APCP – Technical

The Technical Advisory Panel on Consumer Prices (APCP-Technical) provides independent advice to the National Statistician on technical aspects of consumer price indices.

The establishment of the APCP-Technical was recommended by an independent review of the governance of price statistics, which considered matters relating to the governance arrangements and structures underpinning the production of consumer price indices by the Office for National Statistics.

The report also recommended the creation of an Stakeholder Advisory Panel on Consumer Prices (APCP-Stakeholder), to provide advice to the National Statistician on the uses and application of the statistics. These recommendations were accepted by the Board of the UK Statistics Authority in February 2014.

The Technical Advisory Panel for Consumer Price statistics operates transparently. Meeting agendas, papers and minutes will be made publicly available here following meetings, unless it is deemed that they are of a sensitive nature. We welcome comments and questions from interested parties. Feedback on the minutes and papers can be sent to cpi@ons.gov.uk.


Overview

The Technical Advisory Panel on Consumer Prices (APCP-Technical) provides independent advice to the National Statistician on technical aspects of consumer price indices.

Introduction

The establishment of the APCP-Technical was recommended by an independent review of the governance of price statistics, which considered matters relating to the governance arrangements and structures underpinning the production of consumer price indices by the Office for National Statistics.

The report also recommended the creation of a Stakeholder Advisory Panel on Consumer Prices (APCP-Stakeholder), to provide advice to the National Statistician on the uses and application of the statistics.

These recommendations were accepted by the Board of the UK Statistics Authority in February 2014.

Functions

The APCP-Technical provides independent advice to the National Statistician on technical aspects of consumer price indices, as requested by ONS and/or the APCP-S.

Specifically, the Panel will:

  • provide technical expertise on relevant aspects of the ONS consumer prices work programme;
  • provide technical expertise on other relevant issues or topics raised by the APCP-Stakeholder or the National Statistician’s Committee for Advice on Standards for Economic statistics (NSCASE);
  • identify emerging issues in the technical approaches to consumer price statistics;
  • provide technical expertise on the calculation of price indexes for a wider range of domains, should the need arise;
  • provide a report to the National Statistician each year, describing its activities and future plans; and,
  • formally review the operation of the Panel on a three-yearly basis.

Reporting and Governance

The APCP-Technical advises the National Statistician, who is also the Authority Chief Executive and a member of the UK Statistics Authority Board. The APCP-Technical will also advise NSCASE should it prove necessary for the committee to consider subject matter related to technical aspects of the calculation of consumer prices statistics.

The chair of the APCP-Technical will prepare a report annually on the activities of the Panel, for the National Statistician, who in turn can decide whether specific matters need to be discussed by the UK Statistics Authority Board.  This report will be created as a joint document outlining the activities and decisions of both the Technical and Stakeholder Panels. It is to be prepared following the final APCP-Technical meeting in October, and published prior to the final UK Statistics Authority Board in December.

Under the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, the UK Statistics Authority Board is responsible for the compilation, maintenance and publication of the Retail Prices Index (RPI).

Relationship with the APCP-Stakeholder

The Technical Panel secretariat works with the Technical Panel chair and respective members, the secretariat of the Stakeholder Panel, the UK Statistics Authority and ONS to ensure that the activities of the Stakeholder and Technical Panels are coordinated.  Both Technical and Stakeholder Panel members will be provided with the agenda for the other Panel prior to its meeting. They will be given access to the other Panel’s papers on request, unless the confidentiality status prevents this.  The code of conduct for handling sensitive material (described below) also applies here.

Chairing

The chair of the APCP-Technical is the ONS Director of Macroeconomic and Environment Statistics and Analysis.

The chair sets the Panel’s agenda, guided by the strategic direction of the UK Statistics Authority Board and the Chief Executive, and by the needs of the Stakeholder Panel and ONS.

Membership

Membership of the Panel provides for a mixture of expertise in price index methodology, including international experts. The composition of the Panel will be reviewed every three years prior to the January meeting by the chair and the National Statistician, with the next review due to take place in January 2025. Members are appointed for fixed terms, usually of three years although mid-term appointments will be shorter to coincide with the next scheduled review date. Appointments are made by the APCP-Technical chair and the National Statistician, and reappointments will be permitted. Panel members will be notified of their reappointment in writing.

The role of each member of the APCP-Technical is to participate in consideration of the full-range of technical issues within the remit of the Panel. Substitutes will not be permitted to attend Panel meetings unless with express invitation from the chair.

Members are not remunerated. All reasonable travel and subsistence costs will be reimbursed.

Transparency / Confidentiality

The Panel will operate transparently.  Meeting agendas, papers and minutes will be made publically available following meetings, unless it is deemed that they are of a sensitive nature. The sensitivity of each paper will be discussed during the meeting, and decisions that have been made will be clearly stated in the minutes, and on the APCP-Technical page on the UKSA website.

  • Papers that are deemed to be of a sensitive nature will be withheld from publication.
  • Papers that are draft versions of scheduled publications will not be published ahead of their scheduled date, but the APCP-Technical minutes will clearly state when the final document is expected to be published.
  • Work-in-progress papers, for which no publication is scheduled, will be published and clearly labelled.
  • Any papers sent by additional correspondence will be published alongside the documents for the following meeting, subject to being non-sensitive and not a draft of a planned publication.

Panel members will have the opportunity to comment on the minutes before publication for issues of accuracy. The Panel chair will have the final sign off on the minutes. The minutes are made publically available within a month following the meeting date.

Code of Conduct

Panel members are expected to provide their expertise and advice on the topics they are asked to consider. Members are asked not to share papers in advance with others. If Panel members wish to share a paper more widely to develop their advice, this should be agreed in writing by the chair of the Panel on a case-by-case basis.

On occasion members will be asked to consider topics of a sensitive nature. In these instances, certain restrictions will apply. These will be clearly set out by the Panel secretariat in advance of receiving any papers. Members who feel they are not able to abide by the restrictions will not receive papers and will be asked not to attend the relevant meeting.

There may also be instances where it is not appropriate for a Panel member to sit on the Panel due to a conflict with another role that they hold. In the event of such a conflict arising Panel members should notify the secretariat as soon as possible, and they will not receive papers and will be asked not to attend the relevant meeting.

Secretariat

The secretariat will be provided by ONS Prices Division.

Meetings

The Panel meets at a minimum of 3 times each year.

NamePosition
Mr Grant FitznerChief Economist and Director of Economic Statistics, Office for National Statistics (Chair)
Mr Mike HardiePrices division, Office for National Statistics
Mr Matthew CorderPrices division, Office for National Statistics
Ms Helen SandsSecretariat, Office for National Statistics
Prof. Bert Balk
Prof. Ian Crawford
Mr Rupert de Vincent Humphreys
Prof. Rebecca Killick
Mr Peter Levell
Dr Jens Mehrhoff
Prof. Paul Smith
Dr Martin Weale
Ms Corinne Becker Vermeulen