Venue: Department of the Taoiseach, Room 301, Government Buildings, D02 R583
Date: Wednesday January 29, 2020 at 10.00am
Discussion CSO Statement of Strategy 2020 – 2023
Presentation by Maria Hurley, CSO
Business Statistics Directorate – Structure & Themes; New Products & Innovation; Challenges & Risks
Presentation by Joe Treacy, CSO
NSB Strategy – Review of Progress on Recommended Actions
Update on CSO resources
National Statistics Board
Venue: Department of the Taoiseach, Government Buildings
Date: Wednesday 29 January 2020
Members present: Ms. Anne Vaughan (Chairperson), Mr. Gerard O’Neill, Mr. John Martin, Mr. Gerard Brady, Dr. Eimear Cotter, Mr. John Shaw, Mr. John McCarthy and Mr. Pádraig Dalton.
Non-members in attendance: Mr. Paul Morrin, Mr. Joe Treacy (CSO Senior Management) and Ms. Claire Hanley (Secretary). Ms. Maria Hurley (CSO) attended for item 3.
Item 1: Minutes of NSB meeting November 20, 2019 (NSB 2020-1-2)
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.
Item 3: Discussion on CSO Statement of Strategy 2020 -2023 (NSB 2020-1-4)
Maria Hurley (CSO) presented the latest drafts of the CSO Vision 2030 and Statement of Strategy 2020-2023, which were welcomed by the Board.
Feedback on the CSO Vision document, given by the Board at its November meeting, had been incorporated into the final draft which is due to be published in February 2020.
The Board discussed the CSO Statement of Strategy which incorporated all staff and stakeholders’ feedback, including that of the Board at their November meeting. An implementation plan, capturing the priority actions, was also presented and the Board welcomed the plan as an important part of the Strategy. They expressed some concern over the volume of actions. The Board gave positive feedback on the CSO Strategy and discussed the importance of prioritising key actions, matching prioritisation with resource capacity and measuring progress effectively.
Item 2: Update and questions on Director General’s progress report (NSB 2020-1-3)
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:
Irish Government Statistical Service (IGSS) secondments
The Board discussed the ongoing filling of vacancies in the IGSS – with the number of seconded statisticians soon to reach 28 – and queried the long-term plan for meeting the increasing requests from Departments for seconded statistical staff.
Environment & Climate Statistics
The Board were updated on recent developments in the area of Environment statistics including the receipt of non-domestic water meter readings from Irish Water which was seen as a very positive step.
To promote the new detail included in the Institutional Sector Accounts Non-financial and Financial 2018 publication, CSO ran a seminar for users - “Sector Accounts and Globalisation” - on January 17, 2020. The Board discussed the importance of such seminars in meeting user needs.
The CSO reported a successful joint visit by Eurostat and the ECB as part of the verification of the indicators underpinning the Macro Imbalances Procedure (MIP) Scoreboard.
The Board were updated on the progress of Census 2021 which is currently on track in a challenging budgetary environment.
The CSO published Recorded Crime Detection statistics in December 2019 and the Board noted that all CSO statistics on Recorded Crime remain classified as “Under Reservation”.
Sexual Violence Survey
The Board were informed of progress of the Sexual Violence Survey project which is meeting its key milestones. Stakeholder engagement continues to work well, and an Ethics Advisory Committee has been established which will be chaired by Mr. Gerry O’Hanlon, former Director General of CSO.
Establishment of new Demography Division
A new Statistical Division has been established in the CSO to take responsibility for all non-Census based population estimates. The Board discussed the expectation that Eurostat will request annual population estimates from member states from 2024 onwards and requested a more detailed discussion on Census taking at a future NSB meeting.
Integrated European Social Survey (IESS) Regulation
The Board discussed the impact of the implementation of the IESS Regulation and expressed concern over the challenges it poses for users of estimates such as the Labour Force Survey. The IESS Regulation introduces an element of input harmonisation which will have implications for the content of the LFS questionnaire and the flow of questions from the first quarter of 2021.
Digital Platform Employment ("Gig") economy
The Labour Market and Earnings team within the CSO plan to convene a group of stakeholders with the aim of establishing national user needs in the area of digital platform employment and to assess the feasibility to construct and measure this phenomenon in Ireland.
Information and Technology
The Board were informed of the progress in recruiting a new Assistant Director General for the area of Information and Technology and requested an update at the next meeting on the status of ongoing Technology projects given the current budget environment.
Corporate – GDPR and Communications
The Board were apprised of a recent CSO customer query arising from the publication of Ireland’s Facts and Figures 2019and welcomed the quality assurance process which is ongoing at CSO in relation to this matter.
Item 4: Business Statistics Directorate – Future Priorities and Challenges (NSB 2020-1-5)
Joe Treacy (CSO) presented an overview of the Business Statistics Directorate, including new products and innovation; challenges and risks. The Board noted recent developments in the areas of Business Surveys, Agriculture, Tourism, Transport and Prices; and discussed aspects of the strategic direction outlined in the presentation as well as the anticipated challenges and risks.
The Board welcomed the new estimates of online sales, published for the first time in January 2020; the development of a Data Warehouse for business data; and the upcoming new thematic outputs.
Plans for the Competitive Intelligence Indicator were welcomed by the Board who discussed the type of analysis to be provided and the importance of user consultation in developing the metrics for the indicator.
The Board discussed the concept of the Green Economy and the challenges of defining this for statistical purposes both nationally and internationally.
The Board were updated on the difficulties relating to the Cost of Business Insurance project and discussed issues around the sources of data collection.
Item 5: Update on NSB Strategy 2021-2026 (NSB 2020-1-6)
The next NSB Strategy for the period 2021-2026 is due to be launched in 2021 with preparation currently underway. Discussion on this item was postponed until the March Board meeting.
The next meeting of the Board will take place on March 19, 2020 at the Department of the Taoiseach.
A short discussion took place for non-CSO Board members.
Items for information:
· NSB Strategy – Review of Progress on Recommended Actions (NSB 2020-1-7)
· Update on CSO resources (NSB 2020-1-8)