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.”

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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.ukAbout 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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