1. Integrity of our official statistics
Our statistics are recognised
We’re named in the Official Statistics (Wales) Order 2017 as a body that produces official statistics in Wales. The Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007 defines what official statistics are.
How we engage with the UK statistical system
We take part in UK statistical system committees and networks through the Welsh Government’s Chief Statistician and Head of Profession for Statistics.
The UK statistical system correctly views the WRA as an independent, non-ministerial department, with separate user requirements to the Welsh Government.
Our code of practice
We follow the UK Statistics Authority’s Code of Practice for Statistics.
Who’s responsible for our statistics
Our Lead Official for Statistics is our Head of Data Analysis, Adam Al-Nuaimi.
The responsibilities of the Lead Official for Statistics are defined by the UK Statistics Authority.
This is when we release statistics that have not previously been in the public domain.
These are either our quarterly or annual reports with datasets, analysis and commentary. We publish these:
Or they’re interim, monthly, data-only releases where we publish datasets on StatsWales.
These present detailed analysis of data that’s already been published.
Our annual statistical release for Land Transaction Tax already includes detailed analysis. This is why we’ve not yet produced or published any bulletins.
When the data quality is not yet high enough for official statistics, we use articles to present analysis.
In this format, we’d often include experimental statistics.
For example, we’ve used articles to explain how to use our published data for local areas in Wales.
This is when an external, non-government organisation asks us to produce analysis that’s not already available. It also describes when government asks for an analysis that’s to be made public.
We make these available free of charge and publish these under statistics and research on GOV.WALES.
2. Release practices
2.1 Announcing statistics
Where we announce our statistics
We list our future publications, and this acts as our future work plan for statistics.
We do not preannounce our statistics on the UK Government publication hub.
How often we publish
We publish statistical releases for
- Land Transaction Tax: monthly (data only), quarterly and annually
- Landfill Disposals Tax: quarterly and annually
When we announce our statistics
We announce the date of first releases, bulletins, and statistical articles at least 4 weeks before publishing. Usually, this will be 3 months in advance.
We publish promptly any ad-hoc requests made to us. We do this no more than 2 weeks after they have been supplied. This supports equal access to our statistics.
Statistics can be requested from us for speeches, Senedd questions or press notices. We aim to publish these statistics before they are used publicly or very soon afterwards.
- standards and procedures
- content and timing
This includes, but is not limited to:
- deciding the need for new official statistics
- ceasing the release of official statistics
- developing experimental statistics
2.3 Publishing practices
Where and when we publish our statistics
We publish our statistical releases free of charge under statistics and research on GOV.WALES at 9:30am on the announced date in both English and Welsh.
How we mark our statistics securely
Before we publish our statistics on GOV.WALES, we use the security marking ‘Official: Sensitive’ on our statistics. This is in line with Government Security Classifications.
Once we’ve published our statistics, they instead will use the Open Government Licence. This means everyone can access, use or share them with no restrictions.
Our approach to publishing geographic data
We publish our statistics in line with Government Statistical Service (GSS) Geography Policy principles. In analysis broken down by area, we publish the accepted GSS geography codes with the area names and related data.
How we publish data openly
How we ensure our statistics are accessible
We publish our written statistical reports in HTML format under statistics and research on GOV.WALES.
We plan to bring our published spreadsheets in line with the developing GSS guidance on accessibility of statistics for disabled people.
Assessing our statistics as National Statistics
If OSR determine our statistics are meeting all aspects of the Code, they’ll be badged as National Statistics. We’ll update this page with the outcome.
Our approach to quality of our statistics
We describe the quality of our statistics in our key quality information pages for:
2.4 Rounding, disclosure, and dominance
Level of rounding (to the nearest)
Number of transactions
£100,000 (£0.1 million)
Value of properties (consideration)
We use this rounding in all our publications unless we state otherwise.
We use the following methods for this in our statistical releases:
- disclosure control: where an estimate is based on fewer than 5 transactions (the number of transactions is zero or rounds to zero), we suppress the estimate
- dominance rules: where a small number of transactions contributes to a large proportion of the cell value, we suppress the value
These methods, and other controls, help us mitigate the risk of accidentally revealing information on individual taxpayers in our published statistics.
This value has been revised in this publication
This value is provisional and will be revised in a future publication
This value has been suppressed in this publication because:
Represents a value that rounds to 0, but is not 0
3. Access to official statistics before they’re published
Before publishing statistics, some people need access to the underlying statistical systems, reports, and data.
Who needs access to statistics before they’re published
- Statisticians and analysts analyse the data and maintain the statistical systems.
- Translators translate the written analysis.
- Communication colleagues may produce press briefings or communication handling plans for the statistics.
- Security and IT colleagues need to access systems where data is stored. They ensure that data is not exposed to external threats, but they should not access the data.
- Web managers publish the statistical releases and datasets on GOV.WALES and StatsWales.
For these colleagues who need access to statistics before they’re published, we ensure they sign an agreement, see annex B.
We also provide early access to a team of HMRC statisticians for a small number of our figures. HMRC use these figures within their publication: ‘Monthly Property Transactions in the UK’.
We minimise the number of people who have access to statistics before they’re published.
How we manage access to statistics in their final form (pre-release access)
We deliver statistics in their final form to officials 24 hours before they’re published. This is where it is considered necessary for their role by the WRA Lead Official for Statistics. All officials who receive this pre-release access sign the agreement at annex B.
On our website, we publish and regularly update a list of those positions who have access to the statistics.
We use a secure sharing mechanism to provide pre-release access, such as the WRA SharePoint system or email across secure networks.
4. Engaging with our users
We’ve identified these stakeholders who’ve shown an interest in our statistics:
- Welsh Revenue Authority board and staff
- Natural Resources Wales (NRW)
- Senedd Cymru, notably the Finance Committee
- Welsh Government, notably the Welsh Treasury
- Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
- Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR)
- Office for National Statistics (ONS)
- Revenue Scotland
- Land Registry
- Valuation Office Agency
- local authorities
- National Parks
- media and press
- solicitors and conveyancers
- members of the public and taxpayers
We’ll continue engaging and collaborating with these stakeholders to improve our publications.
Working with housing and tax statistics user groups in Wales, we’ll consider how best we can engage with our users and understand their priorities for improving our statistics.
We welcome any users or potential users to get in touch with us: email@example.com
This could be to discuss:
- queries about our statistics
- requests for data
- quality issues in our statistics
- any concerns
Revisions are where a value is amended following its initial publication.
We regularly revise our statistics on a planned basis. This includes updating our initial provisional estimates following the submission of added or amended tax returns. We may also make unplanned revisions to correct any errors which are discovered.
Where a table or an element of a table is revised, we’ll note it using the following:
- where a whole table is revised, we’ll note it with ‘revised’ at the end of the title
- where the data for a particular row or column is revised (either in part or across all items), the relevant column or row will have the symbol ‘r’ added to highlight that it’s been revised
- where an individual cell is revised, it’ll have the symbol ‘r’ next to the value
As our statistics are derived from live data systems, our statistics for both Land Transaction Tax and Landfill Disposals Tax have planned revisions. Planned revisions are where estimates are updated after added or amended tax returns are submitted.
First estimates of data planned to be revised in the future are labelled as provisional.
Values that are marked as provisional will use the same structure, substituting (p) and provisional for (r) and revised, respectively.
The accepted Welsh translations for these symbols and meanings are below. The symbols are not translated into (t) or (d) to avoid the need for multiple symbols in bilingual tables.
Tymhorol neu dros dro (p)
Land Transaction Tax (LTT): timing and planned revisions
LTT returns can be amended several years after the effective date of the transaction, which is usually the date of completion. New returns can be made up to 30 days after the effective date without penalty, and potentially after that too. As we publish statistics by the effective date, we therefore revise data for recent months on a planned basis.
We’ve identified there’s an established need for timely statistics. This follows discussions with our users and HMRC, who previously published statistics relating to this area.
Therefore, we publish the following estimates for LTT:
- monthly estimates: publishing datasets on StatsWales
- quarterly and annual estimates: publishing a statistical release on our website in addition to updated StatsWales datasets, with relevant commentary
Timing within the month for extracting LTT data
We extract data from our systems as at midnight on the third Monday of the month, known as the ‘cut-off date’. This extract will include data up to the final day of the previous month.
Type of release
When we publish
Monthly statistics (data-only)
Friday of the same week that data is extracted
Thursday of the week after data is extracted
Annual statistics (with detailed datasets by geography)
We extract the data as at midnight on the third Monday of June, after the relevant financial year ends.
Where possible, we align the publication date of our annual LTT statistics with that of our annual report and accounts. These reports are usually published in early July.
When designing this timetable, we considered the following:
- which days are most common for returns to be submitted to us
- the time taken for returns to be submitted, to minimise revisions
- timing and content of returns we need to send to other government departments to include in their publications. This includes HMRC, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and the Welsh Treasury (within the Welsh Government).
- the level of disaggregation in the data, to avoid publishing suppressed values
- timetables for HMRC and Revenue Scotland publications which provide similar statistics
- the time that our statisticians need to produce data-only releases, or statistical commentary
Our approach is to publish initial estimates which are then revised when further data is available.
Landfill Disposals Tax (LDT): timing and planned revisions
Landfill site operators submit their data to us on a quarterly basis. Each landfill site operator agrees a quarterly accounting period with us for making an LDT return. We must then receive each return by the last working day of the month following the end of the accounting period.
HMRC publish data for UK Landfill Tax by month. However, with a smaller number of operators in Wales, we’re unable to publish data for individual months without disclosing tax returns for a small number of operators.
As landfill site operators submit data to us on a quarterly basis, we publish the data on a quarterly basis.
Unplanned revisions due to errors
If an error is discovered in our published statistics, our Head of Data Analysis will:
- consider how significant the error is
- take the following appropriate action
Type of error
Small (such as a typographical error)
We’ll update and publish the statistical release on the website.
No further action will be taken.
Substantial but can be corrected immediately
We’ll update and publish the statistical release on the website with a note of the revision.
We’ll notify users of the revision by email and social media.
Substantial and cannot be corrected immediately
We may temporarily remove the release from GOV.WALES and StatsWales while we prepare the update.
We’ll add an accompanying note to the website in these cases.
Where a revision due to an error is identified, we’ll release the revised statistics to the same audiences and via the same media.
6. Data storage and management
Our Head of Data Analysis is responsible for managing all stored data. This includes:
- preparing and maintaining metadata
- assessing quality assurance in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics
- documenting the systems used to store data
- providing access to data in as much detail as is reliable and practicable:
- in a useful and flexible format to the user
- subject to legal and confidentiality constraints
- managing the burden on suppliers of data assets:
- ensuring the detail required is proportionate and necessary
- avoiding duplication of requests
- storing and transferring information securely
- fair processing of personal information
- regularly assessing the risks of identifying individual taxpayers in the data and related statistical outputs
- any mitigating actions to reduce those risks
In our regular releases, we revise estimates we’ve previously published. This occurs as tax returns are amended or new tax returns are submitted.
The datasets presented on StatsWales will always be the most recent version of the statistics. We will remove the previous version of the statistics. Archived versions will be available on request by contacting us. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
We value all feedback and enquiries we receive.
We aim to:
- provide timely and professional responses
- be approachable and helpful
- provide information that is relevant, accurate and current
If you have a complaint about our statistics, you can contact us. Please see our guidance on how to make a complaint and how we respond.