0:55:450:55:51

operation of a public service and

the expectations that one has of the

0:55:510:55:58

other, and then to come forward and

come up with your solutions. But

0:55:580:56:02

it's going to be work that is not

going to be accomplished in six, not

0:56:020:56:09

even 12 months. This is going to be

a programme of work that will need

0:56:090:56:14

to be followed through for a period

of years and I think under more than

0:56:140:56:19

one Parliament. If we are going to

get genuine equality of opportunity

0:56:190:56:26

that we want to see.

But it feels

that the problem could be so broad

0:56:260:56:31

it very difficult to focus down on

specific areas and prioritise.

0:56:310:56:36

Secondly, to what Tulip said, this

information has been around a long

0:56:360:56:44

time. I appreciate your volley been

in post for a month, but in terms of

0:56:440:56:49

deadlines, to be able to sit here in

12 months and say, we know it is

0:56:490:56:54

very broad, but what has actually

changed?

What I have said two

0:56:540:57:02

officials is that I want us to be

any position, I think there will be

0:57:020:57:07

an expectation in parliament and

were generally, 12 months on from

0:57:070:57:12

publication of the audit in October

this year to be able to say in

0:57:120:57:17

public, this is the measurable

progress that has been made. While I

0:57:170:57:20

met some of the leading NGOs is in

this field a couple of weeks ago,

0:57:200:57:32

they felt that the timescale was a

reasonable one.

Organisations like

0:57:320:57:44

have welcomed the order, but when I

have been speaking to them, there

0:57:440:57:47

are questions or what difference

with this initiative may compare two

0:57:470:57:53

different ones that have taken place

in the blast, so do you have a plan

0:57:530:57:59

for serious action in targeted

areas? Do you have plans for

0:57:590:58:03

measurable targets and are you going

to focus on procurement about

0:58:030:58:07

tackling racial disparities when it

comes to employment?

First of all on

0:58:070:58:17

the organisations, I have found that

when I have taught them they are

0:58:170:58:21

very welcoming of this. What I have

said to them in response to the

0:58:210:58:25

challenge that they have

understandably made is that this is

0:58:250:58:31

the difference, that this is going

to be a sustained period of work.

0:58:310:58:35

It's not going to be something that

we published in order to get a

0:58:350:58:39

headline in October 2017 and are

then going to forget about. That

0:58:390:58:47

does mean we are not going to be

looking for glib headlines and

0:58:470:58:52

something we can claim as an instant

result, it has to be steady work,

0:58:520:58:59

target by target, priority by

priority, to deliver the right

0:58:590:59:02

outcomes over time. Certainly what

they said to me is that it is the

0:59:020:59:11

feeling of the people they represent

is that it is a flash in the pan. --

0:59:110:59:16

the fear of the people. We have to

demonstrate sustained effort.

0:59:160:59:26

Budgets? I said earlier that every

Government department operates

0:59:260:59:32

within the budget that they were

allocated in the spending review.

0:59:320:59:37

Clearly the work that apartments

want to do in the next spending

0:59:370:59:42

period is something that secretaries

of state bid for in the normal way.

0:59:420:59:46

There is a limited budget available

in the Cabinet Office to try to

0:59:460:59:51

support crosscutting work. But we

look to departments because this is

0:59:511:00:00

about achieving the Prime Minister's

stated social policy objectives, to

1:00:001:00:06

find within the existing resources,

to deliver results.

An additional

1:00:061:00:14

point about scrutiny and follow-up.

I think there is one important point

1:00:141:00:18

about the product from the report

being a living website. There is

1:00:181:00:23

already some series on this, but as

the data changes we will add it, so

1:00:231:00:27

you will be able to see month by

month, year by year, whether things

1:00:271:00:31

are getting better or worse. I think

that provides transparency but also

1:00:311:00:39

some accountability and also

pressure for change.

It's not one

1:00:391:00:44

set of stats and that's it.

Month by

month, once you want to implement

1:00:441:00:49

the findings of the orders, how will

you be measuring the success of the

1:00:491:00:53

initiatives you are planning to

implement?

That's a slightly

1:00:531:00:58

different issue. We will update data

on the website for all of the

1:00:581:01:02

measures as it changes and quite a

lot has changed since launch in

1:01:021:01:05

October, so there have already been

a lot of updates. I think it is a

1:01:051:01:12

separate question as and when

Department said at the initiatives

1:01:121:01:18

to tackle inequalities.

The unifying

the crosscutting strategy was help

1:01:181:01:23

you to measure the success of the

sale of more than having individual

1:01:231:01:26

departments are their own thing?

Actually, I think the gap between

1:01:261:01:33

what Tulip is calling for, a cross

Government discussed J and what I am

1:01:331:01:40

describing, which is departments

building this work into their

1:01:401:01:47

mainstream business and building it

in as part of the key priorities,

1:01:471:01:53

with a coordinating mechanism of

voters by Marcus's unit and by the

1:01:531:02:02

interministerial group I chair, I

think that gap is perhaps less than

1:02:021:02:09

you fear.

Have previous Government

is not tried that one feels? -- and

1:02:091:02:18

a failed.

And don't want to pass

judgment on previous governments. It

1:02:181:02:26

is fair to say this is something

successive governments have talked

1:02:261:02:29

about and we still see some of these

inequalities of outcome.

Which means

1:02:291:02:35

the previous Government strategies

have not worked.

I don't think there

1:02:351:02:39

is a magic to putting the label of

cross Government strategy on

1:02:391:02:42

something. I have seen plenty of

those, and go in my time in

1:02:421:02:47

Parliament. What I believe can make

the difference here is the personal

1:02:471:02:54

commitment of the Prime Minister and

I do think also the reaction of

1:02:541:03:01

people in a lot of departments at

operational levels, and this is the

1:03:011:03:05

advice I get for the Cabinet Office

team, has been very positive that

1:03:051:03:09

this is something that key officials

in Government positions really want

1:03:091:03:14

to make a difference over.

I seem to

remember a previous prime ministers

1:03:141:03:20

being committed to that exercise it,

don't know where that one went! Is

1:03:201:03:26

the reason the audit didn't refer to

the public sector audit committee?

1:03:261:03:35

Simply a slightly different thing.

The publics sceptre equality duty

1:03:351:03:40

requires public authorities to have

due regard to eliminate unlawful

1:03:401:03:47

discrimination, harassment,

victimisation and other things that

1:03:471:03:50

are outlawed by the act and to

advance equality of opportunity and

1:03:501:03:55

foster good relations. Those duties

apply. What we are looking at here

1:03:551:04:04

is we are focusing on the outcomes.

What is the experience of people

1:04:041:04:10

from BAME communities? How can we

make sure that public services

1:04:101:04:15

genuinely are providing equal

treatment and equality of

1:04:151:04:20

opportunity for them? Those services

are already under public sector

1:04:201:04:27

equality duty. In my experience,

management and leaders in the public

1:04:271:04:35

services are very well aware of

their responsibilities in that

1:04:351:04:39

regard. But what we are needing to

do now is really probed why, despite

1:04:391:04:47

the existence of that duty for some

years now, there are still the

1:04:471:04:52

disparities that were shown last

October.

Just before I bring Angela

1:04:521:04:57

in, I want to pick up on one

particular issue. You talk about

1:04:571:05:02

departments building racial

disparity in their work, which I

1:05:021:05:05

think is welcome, when I think back

to the ministerial working group on

1:05:051:05:10

Gypsy Roma Travellers, a student

under the coalition Government in

1:05:101:05:16

2012, its promise, and we've all

this even looking at that piece of

1:05:161:05:19

work, that issues to do with Gypsy

Roma Travellers will be included in

1:05:191:05:24

reviews and reports in the future

from 2012 onwards and when the

1:05:241:05:28

reports were actually published, and

I'm thinking about things like hate

1:05:281:05:34

crime review or exclusion review in

2014 or bullying guidance, these

1:05:341:05:41

communities did not feature as had

been promised. How can we make sure

1:05:411:05:47

that the new reviews do exactly what

you as the minister wants them to do

1:05:471:05:51

and take the race disparity audit

information into account and the

1:05:511:05:56

work of the race disparity units? It

seems like there has been good

1:05:561:06:00

intentions in the past under a

Conservative led Government but we

1:06:001:06:05

want to make sure that this is going

to be continued in the future in a

1:06:051:06:10

way which can be monitored and can

be held to account. It is partly

1:06:101:06:16

held to account by the various

statistical series. The website is a

1:06:161:06:25

living source of information. Part

way through the interministerial

1:06:251:06:28

group where the relevant departments

will be represented. What the

1:06:281:06:36

trouble of stats showed was that

Gypsy and Roma children come bottom

1:06:361:06:41

of all the tables in terms of school

attainment. We were quite closely

1:06:411:06:50

with organisations representing the

community on the orders and we are

1:06:501:06:54

keen to include four days we could

about Gypsy and Roma Traveller

1:06:541:06:58

people. There are a couple of

reasons that are worth spelling out.

1:06:581:07:06

Some departments do not collect it,

they do not ask, are you a Gypsy,

1:07:061:07:13

Roma Traveller? Obviously we can

only publish the data that

1:07:131:07:16

apartments have. Even where it is

collected, the numbers are small and

1:07:161:07:22

the distribution is relatively even

across the country, so if you get

1:07:221:07:25

below a very general level of

analysis, you are talking about very

1:07:251:07:29

small numbers and there is little to

say. That doesn't mean that there is

1:07:291:07:33

nothing to be done going forward,

but although we were quite keen to

1:07:331:07:39

include what data we could, for

those reasons there is not much on

1:07:391:07:42

the site, with the exception of

education, whether as a lot of

1:07:421:07:47

detailed information about GRT

children.

How will you be

1:07:471:07:51

supplementing the data in the race

disparity audit to address GRT

1:07:511:07:56

better in the future?

We are talking

to departments about what data they

1:07:561:08:02

collect and about which categories

the use with the view to try and get

1:08:021:08:07

a bit more consistency in their

approach. I think Gypsy Roma

1:08:071:08:13

Traveller is one of the standard

issue as there because one

1:08:131:08:17

department has an awful lot of

rather disquieting information about

1:08:171:08:21

GRT children and how they are doing

and others know relatively little.

1:08:211:08:24

October was a start. We're

listening, talking to departments

1:08:291:08:36

and listening outside what is being

said about the additional categories

1:08:361:08:41

of information that they would like

to see collected and published on

1:08:411:08:47

the website. If the committee has

suggestions for that, I am sure we

1:08:471:08:52

would want to take those into

account.

Tony to the Government's

1:08:521:09:00

engagements with civil society, how

do you expect the role of Government

1:09:001:09:03

to engage to ensure disparities

revealed with the audit can be

1:09:031:09:11

addressed?

I made a point in the

last couple of weeks of meeting a

1:09:111:09:20

number of the leaders of some of the

key organisations in this field.

1:09:201:09:28

Official level, this is done very

regularly. How often?

We try to make

1:09:281:09:42

a point of that in terms of how we

do the work engaging with lots of

1:09:421:09:48

voluntary organisations and members

of the public.

How do you expect to

1:09:481:09:54

support civil society to deliver on

these outcomes you are discussing?

1:09:541:10:03

It is Government, summarily central

Government, that is the priority. --

1:10:031:10:15

summarily central Government. The

purpose of the audit is to provide

1:10:151:10:18

the statistical basis on which to

shape policy for the delivery of

1:10:181:10:26

public services. We are getting some

local authorities, some NHS trusts

1:10:261:10:32

who having seen the audit results

are coming to us and saying, we

1:10:321:10:37

would like to learn from this. What

can we do? In our areas of

1:10:371:10:43

responsibilities? Civil society IC

as important partners, but the

1:10:431:10:52

actual... It may well be as for

example in the pilot projects

1:10:521:11:00

unemployment that we conclude that

working more effectively with civil

1:11:001:11:05

society on the delivery of public

services, for example on the

1:11:051:11:12

mentoring of people, is the best way

to address the disparities the audit

1:11:121:11:15

has revealed.

Coming back to your

previous point about the role of the

1:11:151:11:22

Cabinet office, you mentioned how

you see the role of the Cabinet

1:11:221:11:26

office as coordination and almost

oversight. How will the Government

1:11:261:11:30

departments be held to account for

their response work on the audit.

1:11:301:11:35

You will be responsible for

assessing?

It will be through the

1:11:351:11:41

ministerial group. Which will be

served by the racial disparity unit.

1:11:411:11:46

The unit will report to ministers,

to me, ultimately the power minister

1:11:461:11:53

on the progress that has been made,

or where we are finding problems.

1:11:531:12:01

Moving on to the last couple of

questions. What do you think the

1:12:011:12:06

Cabinet office has learned about the

quality of the data on ethnicity

1:12:061:12:09

that is currently collected across

the public sector? Are you really

1:12:091:12:18

happy, or really unhappy, or

somewhere in between?

I will soon

1:12:181:12:26

for expertise. -- turn for

expertise. I am not a statistician.

1:12:261:12:31

It has been very very. Different

departments have obviously over the

1:12:311:12:37

years collected sets of information

that they judged was the most

1:12:371:12:43

important for their departmental

priorities. Sometimes that provides,

1:12:431:12:50

as in the case of education

attainment, some quite comprehensive

1:12:501:12:55

statistics about outcomes for

different ethnic groups. Other

1:12:551:13:00

departments have not previously seen

this as central to the role and have

1:13:001:13:04

not collected these statistics or

the statistics are not easily

1:13:041:13:12

divisible so that you can come up

with meaningful samples by age or

1:13:121:13:21

other social characteristics.

That

is exactly right. If you look

1:13:211:13:29

through the site, there is enormous

variation in the quality and depth

1:13:291:13:35

of ethnicity data held by Government

departments. Particularly

1:13:351:13:40

departments where there has been

scrutiny pressure over the years,

1:13:401:13:49

there can be more details, granular

and useful data, and others have not

1:13:491:13:53

had so much.

Is there other data you

have rejected and not put on the

1:13:531:13:59

website because it would be

misleading?

We identified 340

1:13:591:14:08

datasets and only published 20% of

those so far. Potentially, more to

1:14:081:14:13

come, but some we did not include

for quality reasons. It doesn't

1:14:131:14:18

necessarily mean it was bad data,

though in some cases it was, it is

1:14:181:14:22

more it did not satisfy the quality

bar we wanted to apply to the

1:14:221:14:27

numbers.

When we were talking

earlier this morning to the Office

1:14:271:14:32

of National Statistics about data,

consistency was something we raised.

1:14:321:14:40

We are interested to know your plans

to improve the consistency of data

1:14:401:14:45

collected and also the ability that

you will have two disaggregate that

1:14:451:14:48

data. Can you explain?

We are

working with the Office of National

1:14:481:14:58

Statistics, we have a great interest

in ethnic classification

1:14:581:15:05

consistency. We are looking through

my working the statisticians across

1:15:051:15:12

Government -- working with

statisticians across Government. You

1:15:121:15:15

cannot re-boot all departments.

Slow, incremental work to get more

1:15:151:15:24

consistency there is important. In

terms of data quality, obviously

1:15:241:15:30

this was a big cross-Government data

project in the way it networked into

1:15:301:15:36

analysts, departments, and had high

quality conversations on how to

1:15:361:15:41

improve the quality of the data

where it is not where it should be.

1:15:411:15:45

We try to apply the UK statistics

Association code in terms of judging

1:15:451:15:54

the quality of things we could

publish on the website.

You see

1:15:541:16:02

consistency and disaggregation as a

priority for the way this data set

1:16:021:16:09

developed?

I think so, yes. With

disaggregation, getting more

1:16:091:16:16

geographical disaggregation where we

can lose important. The feedback we

1:16:161:16:21

have had about this site is some of

the more usable and interesting data

1:16:211:16:26

is where outcomes for people of

different ethnicities are compared

1:16:261:16:30

in different geographical areas.

That is something we are keen to do

1:16:301:16:33

more on.

My final point would be, we

heard about the work OMS is doing

1:16:331:16:40

around the senses. -- the census.

And perhaps how that could be used

1:16:401:16:48

more between multiple census. Is

that something the Government will

1:16:481:16:57

support?

There is a clear structure

with the census whereby ONS decides

1:16:571:17:07

what questions are going to be

asked. Obviously there are a number

1:17:071:17:11

of demands for different categories

to be specified in questions on the

1:17:111:17:25

census. That will be for them to

make a judgment in due course, the

1:17:251:17:31

Office of National Statistics.

Thank

you for your time. I appreciate you

1:17:311:17:35

taking the time out of your busy

diaries to be with us and Dolby

1:17:351:17:40

preparation that goes with that. The

committee will now have a private

1:17:401:17:46

session.

1:17:461:17:48

Recorded coverage of the Women and Equalities Committee's session on the race disparity audit, with evidence from Cabinet Office minister David Lidington and Marcus Bell, director, Race Disparity Audit, Cabinet Office, from Wednesday 7 February.