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Modelling in government

Government relies on hundreds – possibly thousands – of models for a huge variety of critical activities, from forecasting spending plans to guiding operational decision making. It is increasingly relying on these models with more data now available and an increased emphasis on evidence-driven decision-making.  Government last published guidance on modelling – the Aqua Book guidance on producing quality analysis – five years ago. This report, which will draw on our wider audits of models across government, aims to take stock of current practices and identify the systemic issues in government modelling which can lead to value for money risks. It will:

  • examine whether government organisations have a clear structure of responsibility and accountability for models critical to their business;
  • consider whether data and assumptions used in these models go through adequate assurance processes; and
  • review how uncertainty in the outputs produced by these models is taken into account, communicated and used to produce future plans