Time Item Details
5 mins
Minutes and matters arising from previous meetings
Declarations of interest
Meeting of 21 March 2024
10 mins
Report from the Authority Chair SA(24)17
Sir Robert Chote
50 mins
Report from the Chief Executive SA(24)18
Prof. Sir Ian Diamond
10 mins
Report from the Director General for Regulation SA(24)19
Ed Humpherson
10 mins
Report from Committee Chair
• Regulation Committee
Oral update
Penny Young
10 mins
65 mins
Census 2023 – Future of Population and Migration Statistics Draft Recommendation SA(24)20
Emma Rourke
Ruth Studley
Will Laffan
5 mins
Any other business

Next meeting: 30 May 2024, London Boardroom

Members present

  • Sir Robert Chote (Chair)
  • Dr Jacob Abboud
  • Professor Sir John Aston
  • Professor Sir Ian Diamond
  • Ed Humpherson
  • Sian Jones
  • Professor Dame Carol Propper
  • Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter
  • Penny Young

Also in attendance

  • Sally Jones
  • Will Laffan (for item 8)
  • Sarah Moore
  • Emma Rourke (for item 8)
  • Ruth Studley (for item 8)
  • Tom Taylor


  • Nora Nanayakkara
  • Alison Pritchard

1. Apologies

  1. Apologies were noted from Nora Nanayakkara and Alison Pritchard.

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 21 March were agreed.

4. Report from the Authority Chair [SA(24)17]

  1. Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) had met before the meeting. They had discussed topics including the draft recommendation for the Future of Population and Migration Statistics (FPMS) and the NED recruitment.
  2. The Chair reported on his recent activities since the Board last met. Sir Robert alongside Professor Sir Ian Diamond had attended a presentation by Home Office statisticians and analysts about their work in supporting policy. Sir Robert had met with Tom Taylor regarding the review of the Central Policy Secretariat division. Sir Robert had completed the annual round of NED annual appraisals.

5. Report from the Chief Executive [SA(24)18]

  1. Sir Ian provided the Board with an overview of activity and issues since the last meeting, highlighting the following:
    1. delivery progress regarding the draft recommendation document for the FPMS including extensive stakeholder engagement;
    2. the interim year-end financial position, which was forecast to be a small under expenditure;
    3. completion of the ONS business planning process 2024/25 with publication of the plan and  work ongoing to identify further efficiencies in the enabling areas;
    4. HM Treasury’s Main Estimate exercise was yet to complete and related to funding for the FPMS programme, survey transformation and public sector productivity;
    5. media attention around hybrid working with confirmation that PCS members would be taking part in action short of strike following a ballot on increased office attendance;
    6. Pete Benton would be leading Data Capability in the absence of Alison Prichard, which included the role of Senior Responsible Owner for the Integrated Data Service Programme. Nigel Green had joined the ONS from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) as interim Director General to lead the delivery of the Integrated Data Service (IDS);
    7. progress of the Transformed Labour Force Survey;
    8. Sir Ian had responded to a letter from Andrew Bridgen MP on the topic of excess deaths by vaccination;
    9. the work by the Data Science Campus with the publication of consumer card spending across the UK: 2019 to 2023 on 25 March;
    10. ONS had repurposed the Winter Covid Infection Survey platform to an NHS funded survey examining experiences of health services, which would start in June; and
    11. the Authority’s response to the Lievesley Review, which was scheduled for the May meeting.
  2. Members discussed the update. The following comments were considered in discussion:
    1. the approach to hybrid working by ONS was in line with central Civil Service policy;
    2. progress of the IDS included agreement on timing for transition from the Secure Research Service to the IDS. The aim across government was to provide easy access to the IDS for analysts;
    3. the recent phishing email security test had resulted in 15 per cent of colleagues clicking the email. It was noted that phishing formed part of mandatory security training and further cross office communications were planned to raise awareness;
    4. the May Audit and Risk Assurance Committee meeting was scheduled to discuss a risk based plan on legacy and website transformation, ahead of a discussion at the May Authority Board; and
    5. the publication of time series of age-standardised mortality rates, (monthly), by both date of registration and date of death, and consideration of inclusion in the weekly provisional death figures.
  3. The Board noted the update.

6. Report from the Director General for Regulation [SA(24)19]

  1. Ed Humpherson provided update on regulation activity highlighting the development of this year’s State of the Statistical System Report, which would provide the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) view of the performance of the statistical system. It was noted that recommendation one of the Lievesley Review referred to the State of the Statistical System report as part of the development of the Statistical Assembly and annual public lecture by the Authority Chair.
  2. The Board heard about OSR casework for 2023/24, the annual number of cases was the lowest since pre pandemic, but the complexity had increased significantly.

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 11 April.
  2. The Committee had considered:
    1. the development of the State of the Statistical System Report;
    2. progress of the review of ONS gender identity statistics in the 2021 Census;
    3. an update on review of the Code of Practice for Statistics;
    4. Transformation of the Labour Force Survey and OSR’s review of ONS LFS derived labour market statistics;
    5. emerging findings of the review of ONS’s Administrative Based Population Estimates;
    6. OSR’s Economic Statistics programme of work; and
    7. the Police Recorded Crime draft report ahead of publication in May.
  3. The Committee had considered and approved the proposal by OSR to accredit official statistics status for the Annual Business Survey and the Graduate Outcome Statistics.

8. Census 2023 – Future of Population and Migration Statistics Draft Recommendation [SA(24)20]

  1. As this area of work is policy in development, the minute from this item will be published upon completion.

9. Any other business

  1. The Board would next meet on Thursday 30 May.

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