Time Item Details
5 mins
Minutes and matters arising from previous meetings
Declarations of interest
Meeting of 26 January 2023
10 mins
Report from the Authority Chair SA(23)09
Sir Robert Chote
40 mins
Report from the Chief Executive SA(23)10
Prof. Sir Ian Diamond
15 mins
Report from the Director-General for Regulation SA(23)11
Ed Humpherson
5 mins
Report from Committee Chairs
• Regulation Committee
Sir Robert Chote
15 mins
Integrated Data Service SA(23)12
Alison Pritchard
Jason Yaxley
10 mins
45 mins
Post Census Recommendation SA(23)13
Emma Rourke
Ruth Studley
Will Laffan
Jennet Woolford
25 mins
ONS Interface with the NHS SA(23)14
Emma Rourke
Ruth Studley
Vahe Nafilyan
10 mins
Any Other Business

Next meeting: 30 March 2023, Newport Boardroom


UK Statistics Authority

  • Sir Robert Chote (Chair)
  • Sian Jones (Deputy Chair)
  • Dr Jacob Abboud
  • Professor Sir John Aston
  • Sam Beckett
  • Professor Sir Ian Diamond
  • Richard Dobbs
  • Ed Humpherson
  • Nora Nanayakkara
  • Professor Dame Carol Propper
  • Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter
  • Penny Young

Also in attendance

  • Owen Brace
  • Robert Bumpstead
  • Sally-Ann Jones (Secretariat)
  • Will Laffan (for item 9)
  • Alison Pritchard
  • Emma Rourke (for item 9)
  • Ruth Studley (for item 9)
  • Tom Taylor
  • Jennet Woolford (for item 9)
  • Jason Yaxley (for item 8)


  • None

1. Apologies

  1. There were no apologies received.

2. Declarations of Interest

  1. There were no new declarations of interest.

3. Minutes and matters arising from previous meetings

  1. The minutes of the previous meeting held on 26 January 2023 were agreed.

4. Report from the Authority Chair [SA(23)09]

  1. Non-Executive Directors had met prior to the Board meeting. They had discussed topics including the role of the Board in the post census recommendation and plans for the mid-strategy point.
  2. The Chair welcomed the recently appointed Non-Executives Directors, Penny Young, Professor Dame Carol Propper and Dr Jacob Abboud; and Tom Taylor, who had recently been appointed Executive Director of Finance, Planning and Performance, to their first Board meeting.
  3. The Chair reported on his recent activities since the Board last met:
    1. on 8 February Sir Robert had spoken at the Government Operational Research Service annual conference;
    2. on 10 February Sir Robert had met with the Statistics and Data Directorate at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; and
    3. Sir Robert had met with Huw Pill, Chief Economist and Executive Director for Monetary Analysis and Research at the Bank of England, as part of a series of regular meetings.
  4. The Board commended ONS, specifically the blog by Sarah Caul that had been published on 10 February, ‘How do we measure expected and excess deaths’. It was noted that ONS had convened a technical working group, with members comprising government departments that produce mortality statistics, the devolved nations and actuarial groups, to consider excess death calculation methods. The technical working group would report to the Board at a future meeting. Regarding excess deaths at home it was noted that ONS was considering the feasibility of conducting a similar survey to the earlier VOICES survey (National Survey of the Bereaved), undertaken in 2015 with results published in 2016.

5. Report from the Chief Executive [SA(23)10]

  1. Sir Ian provided the Board with an overview of activity and issues since the last meeting, highlighting the following:
    1. progress towards delivery of the Integrated Data Service Full Public Beta with HM Treasury (HMT) funding confirmed for the full business case;
    2. submission of the ONS efficiency and savings review to HMT;
    3. progress of business planning across the organisation, with a draft ONS business plan scheduled for the March Board meeting;
    4. the Nomis service provided by ONS supporting work by the University of Durham through the use of Nomis Application Programme Interfaces;
    5. ongoing discussions with UK Health Security Agency and the Department for Health and Social Care regarding the future of the Digital COVID-19 Infection Survey and public health monitoring;
    6. discussions with a number of departments regarding data sharing across the Union, with the Concordat on Statistics setting out the framework for co-operation for coherence of statistics;
    7. the collaborative work by Liz McKeown with the Royal National Institute of Blind People further to recommendations from the Inclusive Data Taskforce;
    8. the success of the Darlington Economic Campus with a current headcount of 150 staff, and plans for up to 100 staff at the new Manchester location. Both locations providing an opportunity to increase skills and diversity across the organisation;
    9. ONS support for new departments following the recent machinery of government changes; and
    10. the continued support by ONS for colleagues at the National Records of Scotland on the Scotland Census 2022.
  2. The Board heard about a number of senior leadership appointments. Keith Nicholson would be joining ONS at the end of February as Chief Security Officer replacing Andy Wall. Louise Love would be joining ONS at the end of March as Head of Internal Audit. Sir Ian noted his thanks to Andy Wall for all of his work as CSO over the last five years; and to Rhys Thomas, Deputy Director Finance and Megan Cooper, Deputy Director Portfolio and Planning, for their work covering the Director of Finance role in the interim period.
  3. Will Marks joined the meeting to provide a progress update on engagement activities and consultation responses for the mid-term review of the strategy, Statistics for the Public Good including an event on 22 March.
  4. The Board noted the update.

6. Report from the Director General for Regulation [SA(23)11]

  1. Ed Humpherson provided an update on regulation activity. As requested by the Board at the previous meeting further details had been provided on OSR’s wider action plan in regard to the quality of police recorded crime statistics.
  2. The Board heard that OSR had published a review of excess deaths on 13 February, which had identified a number of recommendations for producers in considering changes to the calculation of excess deaths.
  3. On 22 February Ed Humpherson had spoken at the Home Office Analysts network about the use and communications of statistics in Government.

7. Report from the Chair of the Regulation Committee

  1. The Chair reported on the work of the Regulation Committee which had last met on 16 February. Sir Robert had taken on the role of interim Chair of Regulation Committee for this meeting.
  2. The Committee had considered:
    1. the draft OSR business plan 2023/24 and regulatory programme of work, following consultation with users;
    2. OSR’s draft assessment report of Scotland’s Census 2022 ahead of publication;
    3. progress by ONS towards re-designation of ONS Trade statistics;
    4. data sharing and linkage across government with a further discussion scheduled in April; and
    5. OSR’s role in providing support for producers collecting and reporting on data and statistics on sex and gender.
  3. The Committee had considered a proposal following the review to refresh the National Statistics designation process. The Committee had agreed the recommended approach to clarify rather than replace National Statistics, by enhancing the description: ‘National Statistics are accredited official statistics’. The Committee had also approved a change of the term ‘experimental statistics’ to ‘official statistics in development,’ A paper was scheduled for consideration by the Board in March.

8. Integrated Data Service [SA(23)12]

  1. Alison Pritchard and Jason Yaxley introduced a paper which provided an update on the progress of the Integrated Data Programme (IDP), responsible for the delivery of the Integrated Data Service (IDS).
  2. The Board heard that the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) Gateway four assurance review of the readiness for the programme to transition to Full Public Beta, undertaken between 20 and 23 February, had concluded with an amber rating. The process for Digital Economy Act accreditation was ongoing. Areas of focus for the programme going forward would include stakeholder engagement; and consideration of analytical tooling to avoid legacy issues on the IDS from the outset.
  3. Board members discussed progress and agreed the need for a timeline for users regarding future dual running of the Secure Research Service and IDS.

9. Post Census Recommendation [SA(23)13]

  1. Emma Rourke and Ruth Studley introduced a paper which provided an update on progress towards the 2023 recommendation and the wider Census and Data Collection Transformation programme (CDCTP).
  2. The Board heard that evidence to underpin the consultation would be published on or ahead of the consultation launch. The aim was to launch the consultation at the end of June.
  3. It was noted that the consultation would inform the National Statistician’s recommendation on the future production of population and social statistics in England and Wales. Areas of focus for the programme would include a significant stakeholder engagement with users before, during and post consultation; and delivery of the statistical evidence base.
  4. Board members discussed progress made and noted the importance of an engaging and inclusive public consultation. Areas for consideration regarding the consultation included clarity of purpose, success measures, target audience, consultation length and timeline.
  5. The Board would remain engaged as the work progressed.

10. Any Other Business

  1. The next meeting would take place on 30 March 2023.

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