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Improving access for research and policy

The Administrative Data Taskforce (ADT) was formed in December 2011 by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Wellcome Trust, and chaired by Sir Alan Langlands.

The ADT has been working with a range of government departments, academic experts, the funding agencies and representatives from all four nations in the UK to examine the best procedures and mechanisms to make administrative data available for research safely. The report from the ADT (available below) was published in December 2012.

The ADT recommendations propose a UK Administrative Data Research Network that would be responsible for linking data between government departments. The proposed network will provide a single governance structure that will allow for consistent and robust decision-making.

"Our recommendations would allow research that is already technically feasible to be undertaken with integrity in a much more consistent, reliable and efficient manner. This would be of huge value to academic research, but would also benefit research and policy evaluation within government departments, whose researchers are also constrained by the existing arrangements." - Professor Paul Boyle, former Chief Executive of the ESRC

Information about ADT

The Administrative Data Taskforce is chaired by Sir Alan Langlands, with the secretariat provided by ESRC. Membership is drawn from ESRC, Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council (MRC), Department for Education (DfE), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Department of Health (DoH), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Office for National Statistics (ONS), Cabinet Office, NHS Information Centre (NHS IC), The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), Government Office for Science, Scottish and Welsh government.

The Administrative Data Taskforce has drawn on a wider range of experts and has established three working groups:

  • Models of data access and data linkage
  • Legal and ethics
  • Public engagement

The report from our public dialogues on using administrative data (government collected data) for research has been published.