Boris Johnson’s office is working with the UK’s official statistics watchdog to draw up a code of conduct for publishing statistics, London Assembly Members have been told.
AMs have previously called on the Mayor to adopt the UK Statistics Authority Code of Practice for Official Statistics following concerns about the accuracy of data issued by his office.
Last week all Assembly parties agreed a motion calling for “complete transparency around any statistics used by the Mayor of London, the London Assembly and the Greater London Authority.”
The motion goes on to note “concern” at Johnson’s “unwillingness” to adopt the Code following accusations that he misused statistics and follows Johnson’s announcement of a new ‘city data dashboard’ providing figures from across the GLA group.
Last year London Assembly Members and MPs raised concerns over the Mayor’s use of “misleading” statistics about re-offending rates at the City Hall backed Heron Unit within Feltham Young Offenders’ Institution.
The Mayor’s claims over current policing numbers have also been questioned.
Despite concerns over his use of statistics, in December 2011 Johnson told Labour’s Joanne McCartney “I do not think it appropriate for the GLA to sign up to the Authority’s Code”.
The Mayor has also faced accusations by Assembly Members of making statements designed to be “deliberately misleading by omission”.
Questioned by AMs this morning, Johnson’s Chief of Staff Sir Eddie Lister said the UKSA “wouldn’t wish” the Greater London Authority to sign up to its code of conduct.
However Lister said the Mayor’s office was working with UKSA to develop a system for handling and publishing statistics which would then be “imposed” on the GLA”s functional bodies including Transport for London and LFEPA, the capital’s Fire authority.
Lister suggested the City Hall code would “be along the same lines as the Bank of England’s existing arrangement” and could be adopted by other local authorities.
However although he expressed a desire for “third party endorsement” of the new code, he told AMs the UKSA “can’t endorse it”.