Venue: Department of the Taoiseach, Room 301, Government Buildings, D02 R583
Date: Wednesday April 11, 2018 at 10.00am
Item 7: Any other business
National Statistics Board
Venue: Department of the Taoiseach, Government Buildings
Date: Wednesday 11 April 2018
Members present: Dr. Patricia O’Hara (Chairperson), Mr. John Shaw, Dr. Eimear Cotter, Mr. Gerard Brady, Mr. Gerard O’Neill, Mr. John Martin and Mr. Pádraig Dalton.
Apologies: Mr. John McCarthy
Non-members in attendance: Ms. Claire Hanley (Secretary). Mr. John Dunne (CSO) attended for item 5 of the agenda.
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.
The Board discussed progress on recommended actions from the NSB Strategy, specifically in relation to the following:
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.
Globalisation Seminar and Macro-economic Statistics
The CSO seminar Globalisation in Ireland: Understanding the Impact on Ireland's Accounts took place in February and gave users the opportunity to raise questions and contribute to discussions on Ireland’s macro-economic data. The Board welcomed the positive feedback around the seminar and discussed recent comments on the adequacy of the measures used in National Accounts to effectively measure Ireland’s economic growth.
The CSO completed the review of the majority of the larger Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) in December 2017 and provided an assessment to Eurostat which concluded that AHBs should be classified as part of the government sector (“on balance sheet”). The Board were updated on the ongoing work at CSO in relation to the classification of entities, including AHBs and universities, and discussed the challenges involved in the process. The Board will be kept up to date of progress in this area.
The publication of quarterly Recorded Crime Statistics by CSO was resumed at the end of March with the release of results up to and including Q4 2017. These Recorded Crime statistics were published in a new category entitled “Under Reservation” to signal to users the quality issues with the underlying PULSE data. The Board acknowledged the well managed communication strategy which accompanied the publication and discussed the implications of the new category “Under Reservation”.
The Board were updated on the work of the Expert Group on Population Projections and CSO’s intention to publish the projections towards the end of May. The publication will present population projections under a number of contrasting scenarios relating to future trends in migration, fertility and mortality for each year from 2017 to 2051. Labour force projections will be presented up to 2031.
Census of Population 2021
The ongoing work of the Census Advisory Group which is responsible for examining the submissions and determining new questions or changes to existing questions for the Census 2021 questionnaire, was discussed by the Board as well as data storage options for the Enumerator Record Book (ERB) pilot project.
Census 2016 Ireland’s most popular names
A new census 2016 statistical product on Ireland’s most popular names, due to be released by the end of May, was welcomed by the Board.
Developments in the area of Business Statistics at CSO were discussed by the Board. These included the progress of negotiations relating to FRIBS; the new organisational structure for the business statistics data collection units which is now in place; the Genuine Progress Indicators and National Distributional Accounts Bill 2017 in the context of CSO’s independence and work programme.
The Board were updated on the ongoing work within the CSO in relation to Technology and the security risks posed by cyber-attacks. An external audit of the CSO’s ability to withstand such an attack took place in January. The CSO is reviewing the results and will prepare a plan to address any remaining gaps.
Administrative Data Centre (ADC)
The Board were informed of developments at the CSO ADC involving a focus on property-based datasets in addition to person-based and business-based administrative data.
Communications & Dissemination
The continuing work of the Communications & Dissemination unit at CSO was acknowledged by the Board who congratulated the team on the successful roll out of the new CSO brand.
The Board were updated on CSO staffing resources and recruitment activities taking place – both current and planned for 2018. Issues relating to remuneration and staff retention were discussed further.
John Dunne (CSO) presented an overview of the obligations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will be effective from May 25 2018, and the preparation required to ensure compliance under the Regulation.
The Board discussed the preparation underway at CSO ahead of the implementation of the GDPR and the potential impact of the Regulation on the Irish Statistical System and the National Data Infrastructure, both of which are strongly advocated by the Board.
The Board discussed the agenda items for the scheduled meeting with The Malta Statistics Authority (MSA) taking place after the Board meeting. This was part of a working trip to Ireland, by the MSA, through the EU Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP).
The next meeting of the Board will take place on June 6, 2018 at the Department of the Taoiseach, Government Buildings. Subsequent meetings for 2018 will take place on September 5 and December 5 at the same location.
A NSB seminar is planned for November 7, 2018 and will take place at the RCPI venue at No. 6 Kildare Street. A mid-term review of the NSB Strategic Priorities for Official Statistics 2015-2020 will be carried out in advance of the seminar.