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Company Finance

Volume 457: debated on Thursday 8 March 2007

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer what the information obtained in the Annual Business Inquiry (Part 2) for 2006 Financial Questionnaire issued by the National Statistics is used for; and whether completing this form is compulsory. (125599)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 8 March 2007:

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what the information obtained in the Annual Business Inquiry (Part 2) for 2006 Financial Questionnaire is used for; and whether completing this form is compulsory. (125599)

The Annual Business Inquiry—Financial Questionnaire (ABI/2) is designed to meet the government’s need for the production of national accounts and is used to compile input/output tables, which form the framework essential for understanding and analysing the interdependence of industries in the United Kingdom. It is also the main source of figures to meet the requirements of the European Structural Business Statistics (SBS) Regulation.

The statistics produced from the inquiry are used widely in managing the UK economy. Users of the statistics include: the Treasury; the Bank of England; the Department of Trade and Industry; the Scottish Executive; the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland (DETINI) and the Welsh Assembly.

Statistics are also used by the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), local government authorities, and many private researchers and academics.

Completion of the questionnaire is compulsory in Great Britain under the Statistics of Trade Act 1947, while Northern Ireland has its own regulation.