|Minutes and matters arising from previous meetings
Declarations of interest
|Meeting of 31 March 2022
|Report from the Authority Chair
|Report from the Chief Executive
Prof. Sir Ian Diamond
|Report from the Director-General for Regulation
• OSR Business Plan
| Report from Committee Chair
• Regulation Committee
Prof. Anne Trefethen
|UK Humanitarian Response Insight Survey
|COVID-19 Infection Survey and Surveillance Studies
|Any Other Business
UK Statistics Authority
- Sian Jones (Interim Chair)
- Professor Sir John Aston
- Sam Beckett
- Helen Boaden
- Professor Sir Ian Diamond
- Richard Dobbs
- Ed Humpherson
- Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter
Also in attendance
- Nick Bateson
- Owen Brace
- Robert Bumpstead
- Luke James (for item 9)
- Mike Keoghan (for item 9)
- Emma Rourke (for item 10)
- Hugh Stickland (for item 8)
- Professor Anne Trefethen
- Professor Jonathan Haskel
- Nora Nanayakkara
- Alison Pritchard
- Apologies were received from Professor Anne Trefethen, Professor Jonathan Haskel, Nora Nanayakkara 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 previous meeting held on 31 March 2022 were agreed.
4. Report from the Authority Chair
- Non-Executives had met prior to the Board meeting. They had discussed the prospective review of the Authority by the Cabinet Office.
- The interim Chair reported on her recent activities since the Board last met noting that on 25 April the House of Commons had approved the motion relating to the appointment of Sir Robert Chote as the next Chair of the UK Statistics Authority. The appointment would be finalised in consultation with the Queen.
5. Report from the Chief Executive [SA(22)22]
- Sir Ian provided the Board with an overview of activity and issues since the last meeting, highlighting the following:
- positive engagement by ONS with Local Authorities as part of the Census quality assurance process ahead of the publication of the first Census outputs early Summer 2022;
- the ongoing support by ONS for National Records of Scotland in the delivery of the Scotland Census 2022; and
- the work by Nick Bateson to finalise the ONS business plan, which would be circulated to the Board in correspondence ahead of publication.
- The Board heard that Sir Ian would be hosting a Japanese delegation led by Mr Yasushi Kaneko, Japanese Minister for Internal Affairs and Communication, regarding future collaboration with the Japanese Statistics Bureau, on 29 April. Sir Ian noted thanks to Will Marks, (Private Secretary to the National Statistician) and Kirsten Newton (Deputy Head of International), for their work leading on the visit.
6. Report from the Director General for Regulation – OSR Business Plan [SA(22)23]
- Ed Humpherson provided an update on regulation activity highlighting the letter that had been received from Christine Jardin MP regarding the Prime Minister’s use of employment statistics during Prime Minister’s Questions on 27 April. It was noted that a response would be provided setting out interventions to date.
- The Board heard that OSR’s business plan had been updated following comments by both the Board and Regulation Committee. The Board approved the business plan, which was scheduled for publication in May.
7. Strategy Update [SA(22)24]
- Robert Bumpstead and Nick Bateson introduced a paper which provided an update on progress against the delivery of the UK Statistics Authority strategy, Statistics for the Public Good.
- Since the last update to the Board ONS had stayed at the forefront of informing the public and government about fast changing national priorities with the provision of joined up data and analysis. In response to questions about the impact of the pandemic on the labour market the Over 50s Lifestyle Survey of 20,000 workless 50-70 year olds had been stood up very quickly to explore the reasons people had left work. Other areas of delivery included the work with the Department of Health and Social Care to secure funding for the delivery of the Digital COVID-19 Infection Survey; and progress of the Integrated Data Service New Private Beta.
- The Board heard that public confidence in official statistics remained high as evidenced by the findings from the Public Confidence in Official Statistics 2021 survey, which had been independently conducted by NatCen Social Research and published on 25 April. A further discussion on the findings was scheduled for the June Board meeting.
8. UK Humanitarian Response Insight Survey [SA(22)25]
- Hugh Stickland gave a presentation on the UK Humanitarian Response Insight Survey, which ONS had delivered in collaboration with stakeholders in the Cabinet Office and the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities.
- The Board heard that initial results would highlight where refugees were staying in the UK, how they were accessing services and what support they would require. The results of the survey would be published. It was noted that this work would form the basis of a wider body of work which would chart refugee experiences in the UK from across the globe.
- The Board noted thanks for an excellent presentation.
9. ARIES Update [SA(22)26]
- Mike Keoghan introduced a paper which provided a quarterly overview of the ARIES transformation programme.
- The Board heard that the next iteration of the ARIES 2.0 Programme began on 1 April with work ongoing to align the programme with wider ONS priorities. The programme comprised of seven projects: Prices, Labour Market, Legacy Reduction, Business Statistics Transformation; Public Sector, Crime and Household Financial Statistics Transformation. It was noted that governance changes would enable the senior leadership team to take an agile approach to the scope of the programme and respond flexibly to changing demands.
- The Board noted the update and would remain engaged in the delivery of the ARIES Programme as the work progressed.
10. COVID-19 Infection Survey and Surveillance Studies [SA(22)28]
- Emma Rourke introduced a paper which provided an update on the COVID-19 Infection Survey (CIS) programme, highlighting the latest results.
- The Board heard about the transition to CIS Digital with delivery milestones in place. The stabilisation of the CIS transition was a key focus for the team underpinned by detailed planning. The ONS health strategy was in development to realise the value of the CIS sample in partnership with the wider UK health system.
- The Board welcomed the update.
11. Any other business
- The next meeting would take place on 30 June.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org