Venue: Department of the Taoiseach, Room 301
Date: Thursday September 8, 2016 at 9.30am
Item 6: CSO Statement of Strategy
Item 7: Any other business
Followed by Workshop: ‘Data as a Public Policy Issue’
Room 301, 11.00am – 1.00pm
National Statistics Board
Venue: Department of the Taoiseach
Date: Thursday 8 September, 2016
The following members attended:
Dr. Patricia O’Hara (Chairperson), Mr. John McCarthy, Dr. Helen Johnston, Mr. Gerard O’Neill, Ms. Rowena Dwyer and Mr. Pádraig Dalton.
Ms. Jennifer Banim, Mr. Richard McMahon, Mr. Andrew O’Sullivan, Mr. Paul Morrin (CSO Senior Management)
Ms. Claire Hanley acted as Secretary.
Apologies: Mr. Tom Geraghty
John Callinan resigned from the board on September 8, 2016.
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.
The Board discussed developments in relation to 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.
National Income and Expenditure
Recent revisions to the National Accounts and Balance of Payments statistics were discussed under agenda item 5.
Preliminary results from the 2016 Census were published on July 14, 2016 with final population statistics due by March 2017. The Board discussed the possible impact the results may have on other CSO series, such as labour market estimates.
International Conference on Big Data
The CSO hosted the 3rd International Conference on Big Data for Official Statistics in Dublin Castle from the 30th August – 1st September which brought together circa 300 delegates. The discussion and presentations were structured around three key themes in the area of Big Data: Access and Partnerships; Capacity Building for Innovation in Official Statistics; Big Data and the Sustainable Development Goal Indicators.
Residential Property Price Index
The new Residential Property Price Index (RPPI) to be published on September 21, 2016 represents a significant improvement on the current series, primarily by extending coverage to all transactions rather than just mortgage based transactions. The primary data source for the new index is Stamp Duty registrations, supplemented by floor area data from BER returns, and location characteristics. The new series includes additional price sub-indices (i.e. regional breakdowns) and indicators of the volume, value and average price of transactions.
The Board welcomed the publication of the new RPPI, referring to the benefits for policy making as well as statistics. The possibility of compiling data from previous years for comparative analysis was also discussed.
CSO role in the Public Service ICT Strategy
The CSO CIO took part in a workshop with other Government CIOs and Technology leaders on 19 July to draft a list of principles for the updated Public Service ICT Strategy. The draft strategy was circulated by the OGCIO to the Civil Service Management Board (CSMB) on 29 July. The pillar entitled ‘Data as an Enabler’ is the primary focus for CSO.
NDI Technology Strategy
The CIO and ISS teams have developed concept architecture for the NDI based on the significant work already undertaken by the Administrative Data Centre group. The CSO CIO has joined the board of the newly reformed Analytics Institute and the Open Data Governance Board to promote the NDI strategy and the importance of the secure use of data in decision-making generally.
New Assistant Director General (ADG) for Statistical System Co-ordination
The Board welcomed the new ADG for Statistical System Co-ordination, Paul Morrin, who was appointed in July following a Top Level Appointments Committee process. Paul’s role in coordinating the broader statistical system will include the implementation of key aspects of the NSB Strategy.
The Board discussed the recent revisions to the National Accounts and Balance of Payments statistics and their observations particularly in relation to GDP as a suitable measure for the domestic economy and the need for a communications plan by CSO to provide insight into the domestic economy. The Board acknowledged the difficult circumstances faced by the CSO in protecting confidentiality and how this impacted on the level of detail which was published. The Board also acknowledged that the results were compiled in accordance with EU Regulations and stressed the importance of CSO involvement at international level in developing such standards. The Board welcomed the establishment of the Economic Statistics Review Group and agreed to review and discuss its report when completed.
A draft CSO Statement of Strategy was presented to the Board for comment. Consultation with all stakeholders is currently underway and following this a final version of the document will be circulated.
The next meeting of the Board will take place on December 8, 2016 at the Department of the Taoiseach. The NSB seminar titled ‘Data as a Public Policy Issue’ will take place on October 25, 2016 at Dublin Castle.
The NSB Workshop Data as a Public Good took place after the formal board meeting concluded.