Time Item Details
5 mins
Introduction and welcome Sir Robert Chote
55 mins

• NISRA Recent Developments
Siobhan Carey
Deborah Lyness
Chris Ganley

5 mins

Minutes and matters arising from previous meetings
• Declarations of interest
Meeting of 28.07.22
15 mins

Report from the Authority Chair Oral report
Sir Robert Chote

30 mins

Report from the Chief Executive SA(22)46
Prof. Sir Ian Diamond

15 mins

Report from the Director General for Regulation

Ed Humpherson

10 mins

Report from Committee Chair
Audit and Risk Assurance Committee
Nora Nanayakkara
15 mins

Strategy Update SA(22)48
Robert Bumpstead
Megan Cooper

20 mins

Integrated Data Service SA(22)49
Alison Pritchard
5 mins
Retail Prices Index Update SA(22)50
Mike Keoghan
Chris Payne
13:05-13:25 20 mins
Economic Statistics Transformation: ARIES Programme SA(22)51
Mike Keoghan
10 mins

ONS input – Rail Service Disruption SA(22)52
Joe Moore
Esther Akleh-Amankwah
10 mins
Any other business


UK Statistics Authority

  • Sir Robert Chote (Chair)
  • Professor Sir John Aston
  • Helen Boaden
  • Professor Sir Ian Diamond
  • Richard Dobbs
  • Professor Jonathan Haskel
  • Ed Humpherson
  • Nora Nanayakkara
  • Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter

Also in attendance

  • Esther Akleh-Amankwah (for item 14)
  • Owen Brace
  • Robert Bumpstead
  • Siobhan Carey (for item 2)
  • Megan Cooper
  • Chris Ganley (for item 2)
  • Sally-Ann Jones (Secretariat)
  • Mike Keoghan (for items 12 and 13)
  • Deborah Lyness (for item 2)
  • Joe Moore (for item 14)
  • Chris Payne (for item 12)
  • Sofia Poni (for item 13)
  • Alison Pritchard
  • Rhys Thomas
  • Jason Zawadzki (for item 13)


  • Professor Anne Trefethen
  • Sam Beckett
  • Sian Jones (Deputy Chair)

1. Introduction

  1. Sir Robert Chote welcomed everyone, noting thanks to colleagues from the Northern Ireland Statistics Research Agency (NISRA) for hosting the meeting.

2. Presentation: NISRA Recent Developments

  1. Siobhan Carey, Chief Statistician and Registrar General, Chris Ganley, Economic Accounts, and Deborah Lyness, Administrative Data Research Northern Ireland (ADR NI), gave a presentation on areas of focus for NISRA.
  2. The Board heard about the Northern Ireland Census 2021, which had been a collaborative effort with the Office for National Statistics (ONS), achieving a 97 per cent response rate and accredited National Statistics status by the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR); the development of Economic Accounts; and the impact of ADR NI successfully linking administrative data to inform policy in areas including the impacts of COVID-19, education and work and social inclusion.
  3. The Board noted their thanks for an excellent presentation.

3. Apologies

  1. Apologies were received from Professor Anne Trefethen, Sam Beckett and Sian Jones.

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 previous meeting held on 28 July 2022 were agreed.

6. Report from the Authority Chair

  1. Non-executives had met prior to the Board meeting. They had discussed topics including appointments and the Non-executive Director recruitment process, delivery of the Integrated Data Service (IDS), and economic statistics.
  2. The Chair reported on his recent activities since the Board last met:
    1. on 3 August Sir Robert Chote had met Stian Westlake and Paul Allin of the Royal Statistical Society;
    2. Sir Robert alongside Professor Sir Ian Diamond had attended the Inter Administration Committee and UK Census Committee on 4 August;
    3. Sir Robert had met Will Moy of Full Fact on 10 August; and
    4. on 14 September Sir Robert had met colleagues from NISRA, Siobhan Carey, David Marshall and Sandy Fitzpatrick regarding the Northern Ireland Census 2021.
  3. It was noted that in the coming months Sir Robert and Sir Ian would be visiting Heads of Profession and their teams across Government Statistical Service departments.

7. Report from the Chief Executive [SA(22)46]

  1. Sir Ian provided the Board with an overview of activity and issues since the last meeting, highlighting the following:
    1. Sir Ian acknowledged the sad death of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He noted the delivery of the ONS operational plan in response, which had included adjustments to ONS field force operations in respect;
    2. Sir Ian had delivered a keynote speech to the British Society for Population Studies Annual Conference at Winchester University, on ‘Measuring Populations and their Characteristics: Past, Present and Future’;
    3. the continued support by ONS for colleagues at National Records of Scotland (NRS) on the Scotland Census 2022;
    4. the COVID-19 Infection Survey had successfully transitioned to a digital first data collection;
    5. following the launch of the new Analysis Function Strategy in July Sir Ian had delivered a number of presentations to departments and Professions on the importance of analysis to inform decision making; and
    6. the work being led by the International Team raising the profile of the Authority to support statistical development and co-operation.
  2. Board members discussed the update. It was noted that the Analytical Hub comprising of a group of analysts, led by Hugh Stickland and working closely with the Policy Liaison Unit, was an agile workforce able to move at pace between projects such as energy, health and cost of living. Following the publication of the first Census 2021 results in June, work was ongoing to reconcile and rebase the mid-year population estimates for the past decade. A feedback tool had been published for users of local population statistics.

8. Report from the Director General for Regulation [SA(22)47]

  1. Ed Humpherson provided an update on regulation activity highlighting that the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) had written to National Records of Scotland (NRS) setting out OSR’s expectations for Scotland’s Census 2022, ahead of their next assessment report scheduled towards the end of the year. NRS had recently published a detailed article on its approach to estimating the population in Scotland.
  2. The Board heard that following a number of concerns from members of the public regarding a Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy consultation on Weights and Measures, OSR had published a statement in the form of a blog. OSR had written to the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) regarding DWP’s Way to Work target and the need for more formal structured reporting of statistics in line with the Code of Practice. OSR had also asked DWP to be clear about gaps in its Universal Credit Work Capability Assessment Statistics.
  3. The Board noted the update.

9. Report from the Chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee

  1. Nora Nanayakkara provided an update on the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee held on 15 September, highlighting that it had been the final meeting for Nick Bateson, Director of Finance, Planning and Performance. During the recruitment process for a new Finance Director Megan Cooper and Rhys Thomas would be covering the role.
  2. The Committee had considered:
    1. the financial position of the organisation at the half year point;
    2. progress made in addressing legacy transformation with the completion of a risk review of legacy systems in relation to key statistical outputs;
    3. a risk deep dive on data assets including progress on the acquisition of non-negotiable administrative data assets; and
    4. delivery of the Internal Audit Work Programme.
  3. The Committee had also considered the strategic risk profile and highlighted the need for the organisation to understand risk tolerance levels for the strategic risks in relation to appetite, and provide a clear path for their development.

10. Strategy Update [SA(22)48]

  1. Robert Bumpstead and Megan Cooper introduced a paper which provided the sixth quarterly update on progress against the delivery of the Strategy, Statistics for the Public Good.
  2. Since the last quarterly update ONS has stayed at the forefront of informing the public and government about fast changing national priorities with the provision of joined up data and analysis. The Initial Public Beta of the IDS had been launched including the public facing website. The COVID-19 Infection survey had successfully transitioned to a digital model. HM Treasury (HMT) had approved funding for economic statistics transformation. The National Statistician’s Expert User Advisory Group established earlier in the year had now met on three occasions chaired by Professor Sir David Hand. As part of the recommendation of the Inclusive Data Taskforce ONS was making greater use of qualitative research.
  3. Board members welcomed the update and would remain engaged in the development of the refreshed business plan in the coming months.

11. Integrated Data Service [SA(22)49]

  1. Alison Pritchard introduced a paper which provided an update on key elements of the Integrated Data Programme (IDP) including an update on the data pipeline and progress of the IDS Full Business Case refresh.
  2. The Board discussed progress and highlighted the need for a clear timeline for delivery that reflects the breadth of ambition of the programme. There was a need for clarity on the impact of the IDS and progress of Digital Economy Act accreditation. It was noted that the Full Business Case refresh would be submitted to HMT on 30 September.

12. Retail Prices Index Update [SA(22)50]

  1. Mike Keoghan and Chris Payne introduced a paper which provided an overview of the outcome of the Retail Prices Index (RPI) Judicial Review.
  2. The Board heard that the RPI Judicial Review judgement, on the decision to change the formulation of the index, had found in favour of the Authority and HMT. The subsequent request by claimants for permission to appeal to the High Court had been refused.

13. Economic Statistics Transformation: ARIES Programme [SA(22)51]

  1. Mike Keoghan, Jason Zawadzki and Sofia Poni introduced a paper which provided an update of the Ambitious Radical Inclusive Sustainable (ARIES) transformation programme.
  2. The Board heard about the changes in programme leadership with Jason Zawadzki as Senior Responsible Owner and the addition of a new Programme Director role. Resourcing had been an area of focus for the Programme Board with consideration of alternative options for delivery, such as outsourcing. The programme had delivered in a number of areas including work to transform Labour Market statistics, the launch of a public consultation on the future of the Crime Survey for England and Wales and the transformation of Consumer Price statistics.

14. ONS Input – Rail Service Disruption [SA(22)52]

  1. Joe Moore and Esther Akleh-Amankweh introduced a paper which detailed the work ONS has produced to support understanding of impacts of railway service disruption.
  2. The Board heard how the Policy Liaison Unit had worked proactively with wider government, which had enabled the ONS to provide an analytical response to benefit both public and policymaker understanding of issues of national importance.

15. Any other business

  1. It was agreed that an update on Trade statistics would be provided at the next meeting.
  2. The next meeting would take place on 27 October remotely.

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