|Minutes and matters arising from previous meetings|
Declarations of interest
|Meeting of 29 April 2021|
|Report from the Authority Chair||Oral report|
Sir David Norgrove
|Report from the Chief Executive||SA(21)28|
Prof. Sir Ian Diamond
|Report from the Director-General for Regulation||SA(21)29|
|Report from the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee||Oral report|
|Presentation: Levelling up||SA(21)30|
|Presentation: Truck and Shipping Movements||Tom Smith |
|Integrated Data Programme||SA(21)31|
|COVID-19 Infection Survey and Surveillance Studies||SA(21)33|
|Census and Data Collection Transformation Programme||SA(21)35|
|Any Other Business|
UK Statistics Authority
- Sir David Norgrove (Chair)
- Sian Jones (Deputy Chair)
- Professor Sir John Aston
- Sam Beckett
- Helen Boaden
- Robert Bumpstead
- Professor Sir Ian Diamond
- Richard Dobbs
- Professor David Hand
- Professor Jonathan Haskel
- Ed Humpherson
- Nora Nanayakkara
- Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter
- Professor Anne Trefethen
Also in attendance
- Jonathan Athow
- Nick Bateson
- Owen Brace
- Sally-Ann Jones (Secretariat)
- Will Laffan (for item 12)
- Jay Lindop (for items 8 and 9)
- Alison Pritchard
- Emma Rourke (for item 10)
- Becky Tinsley (for items 8 and 9)
- Nicola Tyson-Payne (for item 8)
- Amy Williams (Secretariat)
- There were no apologies received.
2. Declarations of interest
- Richard Dobbs had noted a conflict of interest regarding the COVID-19 Infection Survey agenda item in advance of the meeting.
3. Minutes and matters arising from previous meeting
- The minutes of the previous meeting held on 7 June were agreed.
4. Report from the Authority Chair
- Non-executive directors had met prior to the Board meeting. They had discussed the Terms of Reference for the forthcoming review by the Cabinet Office of the Authority.
- The Chair noted thanks to Professor David Hand on behalf of the Board as this was his last meeting. Since joining the Authority Board as Non-Executive Director Prof Hand had shared his expertise on statistics and had served on the Regulation Committee, the Applied Data Ethics Independent Advisory Committee, the board of the Administrative Data Research Network, and more. The Chair welcomed Professor Sir John Aston who had been appointed to the Authority Board with effect from 1 July.
- The Chair reported on his recent activity since the Board last met highlighting his meeting with William Wragg (Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee), alongside Professor Sir Ian Diamond and Ed Humpherson. Sir David and Sir Ian had met the Minister for Constitution and Devolution regarding the Concordat on statistics.
5. Report from the Chief Executive [SA(21)28]
- Sir Ian provided the Board with an overview of activity and issues since the last meeting, highlighting the following:
- Sir Ian congratulated colleagues across the Authority including Prof. Aston who had been recognised in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours;
- Sir Ian had presented at a National Core Studies meeting on the health surveillance work;
- Sir Ian had met with statisticians at the Department for Health and Social Care reflecting on one year since the launch of the strategy, Statistics for the Public Good;
- HM Treasury were considering the Integrated Data Programme Full Business Case;
- Sir Ian had met with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury regarding improvements to the use of data in government; and
- the presentation on the Data Masterclass for Senior Leaders by Tom Smith, to Ministers on 10 June at the Government Digital, Data and Technology Steering Group. Sir Ian would be presenting the masterclass to Permanent Secretaries in the coming weeks.
- Sam Beckett provided an update on the BASE Review of enabling functions, which included the introduction of a flexible analytical hub. The review would also underpin preparations for the forthcoming Spending Review 2021. Efficiencies would form part of the Spending Review with continued investment in staff development and subsequent reduction in contractor spend.
- Board members discussed crime statistics, including statistics about violence against women and girls. It was agreed a paper would be provided for a future Board meeting.
6. Report from the Director General for Regulation [SA(21)29]
- Ed Humpherson provided an update on regulation activity highlighting that OSR’s programme of work did not currently include statistics on violence against women and girls, but would consider this further. The review of statistical releases times was ongoing with a paper scheduled for the forthcoming Regulation Committee meeting. The review of National Statistics Designation was ongoing with discussions scheduled with Heads of Profession and an update scheduled for Regulation Committee.
- The Board heard that OSR had written to the Joint Biosecurity Centre reminding them of the importance of transparency of statistics. Following the publication of the Review of Income-based Poverty Statistics OSR had undertaken a number of public engagements on this subject.
7. Report from the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee
- Nora Nanayakkara reported on the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee which had met on 30 June.
- Committee members had considered the Annual Report and Accounts 2020/21 and recommended the National Statistician’s approval subject to the resolution of an issue in relation to valuation of properties.
- Nora Nanayakkara reported that based on the work of the Committee during the year and assurance work carried out by external and internal auditors, it was her opinion that the Authority’s governance and control framework was generally effective. The Committee had welcomed the improved Moderate audit opinion by the Head of Internal Audit.
- The Board noted thanks to the Chair and the Committee for their work during 2020/21.
8. Census and Data Collection Transformation – 2023 [SA(21)38]
- Nicola Tyson-Payne and Becky Tinsley introduced a paper which provided an update on progress as the Census journey moves from collection to processing and outputs and dissemination. The main focus was on the journey towards the 2023 recommendation on the future of the Census.
- Nicola Tyson-Payne reported that the Census Coverage Survey was complete with a good response rate, and the non-compliance operation was ongoing.
- Becky Tinsley presented on the progress towards the 2023 recommendation. The Board heard about the transformation of population and social statistics. Work was ongoing to provide the evidence base to inform the recommendation in 2023 on the future of the Census.
- The Board would remain engaged on the progress toward the 2023 recommendation on the future of the Census. The Board noted their thanks for an excellent presentation.
9. Presentation: Migration Statistics
- Jay Lindop presented on the work on migration statistics to measure population change; to inform public debate; and inform public policy.
- The Board noted their thanks for an excellent presentation.
10. COVID-19 Infection Survey and Surveillance Studies [SA(21)39]
- Emma Rourke introduced a paper which provided an update on the COVID-19 infection Survey (CIS) programme. The survey had maintained performance, with swab testing targets being met.
- In preparation for the Spending Review consideration was being given to costings and the development of the strategic outline case for future public health surveillance.
11. Annual Report and Accounts 2020/21 [SA(21)40]
- Nick Bateson introduced a paper which provided an overview of the Authority’s Annual Report and the key audited financial results for the year.
- The Board had earlier heard that the Annual Report and Accounts had been approved by the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee meeting at its meeting on 30 June, subject to the resolution of one issue. The National Statistician was scheduled to sign the report on 8 July.
- The Board approved the Annual Report and Accounts 2020/21 ahead of publication.
12. EU Exit Statutory Instrument [SA(21)41]
- Will Laffan introduced a paper which summarised the proposed Statutory Instrument (SI), The UK Statistics (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations for the approval of the Authority Board.
- The Board heard that the SI would complete the legislative programme, relating to EU laws on statistics. The UK statistical system would continue to function according to the UK’s domestic legal framework for statistics.
- The Board approved the draft SI and draft Explanatory Memorandum.
13. Any other business
- The Authority Board would meet next on 29 July 2021.
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