10. The Official Statistics (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2024

– in the Senedd at 6:43 pm on 20 February 2024.

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Photo of Elin Jones Elin Jones Plaid Cymru 6:43, 20 February 2024

(Translated)

Item 10 is next, the Official Statistics (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2024. And I call on the Minister for finance to move the motion once again—Rebecca Evans.

(Translated)

Motion NDM8485 Lesley Griffiths

To propose that the Senedd, in accordance with Standing Order 27.5, approves that the draft The Official Statistics (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2024 is made in accordance with the draft laid in the Table Office on 09 January 2024.

(Translated)

Motion moved.

Photo of Rebecca Evans Rebecca Evans Labour 6:43, 20 February 2024

Diolch, Llywydd. I am pleased to introduce the Official Statistics (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2024. The power for Welsh Ministers to make the Order is in section 6 of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and requires approval by the Senedd. The purpose is to add the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research to the list of official statistics producers. This will provide assurances that statistics produced by the commission are trustworthy, high quality and of public value. The commission will become responsible for the funding, oversight and regulation of tertiary education in Wales. It will be responsible for existing official statistics transferring from the Welsh Government, as well as statistics currently published by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales. The Order will enable the commission to publish statistics as official statistics when considered robust to do so. Work is in hand, with statisticians transferring to the organisation, to ensure this happens as quickly as possible.

Official statistics provide a window on our society, inform decision making and help hold public bodies to account. This Order ensures that the commission will provide high-quality, trustworthy statistics that will inform and shape the well-being of future generations, and I ask Members to support this Order.

Photo of Heledd Fychan Heledd Fychan Plaid Cymru 6:45, 20 February 2024

Whilst obviously welcoming the approach, HEFCW is not currently an official statistics body, so can I ask therefore what consultation has the Minister had with HEFCW or universities to identify and discuss the potential impacts or issues, including cost implications, of this change?

Photo of Rebecca Evans Rebecca Evans Labour

I just want to reassure colleagues that there has been significant engagement by the chief statistician and her team in respect of the move to giving the new body the status of being the providers of official statistics, and the aim, really, is to ensure that those statistics go on being statistics that are robust. Especially in the context of the situation we find ourselves in today, when we have so much misinformation, I think robust statistics that everyone can rely on by a reputable source are extremely important.

And Llywydd, I was so keen to answer the question that I realise that I don't know if there are other speakers in the debate.

Photo of Elin Jones Elin Jones Plaid Cymru 6:46, 20 February 2024

And I was so keen for you to answer the question, I didn't realise that there weren't any speakers other than you to respond. Yes, we were both too keen there.

Photo of Elin Jones Elin Jones Plaid Cymru

(Translated)

The proposal is to agree the motion. Does any Member object? No, there is no objection. Therefore the motion is agreed.

(Translated)

Motion agreed in accordance with Standing Order 12.36.