Statistician Group Staffing
Staff in the Scottish Government Statistician Group generally work in small teams located with policy staff, rather than in a centralised unit.
In some subject areas, e.g. education and crime, the Scottish Government collects data directly from information providers such as local authorities or uses information derived from local administrative systems.
In other areas, it depends on data which are collected on a UK basis by UK Departments such as the Office for National Statistics and the Department for Work and Pensions.
Liaison arrangements with these departments are set out in the The Memorandum of Understanding and the Concordat on Statistics laid before the Scottish Parliament in January 2002.
Government Statistical Service
All statistics branches in the Scottish Government are part of the Government Statistical Service (GSS) which comprises the statistics divisions of all major departments in the UK, Scotland and Wales plus the Office for National Statistics, which has a co-ordinating role.
The GSS with over 1000 professional statisticians in more than 30 departments is the greatest concentration of statistical expertise, and by far the largest provider of statistics, in the UK.
The GSS exists to provide the UK Government, parliaments and assemblies, devolved administrations, and the wider community with statistical information and analysis.
The advice is used to improve decision making, stimulate research, and inform debate. Some of the information is used for business management and marketing purposes, and social statistics are used by businesses, local authorities, universities and schools.
Statistical information on a wide variety of subjects is published regularly in bulletin and other forms, and on various websites.