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ODPM CRITICISES ONS OVER SHODDY CENSUS

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An independent third party should undertake a data matching exercise in places where councils dispute the populatio...
An independent third party should undertake a data matching exercise in places where councils dispute the population size given in the 2001 Census, the ODPM select committee has said.

This should be completed in time to feed into next year?s local government finance settlement, and the Office of National Statistics must be bound by

the result.

The committee criticised the ONS for not knowing how many forms were sent out, and for assuming people know the census is based on usual residency, not where they were on the night.

?If inaccuracies are shown to have occurred in the 2001 Census, ODPM should revisit the settlement for 2003/04. Accurate information is essential for democratic decisions,? MPs said.

The MPs also bemoaned a total lack of up-to-date information on regional economic performance and said without better data it is impossible to measure the impact of regional policies.

Committee chairman Andrew Bennett said: ?At the moment the government seems to be expecting those at the back to catch up with the best, while encouraging the best to grow faster.?

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