John Pullinger plans to retire as National Statistician in June

John Pullinger plans to retire as the UK’s National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority in June 2019, after 5 years as Permanent Secretary.

 

Mr Pullinger took up post as the UK’s National Statistician on 1 July 2014, having previously served as House of Commons Librarian and President of the Royal Statistical Society.

In the period since Mr Pullinger has helped to mobilise the power of data in the UK, overseeing:

  • the introduction of the Digital Economy Act 2017, to enable better use of data and clearer assurance for the public on how data are being used;
  • the establishment of the Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence, and improvements to statistics on productivity, prices and trade;
  • the launch of the Data Science Campus in Newport, to explore new data sources and techniques; and
  • preparations for the UK’s first predominantly online Census, with the most ambitious target in the world for online data-collection.

 

Reflecting on his five years in post, Mr Pullinger said:

“It has been a joy to work with such a brilliant group of people over the last few years and to think about leaving gives cause for reflection.

“As a team we have renewed our economic statistics so that they can keep pace with the evolving modern economy. We have rethought data collection and the census so that we can deliver much more helpful insights to guide public policy. And we have built our data capability through development of people, infrastructure and systems.”

 

Speaking today, Sir David Norgrove, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, paid tribute to the work of Mr Pullinger:

“While John won’t be retiring until June, on behalf of the Board and staff of the UK Statistics Authority I would like to give huge thanks to John for all that he has achieved.

“John has been an inspiring leader to analysts not just in ONS but right across government, transforming the evidence available to decision-makers across the UK.

“His reforms will stand us all in good stead for years to come.”

 

An open competition to appoint Mr Pullinger’s successor will be launched shortly.

Re-appointment of Professor Sir Adrian Smith FRS

The UK Statistics Authority is pleased to announce the re-appointment of Professor Sir Adrian Smith as a non-executive member of the UK Statistics Authority Board, and Deputy Chair of the UK Statistics Authority.

Sir Adrian’s re-appointment was approved under the provisions of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. He has been re-appointed for a period of two years, ending on 31 August 2020.

Appointments to the Board of the UK Statistics Authority

The UK Statistics Authority warmly welcomes the appointment of Professor Sir Ian Diamond and Professor Anne Trefethen as non-executive members of the UK Statistics Authority Board.  Both have been appointed for four-year terms, commencing today.

Speaking today, Sir David Norgrove, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Ian and Anne as non-executive members of the UK Statistics Authority. Ian’s experience working within the research community and Anne’s experience on numerical algorithms will be of enormous benefit to the UK Statistics Authority Board, as we work to mobilise the power of data.”

For more information please contact: +44 (0)7818 011 583.


Notes for editors:

The UK Statistics Authority is an independent body operating at arm’s length from government as a non-ministerial department, directly accountable to Parliament. It was established on 1 April 2008 by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.

The Authority’s statutory objective is to promote and safeguard the production and publication of official statistics that serve the public good. It is also required to promote and safeguard the quality and comprehensiveness of official statistics, and ensure good practice in relation to official statistics.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond FBA FRSE FAcSS
Professor Sir Ian Diamond was Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen from 2010 to 2018.  He was previously Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research (ESRC) Council and, from 2004 to 2009, Chair of the Research Councils UK Executive Group (2004-2009).   Before joining the ESRC, Sir Ian was Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Southampton, where he had been for most of his career.

Sir Ian is Chair of British Universities and Colleges Sport, Chair of Edinburgh College of Further Education, Chair of Plan International UK and a Board member of UK Research and Innovation. He chaired the Welsh Assembly Government of the Higher Education Review for Wales reporting in 2016.  Sir Ian was elected to the UK Academy of Social Sciences in 1999, is a Fellow of the British Academy (2005), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2009) and holds honorary degrees from the universities of Cardiff, Glasgow and Curtin. 

Ian was appointed to the UK Statistics Authority Board on 7 June 2018, for a four-year term.

Professor Anne Trefethen FBCS FREng

Anne Trefethen is a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor of Scientific Computing and Fellow of St Cross College at the University of Oxford.   Prior to being appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Gardens, Libraries and Museums) in January 2015, she was appointed as the University’s first Chief Information Officer in March 2012.

Anne joined the University to lead the creation of the Oxford e-Research Centre where she served as the Director for over 6 years.  Her research has been focused on high-performance numerical algorithms and large-scale scientific applications.  She has contributed to the fields of parallel numerical algorithms, software design and engineering and most recently to energy-aware algorithms. Before coming to Oxford in 2005, she was a Director of the UK e-Science Core Programme working with the Research Councils and DTI (now Innovate UK). She has spent ten years in the US at Thinking Machines Inc. and as Associate Director at the Theory Centre, Cornell University.

Anne was appointed to the UK Statistics Authority Board on 7 June 2018, for a four-year term.

Re-appointment of Professor David Hand OBE FBA

The UK Statistics Authority is pleased to announce the re-appointment of Professor David Hand as a non-executive member of the UK Statistics Authority Board.

Professor Hand’s re-appointment was approved under the provisions of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. He has been re-appointed for a period of three years, ending on 1 April 2021.

Changes to our website

Removal of the National Statistician section

The content currently provided under the National Statistician section will be moved to the About menu. At the same time we will remove some duplication.

As part of this move, we are re-writing our About content to be more concise and structured. This includes breaking up blocks of text and using best practice for header sizes, so that our pages read well for screen-readers.

We will set up re-directs for the existing links. This means anyone who has bookmarked the original link will be automatically taken to the content’s new home.

When?

4pm, 16 February 2018

We don’t anticipate any downtime.

Why?

Our users have fed back that they don’t expect the content in this section to be where it is… so they don’t find it. This includes insights from user testing and feedback given via our online form. They expect this content to be on the GSS site or within the About section, under What We Do or UK Statistical System. As a result, the National Statistician menu will be disappearing and the content within moved to our About section. The policy store will move to the GSS website later this year.

At the same time we will re-write some content to increase readability, leading to greater understanding of the UK Statistics Authority’s remit and mission.

This will also improve the search function on our site, preventing it from bringing up irrelevant items in search results. Having a more manageable structure means it will be quicker and easier to maintain and update content. This allows us to maximise our publishing resources and take a more strategic approach to increasing user engagement.

 


Update 4 January 2018

We have sucessfully moved all Committees and panels content to our new Committees section. Re-directs are in place for old existing links. This means if you have saved any old links you will be automatically taken to new links.

 


Update 3 January 2018

We have sucessfully moved Data Ethics Advisory Committee, Administrative Data Research Network and Crime Statistics Advisory Committee content to our new Committees section. Re-directs are in place for old existing links. This means if you have saved any old links you will be automatically taken to the content’s new home. Content for Advisory Panels on Consumer Prices: Stakeholder and Technical is on track to move at 5pm, 4 January 2018

 


What will change?

There will be a new section for Committees and Panels, which will sit on our About the Authority menu. The current content will be moved from the National Statistician menu to the new section.

The content itself will not change, but the web page addresses will. We are setting up re-directs for the existing links. This means if you have saved the original link you will be automatically taken to the content’s new home.

For example, instead of links for the Crime Statistics Advisory Committee starting like this: https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/national-statistician/ns-reports-reviews-guidance-and-advisory-committees/national-statisticians-advisory-committees/crime-statistics-advisory-committee

You would be redirected to: https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/about-the-authority/committees/national-statisticians-crime-statistics-advisory-committee

When will it change?

3 January 2018: Data Ethics Advisory Committee, Administrative Data Research Network and Crime Statistics Advisory Committee.

4 January 2018: Advisory Panels on Consumer Prices: Stakeholder and Technical.

The changes are being done in the background, so there should not be any downtime.

Why is this changing?

Our users have fed back that they don’t expect the content in this section to be where it is… so they don’t find it. Users expected to find this content in the same menu as the Board content, so we are re-locating it to match these expectations. The new Committees section will also take fewer clicks to access.

 

Public value of statistics on Housing and Planning in the UK

Housing matters and it affects all citizens in the UK. Official statistics on housing and planning play a vital role in helping to inform decision-making of all kinds.

This review and its findings are focussed on the user perspective. We’ve heard a number of users’ views across the UK on the value of these statistics, and how well they meet their needs. This perspective – based on feedback from over 60 users across 43 organisations – has allowed us to build a picture about the statistical landscape for this topic, and the necessary drivers needed to improve these statistics to increase their public value. Value means that the data and statistics are easy to use, remain relevant, and benefit society, helping the public to understand important issues and answer key questions.

Overall, the topic of housing and planning appears to be well served by an impressive volume of official statistics. Our report highlights a number of areas of good practice in statistical production from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We have also identified opportunities for improvements to the statistical landscape at two levels: firstly, improvements to statistical outputs can help shine a light on society’s evolving questions about housing and planning in the UK. Secondly, more strategic coordination and collaboration between statistics producers across the UK, as well as greater engagement with users, can help drive improvements in outputs.

We think that starting from the users’ perspective is an essential prerequisite to improvements. This review provides a user-based stocktake, and it is therefore the starting point for these improvements. We welcome statistics producers being open to feedback and willing to listen to these views. We would be very happy to help facilitate changes, and to that end will continue to engage with producers and users of these statistics.

 

Re-appointment of Dr David Levy

The UK Statistics Authority is pleased to announce the re-appointment of Dr David Levy as a non-executive member of the Board of the UK Statistics Authority following the approval of the Minister for the Cabinet Office under the provisions of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. Dr David Levy has been re-appointed for a term of twenty-two months, ending on 31 May 2019.

Iain Bell appointed as Deputy National Statistician for Population and Public Policy at ONS

Iain Bell has been appointed at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to support the National Statistician, John Pullinger, in leading UK National Statistics.

Iain, who is currently Chief Data Officer at the Department for Education, has been appointed as Deputy National Statistician for Population and Public Policy, and will take up post in early June.

Iain will join Heather Savory (Deputy National Statistician for Data Capability) and Jonathan Athow (Deputy National Statistician for Economic Statistics), all reporting to John Pullinger as National Statistician, to deliver the strategic vision for ‘Better Statistics, Better Decisions‘.

Speaking today, John Pullinger, the National Statistician said:

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Iain Bell as Deputy National Statistician for Population and Public Policy, joining Heather, Jonathan, and me as the senior leadership team. Together with our colleagues across the Government Statistical Service we are ready to take the statistical evidence base of the nation to a new level mobilising the power of data to help Britain make better decisions”

Iain Bell, the new Deputy National Statistician for Population and Public Policy said:

“ONS and the Government Statistical Service has a huge opportunity to provide high quality statistical evidence that drives insight into the decisions being made in Britain today. I am excited by the opportunity to work with colleagues in ONS and across Government to deliver this”

For more information please contact 07411 212300 or 07795 841283.


Biography

Iain is currently Chief Data Officer at the Department for Education where he has been responsible for how the Department collects, uses and publishes information and transforming how this is done. Iain has been a member of the Government Statistical Service since 1993 and his career spans labour market, justice, finance and transport statistics in many Departments including ONS.

Candidate for Next Chair of the UK Statistics Authority Announced

Following an open recruitment exercise Sir David Norgrove has been selected as the preferred candidate for appointment as the next Chair of the UK Statistics Authority. The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee will hold a pre-appointment hearing on 24 January. Our current Chair, Sir Andrew Dilnot CBE, has held the post since 2012 and will step down at the end of his term on 31 March 2017. More information can be found on the Cabinet Office news story.


Notes for editors

The UK Statistics Authority was established on 1 April 2008 by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, with a statutory objective to promote and safeguard the production and publication of official statistics that serve the public good. The Chair of the Authority is a Crown appointment made with the approval of Parliament. Sir Andrew took up post in April 2012 for a five-year term.

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