National Statistician’s Committee for Advice on Standards for Economic Statistics (NSCASE)

The National Statistician’s Committee for Advice on Standards for Economic Statistics (NSCASE) will play a central role in the governance of economic statistics, by supporting decisions about the guidance used in the compilation of these statistics.

The objectives of this committee are rooted in the Statistics and Registration Service Act (2007). This legislation placed responsibility for statistical standards, methodologies and classifications with the newly established UK Statistics Authority. Their main advisor on these matters is the National Statistician. Between 2007 and 2020, this domestic legislative framework operated alongside a range of European laws on statistics.

During this period, the UK had a legal obligation to compile its economic statistics using the frameworks and guidance set out by Eurostat: the statistical office of the European Union (EU). Following the UK’s exit from the EU, we are strengthening the way we produce and quality assure our statistics with new governance arrangements that will support the adoption and implementation of high-quality standards for UK economic statistics.

These governance arrangements will support the adoption and implementation of high-quality standards for UK economic statistics. They will promote international comparability and add to the credibility and independence of the UK’s statistical system. Drawing on the best domestic and international expertise to address the key measurement challenges of modern economies, we will work in partnership with other international statistical organisations to progress these issues on the world stage. Our new governance arrangements will help to achieve the UKSA’s strategic objectives as set out in ‘Statistics for the Public Good’.

At the centre of this new governance framework will be the new National Statistician’s Committee for Advice on Standards for Economic Statistics (NSCASE). NSCASE will support the UK by ensuring its processes for influencing and adopting international statistical standards are world-leading. Specifically, the Committee will provide advice to the National Statistician on:

  • the suitability of current standards across the ONS’s suite of economic data;
  • which standards the UK should adopt in the future, to meet the specific measurement needs of the UK economy, while ensuring international comparability; and
  • how the UK should influence the development of future standards.

The advice NSCASE provides to the National Statistician will span the full range of domains in economic statistics, including the National Accounts, fiscal statistics, prices, trade and the balance of payments and labour market statistics. It will identify global measurement best practice and will consider how best to meet the imperative for internationally comparable statistics. It will also identify opportunities for statistical innovation and will support statistical producers as they seek to ensure that their statistics accurately capture economic reality.

The Committee’s Chair, Professor Martin Weale is Professor of Economics at King’s College London. Martin graduated in 1977 in Economics from Clare College, Cambridge. Martin is an applied economist with an interest in macro-economic and micro-economic problems. He was Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee from 2010 to 2016. Martin is a member of the Office for National Statistic’s Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) and the Economic Experts Working Group (EEWG). Martin is currently developing work on democratic measures of economic performance.

David Caplan is a statistician with extensive experience of the production and use of economic statistics. In the first half of his career, he held a range of posts within the ONS including multiple roles in the national accounts. David then moved on to a range of senior posts including Director of Research and Analysis at the Audit Commission, and, most recently, Head of the Essex Centre for Data Analytics. He also co-founded an economics consultancy.

Robert Heath is a former Deputy Director of the IMF Statistics Department responsible for methodological development in economic statistics, overseeing the publication of IMF statistical manuals and guides including the 6th edition of the Balance of Payments Manual and Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014.

Professor Paul Mizen is Professor of Monetary Economics at the University of Nottingham where he leads research into use of economic statistics to support policy making at the Bank of England, COBRA, the Cabinet Office, 10 Downing St and various Government Departments; he is an ONS Fellow, member of the Economic Experts Working Group and the Office for National Statistic’s Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE).

Professor Rebecca Riley is Professor of Practice in Economics at King’s Business School. Rebecca is Director of the Office for National Statistic’s Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) and is an applied economist focusing on labour markets, industrial organisation, and economic measurement.

Professor Mairi Spowage is Professor of Practice and Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, based in the Department of Economics at the University of Strathclyde. Mairi’s areas of expertise include economic policy, economic statistics, national accounting, public sector finances, and economic and fiscal forecasting.

Nick Vaughan is a macroeconomist working on innovative finance for development with the Education Commission. Prior to this independent role Nick was Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of Jersey, and previously Chief Economist, and Director for National Accounts and Economic Statistics at the Office for National Statistics 2014-2018 where he led the transformation of economic statistics through the ‘Bean’ review and subsequent development.