Venue: Department of the Taoiseach, Room 301, Government Buildings, D02 R583
Date: Wednesday April 10, 2019 at 10.00am
Presentation by Padraig Dalton
Presentation by Cormac Halpin
National Statistics Board
Venue: Department of the Taoiseach, Government Buildings
Date: Wednesday April 10, 2019
Members present: Ms. Anne Vaughan (Chairperson), Dr. Eimear Cotter, Mr. John Shaw, Mr. John McCarthy, Mr. Gerard Brady, Mr. John Martin and Mr. Pádraig Dalton.
Non-members in attendance: Ms. Jennifer Banim (CSO Senior Management) and Ms. Claire Hanley (Secretary).
Apologies: Mr Gerard O’Neill
Item 1: Minutes of NSB meeting February 13, 2019 (NSB 2019-2-2)
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.
Item 2: NSB Strategy – Review of Progress on Recommended Actions (NSB 2019-2-3)
The Board noted the status of the actions outlined in the NSB Strategy with further discussion on particular topics under the Director General’s report (item 3).
Item 3: Director General’s progress report (NSB 2019-2-4)
The Director General briefed the Board on a number of recent developments within CSO and at European level. Specific issues were selected for further discussion.
Civil Service Renewal (CSR) Action 24 update: Improving how data is collected, managed and shared
The Board were updated on a number of developments relating to Action 24 of the CSR.
Communications on the NDI have been extended to the public service with recent presentations made on the NDI to the Public Service Management Group and Public Service Leadership Board. The Board were informed of the planned expansion of the ‘NDI Champions’ group which will be extended to include public service representation.
The coverage of Eircodes on public sector data holdings are closely monitored by the NDI Champions group with the 2018 NDI Dashboard results currently being compiled and due to be reported to the CSMB at end-May 2019. The OSi Eircode API is due to go live in April 2019 and can be used by PSBs with the appropriate licence to assign an Eircode to new records. The Board discussed aspects of batch coding and retrospective coding of Eircodes which will not be facilitated using the OSi Eircode API.
The Data Sharing and Governance Bill was enacted on March 4, 2019.
The technical work on the Unique Business Identifier (UBI), based on the Revenue internal customer number, is progressing well and the UBI consultation group is due to re-start.
With regard to ongoing pathfinder projects at CSO, two seconded economists from the HEA and SOLAS have joined CSO to work on the Education pathfinder team. A work programme is being developed in consultation with the recently established Education Liaison Group and a full update will be provided at the next meeting of the Board. Further topics are being progressed in relation to transport and health policy.
Horizontal reports, linking data across multiple sources, are ongoing at CSO and the first topic will be urban/rural quality of life.
Environment and Climate Statistics
The Board were updated on the ongoing work of the Environment statistics area in CSO and highlighted the importance of CSO collaboration with regard to statistics on waste generation, which is becoming significant. The Board welcomed the new monthly release on fuel sales due to commence in mid-2019 and sought further clarification on the timeliness of the release.
The Board welcomed the publication of the National Accounts Q4 2018 and the new International Accounts release which includes additional sections on Trade and Foreign Direct Investment as well as the regular Balance of Payments and International Investment Position tables. The Board discussed aspects of the work of the Macro Economics Statistics Liaison Group including the GNI* indicator which is modified to exclude characteristics of global activity. Plans for the publication of GNI* at constant prices was welcomed and the CSO noted the discussion on compiling GNI* on a quarterly basis. The Board were updated on the EDP dialogue visit, led by Eurostat, which took place in February. Ireland compared favourably with other member states. The Board discussed the implications of Brexit for Trade in Goods statistics and reiterated the need for a FAQ document to be published by the CSO.
Census of Population
The Board discussed briefly the work of the Census Advisory Group in the context of the proposed changes to the Census 2021 questionnaire and noted that the CSO is preparing a Memo to Government to recommend the agreed content. The Board will discuss the changes in more detail at their May meeting.
The Board noted the planned publication of a statistical report on the victims of serious crime which will provide key demographic information on victims.
Sexual Violence Survey
Work is continuing at CSO on the first phase of the new Sexual Violence Survey (SVS) to measure prevalence of sexual violence in Ireland. The Board discussed the envisaged timetable of the survey and the specialist approach required for the development of the survey questionnaire.
FRIBS and Micro-Data Exchange
The Board were updated on developments around the FRIBS Regulation. Most of the provisions of the Regulation will apply from January 1, 2021. The CSO Management Board has assigned a subgroup to review and make recommendations on the approach to initiatives which will involve the exchange of microdata for statistical purposes.
The Board were updated on the ongoing work within the CSO in relation to technology and discussed the Outward Foreign Affiliates Trade Survey, to be run in 2019 which will be the first fully digital business survey.
The Board welcomed the awarding of the European Masters in Official Statistics (EMOS) label to UCD for delivery in September 2019. In relation to other corporate matters the Board noted the following:
Item 4: Update on CSO resources (NSB 2019-2-5)
The Board were updated on CSO increased staff resources and recruitment activities – both live and upcoming competitions for 2019 – and discussed the continuing recruitment and retention issues throughout the Irish Statistical System.
Item 5: Developing the CSO’s Vision (NSB 2019-2-6)
Pádraig Dalton presented the preliminary concepts for consideration in the development of a long-term Vision statement for the CSO and the steps involved in developing the Strategy around this Vision. The Board discussed the importance of involving key stakeholders including CSO staff in the development of the Strategy. The Board agreed to have a further discussion on this item in order to identify key statistics to be incorporated in the Strategy which would represent a changing Irish society.
This item was postponed until the May Board meeting.
The Board congratulated those involved in the CSO Graduate Programme which was short-listed for an award with GradIreland under the category Graduate Employer of the Year <40 intake.
The Board discussed aspects of documentation received by the Chairperson, in so far as the matters related to issues within the remit of the NSB (Mr Dalton and Ms Banim were not present for this discussion.) The Board expressed their full confidence and trust in the quality of official statistics produced by the CSO. It was agreed that a response would be sought from the CSO in relation to the issues raised in the documentation.
The next meeting of the Board will take place on May 30, 2019 at the Department of the Taoiseach, Government Buildings.