Online List of Government Statistical Surveys

onlinesurvey (1)The Online List of Government Statistical Surveys (OLGSS) provides a comprehensive picture of government statistical survey activity including surveys to businesses, local authorities, households and individuals. It has two main functions:

The OLGSS provides information about both regular and ad-hoc surveys, however less information is available for ad-hoc surveys compared to regular surveys because of the unique nature of these surveys.

It was first published in January 2012 and is updated on an annual basis.


The information within the OLGSS can be used as a central source of information for departments and can help to reduce duplication of surveys across government.

For departments, including survey information within the OLGSS also aids compliance and monitoring of practices 1, 2 and 5 of Principle 6 of the UK Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Previously, the OLGSS was accompanied by the Annual Report of Government Statistical Surveys to businesses and local authorities. The report provided summarised information on the number of surveys conducted by departments along with their associated compliance costs (see below for further information on compliance costs).

57-512Compliance Costs

The burden that a survey imposes on the respondent is measured by the compliance cost.

Principle 6 of the UK Code of Practice for Official Statistics states:

“The cost burden on data suppliers should not be excessive and should be assessed relative to the benefits arising from the use of the statistics.”

For consistency, a standard methodology is used across government when calculating compliance costs. Further details can be found here.

informationAdditional Information

When a survey is commissioned by more than one government department the compliance cost is split proportionally. For this reason the same survey may appear more than once.

Compliance of business and local authority surveys is measured in money (pounds) whilst for surveys of households and individuals it is measured in time (minutes).

For further information please contact Survey Control Unit