Pre-release Access Review

Closed 11 Jan 2018

Opened 6 Dec 2017


What is pre-release access and who gets it?

Under the Pre-release Access to Official Statistics Order (Northern Ireland) 2009, eligible persons may be provided with early access to Official Statistics (up to a maximum of 24 hours) prior to publication, when to deny such access would impede:

  1. the provision of responses to questions or the making of statements about an official statistic at or shortly after the time of publication of that statistic; or
  2. the taking of action before, at the time of or shortly after publication of that statistic;

Eligible persons include Northern Ireland Ministers, heads of government departments and other officials accountable to accountable to the public for the formulation or development of government policy or for the delivery of public services to which the statistic has direct relevance. It also includes those responsible for advising such persons.

Why a review of pre-release access?

On 15th June 2017 the National Statistician, John Pullinger, announced that Pre-Release Access to Official Statistics produced by ONS would come to an end. This decision was supported by Sir David Norgrove, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority Board.

In light of this announcement, the Bank of England reviewed its pre-release access arrangements and announced that it was also ending pre-release access to its statistics and publications.

With respect to NI devolved official statistics, the decision was taken by the NISRA Chief Executive to remove pre-release access to all NI official statistics where the ONS (or Bank of England) produce the equivalent UK statistics, and where these UK statistics are released at the same time as the NI statistics. This predominantly affects economic and demographic statistics. This has also been extended to include all NI headline economic statistics, even those released independently.

NISRA is now looking at the advantages and disadvantages of removing pre-release access for all Official Statistics publications. A key part of this review is consulting MLAs with respect to their views on pre-release access.




  • Research


  • NI Summary Statistics