|Minutes and matters arising from previous meetings|
Declarations of interest
|Meeting of 25 November 2021|
|Report from the Authority Chair||Oral report|
Sir David Norgrove
|Report from the Chief Executive||SA(22)01|
Prof. Sir Ian Diamond
|Report from the Director-General for Regulation||SA(22)02|
| Report from Committee Chairs|
• Audit and Risk Assurance Committee
• Regulation Committee
Prof. Anne Trefethen
|Integrated Data Service||Integrated Data Service SA(22)04|
|National Statistics Designation Review||SA(22)06|
|COVID-19 Infection Survey and Surveillance Studies||SA(22)07|
|Any Other Business|
UK Statistics Authority
- Sir David Norgrove (Chair)
- Sian Jones (Deputy Chair)
- Professor Sir John Aston
- Sam Beckett
- Helen Boaden
- Professor Sir Ian Diamond
- Richard Dobbs
- Professor Jonathan Haskel
- Ed Humpherson
- Nora Nanayakkara
- Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter
- Professor Anne Trefethen
Also in attendance
- Penny Babb (for item 11)
- Nick Bateson
- Robert Bumpstead
- Mike Keoghan (for item 10)
- Liz McKeown (for item 10)
- Emma Rourke (for item 5)
- Owen Brace
- Alison Pritchard
- Apologies were received from Owen Brace and Alison Pritchard.
2. Declarations of Interest
- There were no new declarations of interest
3. Minutes and matters arising from previous meeting
- The minutes of the meeting on 27 January 2022 were agreed.
4. Report from the Authority Chair
- Non-Executives had met prior to the Board meeting. They had discussed the appointment process for the Authority Chair.
- The Chair reported on his recent activities since the Board last met. Sir David had written to Alistair Carmichael MP on 3 February regarding crime statistics produced by the Home Office. On 10 February Sir David had written a further letter to Stephen Timms MP about the publication of statistics by the Home Office on people being granted Leave to Remain with No Recourse to Public Funds.
- Board members discussed the Authority’s role in making public interventions on the use of statistics as set out in the Interventions Policy, and noted the impact of letters from the Chair of the Authority and the Director General for Regulation.
5. Report from the Chief Executive [SA(22)09]
- Sir Ian provided the Board with an overview of activity and issues since the last meeting.
- Emma Rourke joined the meeting to update the Board alongside Sir Ian on the longer term plans for the COVID-19 Infection Survey with discussions ongoing with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and HM Treasury. Sir Ian and the Board commended Emma Rourke and her team for their work on the CIS throughout the pandemic and in planning for the CIS going forward.
- The Board heard about the Over 50s Lifestyle Survey, which had been launched at pace with the first results scheduled for publication on 1 March. The work on the dissemination of Census outputs was progressing well, including engagement with Local Authorities ahead of publication of first results in June 2022.
- Sir Ian informed the Board that Roger Halliday, Chief Statistician at Scottish Government would be moving full time as Chief Executive of Research Data Scotland. The Chief Statistician role for Scotland would be advertised in the coming weeks.
6. Report from the Director General for regulation [SA(22)10]
- Ed Humpherson provided an update on regulation activity highlighting the consultation by OSR on publication times, (scheduled for discussion later in the meeting).
- The Board heard about key areas of casework for OSR since the last meeting including the Home Office on crime with statements made by government officials, which were not consistent with the statistics. OSR had also engaged with No 10 regarding references by the Prime Minister on labour market statistics. Further detail was provided on OSR’s positive 2021 People Survey results.
7. Report from the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee
- Nora Nanayakkara reported on the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee which had met on 20 January 2022.
- The Committee had considered:
- the financial position of the organisation;
- the implementation of the strategic risk profile and the development of associated metrics and assurance mapping;
- delivery of the Internal Audit work programme; and
- the risk profile and mitigations of the Integrated Data Service Programme;
8. Report from the Regulation Committee
- Professor Anne Trefethen reported on the Regulation Committee, which had met on 19 February.
- The Committee had considered:
- a presentation on Economic Statistics by Maira Spowage, of the Fraser and Allender Institute;
- the draft report of OSR’s review of Migration Statistics scheduled for publication in March;
- progress of the draft OSR Business Plan and regulatory programme of work;
- timing for publication of the Systemic Review on Children and Young People;
- the proposal for the Review of Release Times in the Code of Practice for Statistics, with agreement on the recommended approach by OSR, subject to approval by this Board.
- The Committee had heard about the OSR conference on 3 February with over 200 attendees on ‘Why Analytical Leadership Matters’, with guest speakers including Sir Ian.
9. People Update [SA(22)11]
- Sam Beckett introduced a paper which provided a people update with a focus on the work taking place to mitigate the Authority’s strategic people risk and support delivery of the strategy, Statistics for the Public Good.
- The Board heard that the People Plan launched in 2020, had underpinned improvements across the organisation in a number of areas notably inclusion and diversity, strategic resourcing and skills (with a focus on leading and managing through change).
- Board members welcomed the update. With regard to colleagues returning to the office as social restrictions eased the Board heard about the hybrid working principles in place to underpin a safe return for all colleagues.
- The Board noted thanks for an excellent presentation.
10. Inclusive Data Taskforce [SA(22)12]
- Liz McKeown introduced a paper which provided an update on the implementation of the Inclusive Data Taskforce (IDTF) recommendations published on 28 September 2021. The National Statistician’s response set out a collaborative work programme across government, the devolved administrations and more widely. Activity in the ONS would be co-ordinated through its Centre for Equalities and Inclusion.
- The Board heard about ONS’ role to implementing the recommendations: providing cross system leadership; harnessing opportunities in existing programmes such as the Integrated Data Service; embedding inclusivity into new strategies and programmes from the outset; and developing independent and inclusive mechanisms and governance to monitor progress.
- The Board welcomed the update and would remain engaged as the work progressed.
11. Review of Release Times – Code of Practice for Statistics [SA(22)13]
- Ed Humpherson and Penny Babb introduced a paper which provided an update on the review following a public consultation between September and December 2021 and made recommendations for changes to the Code of Practice for Statistics.
- It was noted that the consultation findings supported the proposal for flexibility in release times to be granted by the Director General for Regulation, while keeping a standard release time.
- The Board endorsed the approach to amend the Code of Practice for Statistics. Producers would need to demonstrate a public good case for the relevant release time.
12. Any other business
- The next meeting would take place on Thursday 31 March 2022.
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