Venue: Board Room, CSO, Cork T12 X00E
Date: Wednesday November 20, 2019 at 10.00am
Update on recent seminars and visit to Swords office by NSB Chairperson and Secretary
Discussion on CSO Vision 2030 and CSO Statement of Strategy 2020 – 2023
Presentation by Orla O’Gorman and Ciaran Dooly, CSO
Presentation Ken Moore, CSO
Labour Force Survey Modules; Social & Demographic Directorate – Priorities & Challenges for 2020 and Beyond
Presentation by Richie McMahon, CSO
National Statistics Board
Venue: CSO Office, Cork
Date: Wednesday 20 November 2019
Members present: Ms. Anne Vaughan (Chairperson), Mr. Gerard Brady, Dr. Eimear Cotter, Mr. John Shaw, Mr. John McCarthy and Mr. Pádraig Dalton.
Non-members in attendance: Mr. Paul Morrin, Mr. Richard McMahon (CSO Senior Management) and Ms. Claire Hanley (Secretary). Ms. Maria Hurley, Mr. Ciaran Dooly and Ms. Orla O’Gorman (CSO) attended for item 4. Mr. Ken Moore (CSO) attended for item 5. Ms. Edel Flannery and Ms. Fiona O’Riordan (CSO) attended for item 6.
Apologies: Mr. Gerard O’Neill, Mr. John Martin
Item 1: Minutes of NSB meeting September 11, 2019 (NSB 2019-5-2)
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed with one amendment.
Item 2: Update on recent seminars and visit to CSO swords office (NSB 2019-5-3)
Claire Hanley updated the Board on seminars attended by the NSB Chair and Secretary since the last meeting, these included:
The presentation by the NSB Chair at the CSO Senior Management Group meeting in October and the recent visit to the CSO Swords office were also discussed.
Item 3: Questions on Director General’s progress report (NSB 2019-5-4)
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, these included:
CSO Budget 2020
The Board were updated on the CSO budget allocation for 2020 which fell well short of the Estimates demand for the period. The Board discussed the potential effects of the budget reduction for 2020, focusing on the risks and requested that CSO keep them informed of developments, particularly in the event of a project status moving to amber.
Irish Government Statistical Service (IGSS) secondments
The Board were updated on progress being made on the filling of vacancies in the IGSS with numbers currently at 25 staff on secondment to Government Departments with 3 more posts currently under consideration.
CSO publication ‘Measuring Distance to Everyday Services in Ireland’
The Board were informed of the scheduled publication of the CSO pathfinder report ‘Measuring Distance to Everyday Services in Ireland’ and discussed the importance of the National Data Infrastructure and use of Eircodes in producing such valuable proximity analysis.
The Board welcomed the move to transmit the quarterly National Accounts results at 60 days from the end of the reference period which is required under the ESA 2010 regulation and will begin with the Q1 2020 transmission.
The Board were informed of the joint visit by Eurostat and the ECB which took place mid-November and is part of the standard quality verification process of the indicators underpinning the Macro Imbalances Procedure (MIP) Scoreboard for all Member States.
The Board were informed that Dr David Marshall, Director of Census and Population Statistics, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), has joined the CSO Census 2021 project board.
The introduction for Census 2021 of a ‘Difficult to Enumerate’ index was discussed, and the Board requested an information note on the methodology used in developing the index.
The Board were updated on the planned reintroduction by CSO of the Recorded Crime Detection Statistics publication which was paused for a number of years due to data quality concerns.
Cost of Insurance
The Board were informed that the CSO is due to report to the Cost of Insurance Working Group in December on the work done to date in relation to business insurance. An information note on the methodology used in the collection of data on the cost of business insurance will be provided to the Board.
Award for CSO project SMART Start – Year One Programme
The Board congratulated the CSO team involved in the SMART Start – Year One Programme project which won at the Civil service Excellence & Innovation Awards 2019.
Item 4: Discussion on CSO Vision 2030 and CSO Statement of Strategy 2020-2023 (NSB 2019-5-5)
Ciaran Dooly and Orla O’Gorman (CSO) presented the latest draft of the CSO Vision 2030 and Statement of Strategy 2020-2023, which were welcomed by the Board.
Feedback on the CSO Vision, given by the Board at its September meeting, had been incorporated into the latest draft which is at final stages and due to be published by end-2019. The Board were happy with the latest draft and suggested the term ‘Expertise’ be incorporated as well as a reference to the CSO providing a free service and public good.
The Board were informed of the process for developing the CSO Statement of Strategy to date which involved consultation and engagement with all CSO staff, Government Departments and Oireachtas Committees. The main changes to the document were presented by CSO and the Board discussed certain aspects of the strategy which included:
The Board agreed to return to this discussion at the next meeting in January 2020.
Item 5: Quality Assurance Framework (NSB 2019-5-6)
Ken Moore (CSO) presented improvements to the Quality Assurance Framework and new quality assurance activities currently being implemented at CSO which include Supported Quality Appraisals (SQAs).
The Board welcomed the developments in the area of quality assurance and discussed the scope of the project, its context within CSO’s internal audit process and the importance of ensuring expertise within the Quality Management area.
Item 6: Social and Demographic Directorate – Future Priorities and Challenges (NSB 2019-5-7)
Richard McMahon (CSO) presented an overview of the Social and Demographic Directorate – Developments in the last decade; Plans for 2020 – Income, Consumption & Wealth; Survey programme 2021 and beyond; Challenges and Risks.
The Board discussed the combination of surveys planned for 2020 Income, Consumption and Wealth analysis and highlighted the importance of having administrative data to fill gaps in areas such as Consumption.
The Survey Programme for 2021 and beyond was discussed which highlighted the growing demands on CSO in meeting EU Regulation requirements as well as those of national users. The Board expressed concern at the expanding demands in this important area of statistics and discussed the advantages of using secondary data sources in meeting these challenges.
The future of Census taking was discussed and the Board requested that, as an initial step, CSO draft a consultation paper on options for Census 2026 and beyond.
The next meeting of the Board will take place on January 29, 2020 at the Department of the Taoiseach.
A short discussion took place for non-CSO Board members.