The Business Plan Quarterly Data Summaries (QDS) are a core part of the transparency agenda. They provide the latest data on indicators included in Departmental Business Plans. The QDS comprises the QDS template and a complementary measurement annex.
The QDS template includes metrics in the following three key headline areas: Spending, Results and People.
Spending. This section sets out the outturn (actual spending) for each department, along with details of common areas of spend, major projects and some financial indicators relating to performance on financial management.
Results. This section sets out each departments input and impact indicators, additional data sets showing progress against key reforms, and progress against the actions in the Department’s Structural Reform Plan.
People. This section set out information on each Department’s workforce in terms of its size, composition (including diversity), attendance, and people survey results.
The measurement annex provides information on the indicator methodology, coverage and the period the data relates to.
The QDS has been withdrawn from publication while the style and content are revised. In the meantime the latest data for the Business plan indicators will be published on this site quarterly.
Quarterly Data Summary (QDS)
Under the new QDS framework departments’ spending data is published every quarter; to show the taxpayer how the Government is spending their money. The QDS grew out of commitments made in the 2011 Budget and the Written Ministerial Statement on Business Plans. For the financial year 2012/13 the QDS has been revised and improved in line with Action 9 of the Civil Service Reform Plan to provide a common set of data that will enable comparisons of operational performance across Government so that departments and individuals can be held to account.
The QDS breaks down the total spend of the department in three ways: by Budget, by Internal Operation and by Transaction. At the moment this data is published by individual departments in Excel format, however, in the future the intention is to make this data available centrally through an online application.
Over time we will be making further improvements to the quality of the data and its timeliness. We expect that with time this process will allow the public to better understand the performance of each department and government operations in a meaningful way.
The QDS template is the same for all departments, though the individual detail of grants and policy will differ from department to department. In using this data:
1. People should ensure they take full note of the caveats noted in each Department’s return.
2. As the improvement of the QDS is an ongoing process data quality and completeness will be developed over time and therefore necessary caution should be applied to any comparative analysis undertaken.
This is the first time that data have been requested in this format, covering just the core Department. Defra is working closely with Cabinet Office to ensure consistency and completeness of its data across the full range of revised requirements. Further improvements will be evident in future QDS publications.