Re-appointment of Professor David Hand OBE FBA

The UK Statistics Authority is pleased to announce the re-appointment of Professor David Hand OBE FBA 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. Professor Hand has been re-appointed for a term of two years ending on 31 March 2018.

Why we need new data access legislation

Delivering better statistics for better decisions

On 29 February, the Government launched a public consultation on the Better Use of Data in Government which includes proposals for the use of data to support better National and official statistics, and statistical research.

Speaking today, the National Statistician, John Pullinger, welcomed the proposals:

“If the UK is to succeed in the competitive global marketplace, and if our governments are to make informed choices affecting all our lives, they need the best possible statistics.

“Access to timely and rich existing data sources from the public and private sectors can transform the quality of official statistics, and reduce our dependence on surveys which are costly to administer, and time-consuming and burdensome for respondents.

“The opportunities are huge. The UK has the potential to be a global leader in data science.  But we can only be successful if we maintain the trust and confidence of the citizens and businesses that provide their data. It will be necessary to provide reassurance that ONS will keep data safe and secure, and that we will use data for one purpose only, to produce aggregate official statistics and research that support better decision-making for the public good.”

The Statistics Authority has also today published a short paper to provide further background and context to the proposals for better access to data for the purposes of producing official statistics.

 

–  ENDS –

 

For more information please contact 07786 892263


Notes for Editors

  1. The Government’s consultation paper Better Use of Data in Government is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/better-use-of-data-in-government
  1. The UK Statistics Authority’s paper Delivering better statistics for better decisions: Why we need new legislation for better access to data (March 2016) is available online at: https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/publication/delivering-better-statistics-for-better-decisions-data-access-legislation-march-2016/

PDF version of News Release

 

UK Consumer Price Statistics: A Review

The UK Statistics Authority has today published Paul Johnson’s independent review of UK consumer prices statistics. The Authority will consider his recommendations in detail and will undertake a full public consultation in the summer of 2015.

Paul Johnson’s report finds that, other than not accounting for owner occupiers’ housing costs, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) is a well constructed measure of inflation. Users should have confidence in it. However there is “an unhelpful proliferation of price indices in the UK at present”. He agrees with the view set out by the National Statistician that there are basic statistical flaws in the construction of the Retail Prices Index (RPI) and that the RPI is not a good measure of inflation.

Paul Johnson recommends that:

  • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) should move towards making the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) its main measure of inflation;
  • Government and regulators should move towards ending the use of the RPI as soon as practicable and, where they decide to keep using it, the Authority should ask them to set out clearly and publicly their reasons for doing so; and,
  • The Authority and the ONS should, on an annual basis, publish significantly more information about what is happening to prices and costs faced by particular groups of households.

Research carried out in compiling the report indicated that:

  • Different household groups have experienced quite different rates of inflation over the past decade – with poorer households (those with the lowest levels of spending) experiencing significantly higher rates of inflation than richer households;
  • Current inflation measures indicate how much prices rise. But people are likely to change their spending patterns in response to some prices rising more than others – at some point, as the price of apples rises, consumers will switch to other fruits. As a result current inflation measures are likely to overstate the extent to which rising prices make people worse off. Initial analysis suggests that this overstatement may be significant. ONS should publish estimates of this effect; and,
  • There are big challenges in measuring price changes when the nature and quality of goods and services on sale changes. For goods that get “better” over time – anything from vacuum cleaners to televisions – the actual average price can rise much faster than the price index for that good;

The report also makes a number of detailed recommendations regarding the methodology and data used to compile consumer price statistics. For example, ONS should:

  • prioritise developing new data sources, from the web and from retailers’ own data, to underpin the construction of inflation statistics;
  • introduce regular monitoring of the impact of quality adjustment on its consumer price statistics; and,
  • understand more about how discounting behaviour by retailers is changing over time, and look to include in the inflation measures many more types of discounts (like two-for-one offers) which are currently excluded.

Speaking today, Paul Johnson said:

“In 2013, the UK Statistics Authority de-designated the RPI as a National Statistic and the Office for National Statistics introduced the new CPIH measure to include owner occupiers’ housing costs. In my view, it is time for the UK government to take the next, logical step and stop using RPI in any element of the tax, benefit and regulatory systems.

“I would also like to invite the Authority to consider how it might support better statistical measures of household inflation. Different population groups – the young and the old, families and individuals, home-owners and renters – have different spending patterns and hence face different rates of inflation. An annual publication showing how inflation measures differ between these groups would be most welcome.”

Speaking today, Sir Andrew Dilnot, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, said:

“The UK Statistics Authority is grateful to Paul Johnson for this landmark report on UK consumer prices statistics which should be seen as an authoritative and comprehensive review of a complex statistical landscape with a number of recommendations which the Authority will want to consider further.

“I have asked the National Statistician, John Pullinger, to consider the review and make recommendations to the Board of the UK Statistics Authority. The Authority expects to launch a formal public consultation in the summer of 2015 and to make our final response later in 2015.”

For further information please contact 07786 892263 or 07730 667013.

UK Consumer Price Statistics: A Review

The UK Statistics Authority has today published Paul Johnson’s independent review of UK consumer prices statistics. 1 The Authority will consider his recommendations in detail and will undertake a full public consultation in the summer of 2015.

Paul Johnson’s report finds that, other than not accounting for owner occupiers’ housing costs, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) is a well constructed measure of inflation. Users should have confidence in it. However there is “an unhelpful proliferation of price indices in the UK at present”. He agrees with the view set out by the National Statistician that there are basic statistical flaws in the construction of the Retail Prices Index (RPI) and that the RPI is not a good measure of inflation.

Paul Johnson recommends that:

  • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) should move towards making the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) its main measure of inflation;
  • Government and regulators should move towards ending the use of the RPI as soon as practicable and, where they decide to keep using it, the Authority should ask them to set out clearly and publicly their reasons for doing so; and,
  • The Authority and the ONS should, on an annual basis, publish significantly more information about what is happening to prices and costs faced by particular groups of households.

Research carried out in compiling the report indicated that:

  • Different household groups have experienced quite different rates of inflation over the past decade – with poorer households (those with the lowest levels of spending) experiencing significantly higher rates of inflation than richer households;
  • Current inflation measures indicate how much prices rise. But people are likely to change their spending patterns in response to some prices rising more than others – at some point, as the price of apples rises, consumers will switch to other fruits. As a result current inflation measures are likely to overstate the extent to which rising prices make people worse off. Initial analysis suggests that this overstatement may be significant. ONS should publish estimates of this effect; and,
  • There are big challenges in measuring price changes when the nature and quality of goods and services on sale changes. For goods that get “better” over time – anything from vacuum cleaners to televisions – the actual average price can rise much faster than the price index for that good;

The report also makes a number of detailed recommendations regarding the methodology and data used to compile consumer price statistics.

For example, ONS should:

  • prioritise developing new data sources, from the web and from retailers’ own data, to underpin the construction of inflation statistics;
  • introduce regular monitoring of the impact of quality adjustment on its consumer price statistics; and,
  • understand more about how discounting behaviour by retailers is changing over time, and look to include in the inflation measures many more types of discounts (like two-for-one offers) which are currently excluded.

Speaking today, Paul Johnson said:

“In 2013, the UK Statistics Authority de-designated the RPI as a National Statistic and the Office for National Statistics introduced the new CPIH measure to include owner occupiers’ housing costs. In my view, it is time for the UK government to take the next, logical step and stop using RPI in any element of the tax, benefit and regulatory systems.

“I would also like to invite the Authority to consider how it might support better statistical measures of household inflation. Different population groups – the young and the old, families and individuals, home-owners and renters – have different spending patterns and hence face different rates of inflation. An annual publication showing how inflation measures differ between these groups would be most welcome.”

Speaking today, Sir Andrew Dilnot, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, said:

“The UK Statistics Authority is grateful to Paul Johnson for this landmark report on UK consumer prices statistics which should be seen as an authoritative and comprehensive review of a complex statistical landscape with a number of recommendations which the Authority will want to consider further.

“I have asked the National Statistician, John Pullinger, to consider the review and make recommendations to the Board of the UK Statistics Authority. The Authority expects to launch a formal public consultation in the summer of 2015 and to make our final response later in 2015.”

For further information please contact 07786 892263 or 07730 667013.

Appointment of Chief Executive and National Statistician

Her Majesty the Queen has appointed John Pullinger as Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, National Statistician and Permanent Secretary, to succeed Jil Matheson who retires at the end of June 2014.

John Pullinger has been appointed by Her Majesty on the advice of the Prime Minister, following consultation with the Deputy Prime Minister, and through open competition. The National Statistician is Head of the Government Statistical Service. As Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, John will be an executive member of the Board of the UK Statistics Authority and under the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 John will be the Board’s principal adviser on statistical matters.

John Pullinger is currently House of Commons Librarian and Director General, Information Services at the House of Commons. John will take up post in July 2014.

Speaking today, Sir Andrew Dilnot, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, warmly welcomed John Pullinger’s appointment:

“I am delighted that we have appointed John Pullinger to the Board of the UK Statistics Authority as our new Chief Executive and National Statistician. John brings with him enormous professional expertise in official statistics from a distinguished career at all levels; and more recently through his leadership of visionary work in engaging Parliament and the public coupled with providing trusted information and research services to the House of Commons.

“The Board and staff of both the UK Statistics Authority and Office for National Statistics very much look forward to welcoming John when he takes up post in July.

“I would like to reiterate our sincere thanks for Jil Matheson’s exemplary leadership of the Statistical Service over the last five years as National Statistician, as I set out in my announcement earlier this year. We have valued enormously Jil’s professional wise counsel coupled with a great sense of fun, which are indeed remarkable qualities. We wish Jil all the very best for the future.”

The Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood said:

“I would like to congratulate John on his appointment. With his considerable experience in the statistical field I am sure he will provide strong leadership for the UK Statistics Authority and Office for National Statistics, and will be instrumental in delivering its future priorities. It is great that the Civil Service has been able to attract someone of John’s international standing – who is also the current President of the Royal Statistical Society – to this critical job. I would also like to thank Jil Matheson for all she has done during her time in the role. I wish her all the very best for the future”.

On the announcement of his appointment by Her Majesty the Queen, John Pullinger said:

“The Board of the UK Statistics Authority has done an extraordinary job in establishing itself during its first few years. Over the years to come there is an opportunity to build on what Jil Matheson and her team have achieved, taking the work of the Authority to a new level, mobilising the power of data to help Britain make better decisions about our future. It is a wonderful privilege for me to have been appointed as National Statistician and Chief Executive of the Authority. I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues in the Authority, with the Government Statistical Service and with everyone who believes in wellinformed decision-making.”

For more information please contact 07786 892263

Retirement of Jil Matheson as National Statistician in Summer 2014

The National Statistician, Jil Matheson, will retire in Summer 2014 after almost five years in post. Speaking today, Sir Andrew Dilnot, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, paid tribute to Jil Matheson:

“Jil’s professional leadership of the UK statistical system over the last five years as National Statistician has been exemplary and with her retirement we will lose a highly influential, engaging and trusted ambassador who has unfailingly articulated the importance of high quality, trusted official statistics to countless different audiences far and wide, both at home and abroad. Over her almost 40 years in the Civil Service, Jil has brought great wisdom, judgment and wise counsel to a number of roles within the statistical service, and she has been instrumental in shaping and developing the Office for National Statistics and wider UK statistical system for continuing success in the future.

“In my time as Chair of the Statistics Authority, I have been struck by how Jil engages, encourages and empowers colleagues to deliver of their best and, despite an unenviable diary of appointments, always ensures that she makes time to talk to anyone who might pass her desk, or meet her in the corridor, or even at the bus stop, in her typically relaxed, approachable and informal way. These are among the remarkable personal qualities which we will sorely miss.

“While Jil won’t be retiring until the summer, on behalf of the Board and staff of the UK Statistics Authority I would like to pay tribute, here, to Jil for all she has achieved. Jil will be a very hard act to follow. We say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for her dedication, commitment and service to UK official statistics, and wish Jil all the very best for the future.”

An open competition to recruit Jil’s successor will commence shortly and further details will be published on the Appointments page of the UK Statistics Authority website.

For media enquiries about this Statement please contact +44 (0)7786 892263

Appointments to the Board of the UK Statistics Authority

The UK Statistics Authority warmly welcomes the appointment of Carolyn Fairbairn and Professor David Hand as non-executive members of the Authority Board, both taking up post on 1 April 2013 for a period of appointment of three years.

Speaking today, Andrew Dilnot, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, said:

“I am delighted that the Minister for the Cabinet Office has appointed Carolyn Fairbairn and David Hand as non-executive members of the UK Statistics Authority. Carolyn and David bring with them enormously varied professional insights from the world of statistics and the media and beyond, and these will be of great benefit to us all on the Statistics Authority Board. I am very much looking forward to welcoming them both.”

For more information please contact 07786 892263

Notes for Editors:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The Authority’s functions relate to its statutory areas of responsibility:
    – oversight of the UK official statistics system, which includes around 30 central government departments and the devolved administrations, and the promotion, safeguarding and monitoring of quality, comprehensiveness and good practice in relation to all official statistics, wherever produced;
    – production of a Code of Practice for Statistics and assessment of official statistics against the Code; and,
    – governance of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the UK’s National Statistical Institute and the largest producer of official statistics.
  4.  Membership of the Authority’s Board comprises the Chair of the Authority, seven other nonexecutive members, and three executive members.
  5. Further information about the UK Statistics Authority is available on the Authority’s website www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk
    Carolyn Fairbairn
  6. Carolyn Fairbairn has been appointed as a non-executive director of the UK Statistics Authority with effect from 1 April 2013 for a period of three years.
  7. Since 2012, Carolyn Fairbairn has served as a non-executive director of Lloyds Banking Group and Vitec Group plc, and she is currently a Trustee of Marie Curie Cancer Care. Between 2009 and 2011, Carolyn was Chair of the Royal Television Society, and was a non-executive director of the Financial Services Authority between 2008 and 2011.
  8. Carolyn has held a number of senior UK media roles, including as Director of Group Development and Strategy at ITV, Director of Strategy and Distribution at the BBC, and Director of Strategy at BBC Worldwide. Carolyn was a partner at McKinsey and Company in London where she led McKinsey’s UK media practice serving clients in the UK and Europe, specialising in digital strategy. Before joining the BBC, Carolyn was a special adviser in the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit at 10 Downing Street (1995-97). Her early career was as an economist at the World Bank in both Washington DC and Bangkok, and as a journalist working for The Economist in London.
  9. Carolyn was educated at the University of Cambridge where she read Economics, followed by postgraduate study at the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) in Fontainebleau, near Paris, and at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
    Professor David Hand OBE FBA
  10. Professor David Hand OBE FBA has been appointed as a non-executive director of the UK Statistics Authority with effect from 1 April 2013 for a period of three years.
  11. Professor Hand is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Imperial College, London. He was previously Professor of Statistics at Imperial College (1999-2011) during which time he was also Head of the Mathematics in Banking and Finance Programme (2005-09); before that he was Professor of Statistics at the Open University (1988-99). Since 2010, he has served as Chief Scientific Adviser to Winton Capital Management.
  12. Professor Hand was President of the Royal Statistical Society for two terms (2008-09 and 2010) and is currently an external member of the UK Statistics Authority’s Committee for Official Statistics. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, and is also an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries, a member of the UK Strategic Forum for the Social Sciences, and a member of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. He was President of both the British Classification Society (1989-92) and the International Federation of Classification Societies (2006-07).
  13. Professor Hand was educated at the University of Oxford and University of Southampton. He won the Royal Statistical Society’s Guy Medal in Silver in 2002 and was awarded the OBE for services to Research and Innovation in the New Year Honours in 2013.

Appointments to the Board of the UK Statistics Authority

The UK Statistics Authority warmly welcomes the appointment of Professor Sir Adrian Smith FRS and Professor David Rhind CBE FRS FBA as Deputy Chairs of the UK Statistics Authority, and the appointment of Dr David Levy as a non-executive member of the Authority Board.

Professor Sir Adrian Smith has been appointed as Deputy Chair of the Authority with responsibility for the governance of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and will take up post as a Deputy Chair on 1 September 2012.

Sir Adrian succeeds Lord Rowe-Beddoe of Kilgetty whose term of office ends on 31 August 2012. Sir Adrian was previously a member of the Authority Board until his appointment to a senior role in the Civil Service in 2008. Professor David Rhind has been appointed as Deputy Chair of the Authority with responsibility for promoting and safeguarding the production and publication of all official statistics across the UK.

Professor Rhind has been a member of the Authority Board since 2008 and has been chair of the Authority’s Audit Committee. David Rhind’s appointment as a Deputy Chair is with effect from 1 July 2012. He succeeds the late Professor Sir Roger Jowell who sadly passed away in December 2011. Dr David Levy will take up post as a non-executive member of the Board on 1 August 2012.

Speaking today, Andrew Dilnot, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, said:

“I am delighted that the Minister for the Cabinet Office has appointed David Rhind and Adrian Smith as Deputy Chairs of the UK Statistics Authority. David and Adrian bring with them enormous experience of the world of UK official statistics, and both have a record of commitment to, and enthusiasm for, the work of the UK Statistics Authority and the success of the ONS and the wider UK statistical system.

“I am also very much looking forward to welcoming David Levy to our Board; the knowledge and insight he has gained from his career so far will be instrumental in helping the Authority to further shape and develop statistical communication across the ONS and beyond.

“I would like to pay tribute to Lord David Rowe-Beddoe whose term of office as our Deputy Chair with responsibility for governance of ONS will shortly come to an end. David has been very much at the centre of the Authority’s life over these past four years, and his leadership in our oversight of ONS has been second-to-none. I and my colleagues on the Authority Board wish David all the very best for the future, and offer him our heartfelt thanks for the enormous service he has given to us.”

For more information please contact 07786 892263

Notes for Editors:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The UK Statistics Authority has two main functions:
    – oversight of the Office for National Statistics (ONS); and,
    – independent scrutiny of all official statistics produced in the UK.
  4. Membership of the Authority’s Board comprises the Chair of the Authority, seven other non-executive members, and three executive members.
  5. Further information about the UK Statistics Authority is available on the Authority’s website www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk

    Professor David Rhind CBE FRS FBA
  6. Professor David Rhind CBE FRS FBA has been appointed as Deputy Chair with responsibility for advising and supervising the Authority’s regulatory work and promoting and safeguarding the production and publication of all official statistics across the UK. Professor Rhind has been a non-executive member of the Board of the UK Statistics Authority since 2008. He takes up post as Deputy Chair with effect from 1 July 2012 for a term of three years.
  7. Professor Rhind was a member of the former Statistics Commission from 2000 to 2008, and between 2003 and 2008 was the Commission’s chairman. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy. He was appointed CBE in 2001 for services to geographical and social sciences.
  8. David Rhind was Vice-Chancellor and President of the City University London between 1998 and 2007, a non-executive director on the Bank of England’s Court of Directors from 2006 to 2009, and Director General and Chief Executive of the Ordnance Survey between 1992 and 1998. He is currently Chair of the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information, of the Bank of England Pension Trustees, of Portsmouth Hospitals’ NHS Trust Board and of the Trustees of the Nuffield Foundation.
  9. Professor David Rhind was educated at Berwick Grammar School, University of Bristol, and University of Edinburgh. He holds honorary doctorates from the universities of Bristol, City, Durham, Edinburgh, Kingston, London Metropolitan, Loughborough, Southampton, Royal Holloway University of London and from St Petersburg State Polytechnical University.
  10. David Rhind started his career as a Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art (1969-73), followed by academic posts at the University of Durham. He became Professor of Geography at Birkbeck College, University of London in 1982 and was Dean of the Faculty of Economics between 1984 and 1986. Professor Rhind was Vice President of the International Cartographic Association (1984-91), a member of the Government committee on the enquiry into the handling of geographic information (1985-87), and an adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology (1983-84).
  11. Professor David Rhind has authored and contributed to a number of books and articles in the field of geography, map-making and geographic information. Professor Rhind is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Statistical Society. He won the 2007 Patron’s Medal of the Royal Geographical Society and the Decade Award for Achievement of the Association for Geographic Information in 1997. 

    Professor Sir Adrian Smith FRS
  12. Professor Sir Adrian Smith FRS has been appointed as Deputy Chair of the UK Statistics Authority with responsibility for governance of the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Sir Adrian will take up post on 1 September 2012 for a three-year term, in succession to Lord Rowe-Beddoe of Kilgetty. He previously served on the Board of the UK Statistics Authority during 2008 as Deputy Chair (Statistical System) until his appointment to a senior role in the Civil Service. Sir Adrian was knighted in the 2011 New Year Honours.
  13. Since December 2010, Professor Sir Adrian Smith has been Director General, Knowledge and Innovation at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). In September 2008, he was appointed to the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills as Director General, Science and Research. Sir Adrian will leave BIS this summer to take up the post of Vice Chancellor of the University of London with effect from 1 September 2012.
  14. Sir Adrian Smith was Principal of Queen Mary, University of London between 1998 and 2008, and before that held a number of senior academic and management posts at Imperial College, including Professor of Statistics and Head of the Department of Mathematics. Between 1977 and 1990, he was Professor of Statistics and Head of Department of Mathematics at Nottingham University, and between 1971 and 1977 held posts at the University of Oxford and University College, London.
  15. Sir Adrian was President of the Royal Statistical Society between 1995 and 1997, and won the Society’s Guy Medal in Bronze (1977) and Guy Medal in Silver (1993). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001 in recognition of his contribution to statistics. He has previously acted in various advisory capacities to a number of government departments.
  16. Professor Smith chaired the UK Government’s Inquiry into post-14 Mathematics education, commissioned in 2002, and published its report Making Mathematics Count in 2004. He also led the independent review of crime statistics, commissioned by the then Home Secretary, which reported in 2006, and has authored and contributed to a number of academic books and articles in the field of statistics.
  17. Sir Adrian was educated at Teignmouth Grammar School, Selwyn College, Cambridge, and University College, London. He holds honorary doctorates from City University, the University of Loughborough, Queen Mary, University of London and the University of Plymouth.

    Dr. David Levy
  18. Dr. David Levy has been appointed as a non-executive member of the Board of the UK Statistics Authority with effect from 1 August 2012 for a two-year term.
  19. David Levy is a Fellow of Green Templeton College and Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism within the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, a post he has held since September 2008. He has recently completed a term as a Visiting Professor at Sciences Po in Paris, and since May 2011 has been a member of the Content Board of the communications regulator, Ofcom. David Levy was also a nonexecutive member of the board of the French broadcaster France 24 from 2009 until earlier this year. David’s areas of expertise include the challenges facing journalism, modernising public service broadcasting, public service reform, the impact of digital technology, and media ownership and regulation both within the UK and Europe.
  20. David Levy spent 20 years in his career at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), latterly as Controller of Public Policy (2000-07), where he led the BBC’s policy for the recent Charter Review and was in charge of public policy and regulation. Prior to that role he was Head of Policy Development and chief adviser and head of European Policy (1995-2000), Editor of BBC Radio 4’s Analysis (1992-94), and a reporter for BBC TV’s Newsnight (1990-92) and Radio 4’s File on Four (1987-90). Before then David Levy was Lecturer in French Politics and Contemporary History at the University of Salford (1985-87).
  21. David Levy was a member of the Science and Media Committee between 2009 and 2010, and in 2008 was appointed by the then President of France to membership of a parliamentary commission to review the future of public service broadcasting in France. In 1996/97, David Levy was a Visitor at Nuffield College, Oxford where he undertook research for his book Europe’s Digital Revolution: Broadcasting regulation, the EU and the nation state (2nd edition 2001). In 2007, he was a visitor to the Center for Global Communications Studies at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania.
  22. David Levy has written and contributed to a number of books and articles on broadcasting and broadcasting regulation, including The changing business of journalism and its implications for democracy (2010), and The price of plurality: choice, diversity and broadcasting institutions in the digital age (2008).
  23. David Levy was educated at Haberdashers Aske’s Boys’ School, University of York, London School of Economics, and Nuffield College, Oxford.

Andrew Dilnot takes up office as Chair of the UK Statistics Authority

Andrew Dilnot CBE today takes up office as Chair of the UK Statistics Authority in succession to Sir Michael Scholar KCB whose term of office came to an end on 31 March. Andrew Dilnot has been appointed for a five-year term.

Speaking today, Andrew said:

“I am delighted to have been appointed as the next Chair of the UK Statistics Authority. I care very much about official statistics; not just about the numbers themselves but about the ways in which they are used and interpreted. Statistics are vital in helping all of us understand the world around us; and almost all the decisions that we make are, or can be, informed by statistics.

“As Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, I want to be both a guardian and a champion of official statistics. Public trust and confidence in official statistics are vital. If statistics are trusted they will be used and valued.

“I will continue the Authority’s strong record of defending – robustly and independently – the integrity of official statistics. I will not shy away from publicly intervening, as the legislation requires the Authority to do, identifying bad practice and where improvement is required, in the public interest.

“I will also want to continue to champion official statistics, and champion the dedication and professionalism of all those who produce them across the statistical service. I would like us all to think about statistics in a positive way, to see the enormous value and richness of UK official statistics, and to maximise their use throughout government and beyond. This is as important for the general public and the media as it is for Parliament, politicians and civil servants.

“We must create a sense of the significance of official statistics, the need and value of sound and strong statistical analysis, and the consequences of their misuse. Sound and impartial commentary, explanation, and tools for dissemination are critical to our success.

“I am very much looking forward to working with my colleagues on the Board of the UK Statistics Authority and the Authority’s staff, and to continuing the Authority’s relationship of reporting to Parliament, as the “enforcer of impartial statistics” as Parliament would like us to be.

“I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor, Sir Michael Scholar. Sir Michael has established the Authority as a most important and independent regulatory body, overseeing the Office for National Statistics and safeguarding the production and publication of all UK official statistics, wherever produced, for the public good. Sir Michael has set a very high benchmark, and I hope I can come up to that exacting standard.”

For more information please contact 07786 892263 (media enquiries) or 0845 604 1857 (general enquiries)

Notes for Editors:

  1. The post of Chair of the UK Statistics Authority is a Crown appointment, made with the approval of Parliament following a pre-appointment hearing before the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee and a formal motion debated on the floor of the House of Commons in December 2012.
  2. Andrew Dilnot is appointed to succeed Sir Michael Scholar KCB whose term of office ended on 31 March 2012.
  3. Andrew Dilnot took up post on 2 April 2012 for a non-renewable five-year term.
  4.  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.
  5. 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.
  6. The UK Statistics Authority has two main functions:
    – oversight of the Office for National Statistics (ONS); and,
    – independent scrutiny of all official statistics produced in the UK.
  7. Membership of the Authority’s Board comprises the Chair of the Authority, seven other nonexecutive members, and three executive members.
  8. Further information about the UK Statistics Authority is available on the Authority’s website www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk

    About Andrew Dilnot

  9. Andrew Dilnot is an economist and broadcaster. Since 2002 he has been Principal of St. Hugh’s College, Oxford. In September 2012, Andrew will transfer from St. Hugh’s to Nuffield College, Oxford to take up post as Warden.
  10. He was awarded a CBE in 2000 for services to economics and economic policy.
  11. Andrew was educated in Swansea and at St. John’s College, Oxford where he read Politics, Philosophy and Economics. After graduating from Oxford, he joined the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), and between 1991 and 2002 he served as its Director.
  12. Andrew Dilnot was the founding presenter of BBC Radio 4’s series on numbers and statistics, More or Less and co-authored (with Michael Blastland) The Tiger that isn’t: seeing through a world of numbers, a study of the role and use of statistics.
  13. In 2010, Andrew was appointed to chair the Commission on Funding of Care and Support, which published its report Fairer Care Funding in July 2011.
  14. He is an Honorary Fellow of St. John’s College, Oxford, of Queen Mary, University of London, and of the Institute for Actuaries. Andrew also holds an honorary doctorate from City University.
  15. Between 2009 and 2012, Andrew chaired the Statistics User Forum and was also a Trustee of the Nuffield Foundation. He has served on the Social Security Advisory Committee, the National Consumer Council, and the council of the Royal Economic Society.

    About the Board of the UK Statistics Authority

  16. In addition to the Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, the other members of the Board of the UK Statistics Authority are currently:
    – Lord Rowe-Beddoe of Kilgetty, who occupies the post of Deputy Chair responsible for governance of the Office for National Statistics;
    – Colette Bowe (non-executive member)
    – Partha Dasgupta (non-executive member)
    – Dame Moira Gibb DBE (non-executive member)
    – Professor David Rhind CBE FRS FBA (non-executive member)
    – Sir Jon Shortridge KCB (non-executive member)
    – Jil Matheson (National Statistician)
    – Richard Alldritt (Head of Assessment)
    – Stephen Penneck (Director General, Office for National Statistics)
  17. Following the death in December 2011 of Professor Sir Roger Jowell CBE, the post of Deputy Chair responsible for advising the Authority on its responsibility for promoting and safeguarding the production and publication of all official statistics across the UK will be advertised shortly.
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