The Star Chamber gateway assesses all Department proposals for new data and research collections relating to children and young people. It aims to ensure all new collections are feasible, necessary, provide value for money and are timed to add as small a burden to the frontline as possible.
The secretariat is the key link between policy teams, internal scrutiny arrangements, the Star Chamber Scrutiny Group (SCSB) and, if and when necessary, appeal mechanisms. The secretariat is located in the Data Development Unit within Data Services Group (DSG), under the management of Simon Grigor.
1. The secretariat is usually the first point of contact for policy teams completing templates. All completed templates will be checked to ensure relevant sections have been filled in and also that there is no current duplication with other collections.
2. The secretariat will then distribute the template to internal scrutineers and arrange for it to be discussed at the next monthly meeting of the SCSB (unless special dispensation is requested for particularly complex or legitimately urgent proposals).
3. Policy teams that have had proposals approved will subsequently be informed by the Star Chamber secretariat that they may proceed.
4. The secretariat should be notified of any concerns regarding collections that appear not to have been through the Star Chamber process. The secretariat will investigate and, if necessary, bring these to the attention of the SCSB.
5. Where research bids have been initially approved by the research approvals committee, the instrumentation for the research still needs to be cleared by the Star Chamber. The secretariat will copy such documentation to internal scrutineers. The norm is for comments on such material to be fed back within five working days, following which a decision on proceeding will be given to the submitting team.
6. The secretariat will record the minutes of the SCSB meeting and feed these back to the policy teams making the proposals. The secretariat will also ensure ministers are regularly informed of the outcomes.
Data and Statistics Division