Time Item Details
5 mins
Introduction and welcome Ed Humpherson
60 mins
• Chief Statistician Scottish Government
• Head of Profession, National Records of Scotland
Professor Roger Halliday
Alistair McAlpine
Peter Whitehouse
10 mins
Minutes and matters arising from previous meetings
• Declarations of interest
Meeting of 29.07.21
15 mins
Report from the Authority Chair Oral report
Sir David Norgrove
20 mins

Report from the Chief Executive SA(21)52
Prof. Sir Ian Diamond

15 mins
Report from the Director General for Regulation SA(21)53
Ed Humpherson

Report from Committee Chair
• Audit and Risk Assurance Committee
Nora Nanayakkara
12:10-12:35 Lunch
25 mins
Integrated Data Service SA(21)54
Alison Pritchard
25 mins

Economic Statistics Transformation: ARIES Programme SA(21)55
Jonathan Athow

15 mins

Strategy update SA(21)56
Rob Bumpstead
Nick Bateson

20 mins
Strategic Risks SA(21)57
Nick Bateson

15 mins
Governance proposal for Economic Statistics SA(21)58
Rob Bumpstead
Vanessa Holden
15 mins
Board Review of Effectiveness SA(21)59
Sally Jones
15 mins
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 Jonathan Haskel
  • Ed Humpherson
  • Nora Nanayakkara
  • Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter

Also in attendance

  • Jonathan Athow
  • Nick Bateson
  • Owen Brace
  • Roger Halliday (for item 2)
  • Vanessa Holden (for item 14)
  • Sally-Ann Jones (Secretariat)
  • Alistair McAlpine (for item 2)
  • Alison Pritchard
  • Ross Tivey
  • Peter Whitehouse (for item 2)


  • Professor Anne Trefethen

1. Introduction and welcome

  1. Ed Humpherson welcomed everyone to the meeting noting that the Scotland team of the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) were located in the Queen Elizabeth House Government Hub.

2. Presentation: Chief Statistician Scottish Government and Head of Profession, National Records of Scotland

  1. Professor Roger Halliday, Alistair McApline and Pete Whitehouse gave a presentation on the integration of data and statistics in Scottish Government, highlighting the collaboration across a number of departments in building a shared infrastructure to support all producers of official statistics in Scotland. The Board heard that Research Data Scotland had been launched that day, which linked to the work by Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the Integrated Data Service.
  2. The Board noted their thanks for an excellent presentation

3. Apologies

  1. Apologies were received from Professor Anne Trefethen.

4. Declarations of Interest

  1. There were no new declarations of interest.

5. Minutes and matters arising from previous meeting

  1. The minutes of the meeting on 29 July 2021 were agreed.

6. Report from the Authority Chair

  1. Non-Executives had met prior to the Board meeting. They had discussed the review by the Cabinet Office of the Authority and the strategic risk profile.
  2. The Chair reported on his recent activity since the Board last met highlighting:
    1. the session for Board members with the ONS team leading on environmental statistics on 29 July;
    2. Sir Ian and Sir David had attended a meeting on 2 August with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport regarding the strategy, Statistics for the Public Good;
    3. Sir David had met Greg Clark, MP, Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on 28 September; and
  3. Sir David and Sir Ian had visited the Darlington Economic Campus on 29 September.Sir David noted thanks on behalf of the Board to Jonathan Athow, who was leaving the organisation mid-October to take up the role of Director General for Customer Strategy and Tax, Design at HM Revenue and Customs. As Deputy National Statistician for Economic, Social and Economic Statistics and as interim National Statistician Jonathan had overseen a number of radical improvements to economic statistics and led on an outward focused approach to communicating ONS statistics.

7. Report from the Chief Executive [SA(21)52]

  1. Sir Ian provided the Board with an overview of activity and issues since the last meeting, highlighting the following:
    1. the Spending Review 2021 bid had been submitted to HM Treasury on 13 September with the finance team leading on discussions;
    2. Sir Ian alongside Dame Moira Gibb had launched the conclusions from the Inclusive Data Taskforce (IDTF) on 28 September;
    3. the development of the Data Masterclass for Senior Leaders, which had been well received by Permanent Secretaries;
    4. Sir Ian would be delivering a seminar for Permanent Secretaries on demography later in the year;
    5. the work being led by Liz McKeown with the Cabinet Office to develop an evidence pack of cross-government data on violence against women and girls;
    6. the progress of the programme to evolve the workplace with a desk booking system now in place;
    7. the ONS had made the Working Families Benchmarking Index top 30 employers for a second successive year; and
    8. the first cohort of data science apprentices had graduated following the collaboration between the Data Science Campus and Cardiff Metropolitan University.
  2. With regard to the Labour Market Survey it was noted that the spending review bid included plans for dual running the Labour Force Survey and Labour Market survey. The development of migration statistics was linked to the use of administrative data.

8. Report from the Director General for regulation [SA(21)53]

  1. Ed Humpherson provided an update on regulation activity highlighting the publication by the Office for Statistics Regulation on the Annual Review of Casework 2020/21. The report – Improving Health and Social Care Statistics: lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic was scheduled for publication on 7 October. Both publications highlighted the recurring transparency theme in OSR’s work throughout the pandemic.

9. Report from the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee

  1. Nora Nanayakkara reported on the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee which had met on 16 September.
  2. The Committee had considered:
    1. the financial position and the development of the integrated risk and assurance framework;
    2. the approach to portfolio management risk management;
    3. the implementation of internal audit findings in relation to security culture, business planning and legacy transformation;
    4. progress against the Internal Audit Programme 2021/22; and
    5. the Census programme.
  3. The Committee had also considered the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee annual review of effectiveness, including areas of focus for the coming year.

10. Integrated Data Service [SA(21)54]

  1. Alison Pritchard introduced a paper which provided an update on key elements of the Integrated Data Service (IDS). The Private Beta was launched that day (30 September), and would demonstrate the effectiveness of the IDS through the delivery of three projects: work with HM Treasury on the Annual Survey of Hours and Earning data, Data Science levelling up, and Energy Efficiency of Housing.
  2. The Board welcomed the update and highlighted the importance of expanding the public engagement plan. It was noted that planning was ongoing to clarify the scope of the Public Beta launch currently scheduled for Spring 2022. The delivery of further private betas would demonstrate the potential of the IDS.
  3. The Board would remain engaged in the development of the Integrated data Service.

11. Economic Statistics Transformation: ARIES Programme [SA(21)55]

  1. Jonathan Athow introduced a paper which provided an overview and current position of the Ambitious Radical Inclusive Economic Statistics (ARIES) programme. The ARIES programme was established in April 2021, comprising of elven projects spanning a wide range of core economic statistics. The Programme Board chaired by Sam Beckett and Alison Pritchard provided oversight of the programme.
  2. The Board heard about the key areas of delivery in the coming year. The move from the Labour Force Survey to a new flexible online first Labour Market Survey, and introduction of alternative data sources into the measures of consumer price inflation.
  3. Board members noted thanks for an excellent presentation. The Board would remain engaged with quarterly updates on the progress of the ARIES programme.

12. Strategy Update [SA(21)56]

  1. Douglas Cameron introduced a paper which provided the quarterly update on progress against the delivery of the UK Statistics Authority Strategy, Statistics for the Public Good. It was noted that work continued at pace on delivery of the key strategic objectives including the COVID-19 Infection Survey, the Census collection and improved statistical literacy with the Data Masterclass and new online material for schools.
  2. The Board heard that the ability to continue to deliver against the strategy linked to the outcome of the Spending Review 2021. In the coming months areas of focus for the statistical system would include development of sub national statistics; the delivery of the Integrated Data Service; the dissemination of Census results; the recommendation on the future of the census; integrating the recommendations from the IDTF; and conducting the People Survey 2021.
  3. The Board welcomed the update and noted the progress.

13. Strategic Risks [SA(21)57]

  1. Nick Bateson introduced a paper which provided an update on the strategic risks for the Authority following discussion by the National Statistics Executive Group in June, and discussion by the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee on 16 September.
  2. Board members discussed the risk profile and highlighted the need to structure it in line with the pillars of the Code of Practice for Statistics, trustworthiness, quality and value.

14. Governance Proposal for Economic Statistics [SA(21)58]

  1. Robert Bumpstead and Vanessa Holden introduced a paper which provided an update on arrangements for adopting, implementing and auditing compliance with international statistical standards for economic statistics.
  2. The board discussed the proposal to establish a single National Statistician’s Committee for Advice on Standards for Economic Statistics. The Committee would operate in an advisory capacity, giving the National Statistician and the Board access to expertise, and would mirror a model that already exists in the Authority’s governance model in the context of prices and data ethics.
  3. The Board agreed the proposal to establish an advisory committee to the National Statistician; and that the National Statistician would lead on the appointment process for a committee chair in consultation with Sir David Norgrove. A further update would be provided for the Board at a future meeting on the role of the OSR.

15. Board Review of Effectiveness [SA(21)59]

  1. Sally Jones introduced a paper which covered the results of the Authority Board’s self review of effectiveness highlighting the key issues raised and proposed improvements.
  2. The Board is invited to review its effectiveness on an annual basis to identify where it is performing well and where improvement might be made. The analysis highlighted improvements over the last year. The Chair continued to provide an open and supportive culture to allow an inclusive environment for discussion. The Board had considered the strategic issues with papers focussing on the delivery of the strategy. Overall the transition of Board meetings from remote to hybrid, with the opportunity for in person meetings when required, had been effective.

16. Any other business

  1. The Board discussed user engagement with an update scheduled for the October meeting.

The next meeting would take place on Thursday 28 October 2021.

The papers that informed this board meeting are attached as a PDF document for transparency. If you would like an accessible version of the attached papers, please contact us at authority.enquiries@statistics.gov.uk