The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is pleased to have been involved in the establishment of a Data Linkage Strategy for Research and Statistics in Scotland. As the Assistant Commissioner for Scotland & Northern Ireland, it is my responsibility to engage with stakeholders in Scotland to assist in compliance with their responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Data sharing between relevant organisations can result in better communication, better decision-making and more efficient and effective service provision, particularly in the public sector. However, in these days of scarce resources and restricted budgets, it is even more important to develop policy on an evidence-based approach to ensure best value and added benefit where possible. Data Linkage in a safe and secure environment under nationally agreed Guiding Principles will provide opportunities for researchers to acquire robust data for meaningful, evidence-based policy development.
I am pleased therefore, to commend these Guiding Principles to all involved in statistical data linkage activities.
Dr Ken Macdonald
Scotland & Northern Ireland
Email: Kirsty MacLean
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