Venue: Department Taoiseach
Date: October 17th, 2011 at 10:30
The following members attended:
Dr Patricia O’Hara (Chairperson), Professor Philip Lane, Mr Fergal O’Brien, Mr Gerry O’Hanlon
Mr Gerry Brady acted as Secretary. Apologies were received from Mr Ciaran Dolan, Mr Paul Sweeney and Mr Michael McGrath. CSO Assistant Director Generals Mr Aidan Punch and Mr Padraig Dalton also attended. Mr John Shaw attended on behalf of the Department of the Taoiseach pending the appointment of a representative from the Department.
The minutes were accepted with a minor change.
The processing of the census is proceeding on target and should be completed by the end of the year. Following consultation with the CSO, the OPW has exercised the break option in relation to the leases of the census buildings in Swords on cost grounds. The immediacy of the issue of accommodation is dependent on whether a census will be undertaken in 2016. Accordingly, the CSO has launched a consultation with users with a view to obtaining a Government decision in January/February. The CSO will establish what the priority user needs are from a mid-decade census. The Board asked to be kept informed and propose to discuss the issues involved at a future meeting.
A second Administrative Data Seminar was held on 29 September and approximately 50/60 participated from a range of departments and organisations.
Two scheduled meetings, arranged by the Chief Whip’s office, between Ministers interested in the development of the ISS and the Chair and Director General did not proceed for various reasons. A meeting has been arranged between the Chairperson the CSO Director General and the Chief Whip to consider alternative approaches. Reference was made to the Chief Whip’s speech to the Seanad on 13th October, which was followed by a lengthy and supportive debate on the Irish Statistical System.
The NSB has been asked to facilitate contact with UCD, on behalf of data producers, in regard to the operation of the Irish Social Science Data Archive. The Chairperson will write to the ISSDA requesting a meeting between the main interested parties.
The Board discussed priorities for the QNHS modules. Quarter 1 is used for an annual update module for key indicators from previous modules etc. Quarter 2 is used for an EU-wide module. The Board agreed that the CSO should conduct a module on persons in financial distress in Quarter 3 2012. The CSO published a thematic report on unemployment using QNHS data for 2005-2011 in June 2011. A module on the situation of unemployed persons (around 15% of households depending on the target population) should be undertaken in Quarter 4 2012. The two modules proposed in the canvass on Well-being and related issues and on Education should be undertaken in 2013.
In summary, the Board agreed to the following modules:
Quarter 3, 2012 Household financial distress
Quarter 4, 2012 Situation of unemployed people
Quarter 3, 2013 Well-being issues (social participation, sport, social capital)
Quarter 4, 2013 Education
2014 Modules on environmental issues and pensions
In addition, modules on crime and victimisation (SASU) and on health (EHIS) may need to be accommodated in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The need for a repeat module on Travel to Work can be met through the core QNHS and the Census. The Growing Up in Ireland study has met the need for a repeat module on childcare.
These papers were developed to inform Departments and Agencies of the NSB position on the need to develop a broader statistical system and of the need for joined-up data to complement joined up government. A draft Memorandum on these issues will be brought to Government before the end of 2011.
The Board requested that more detailed progress information be provided for the next meeting, particularly in relation to recommendation 18 on key short-term indicators.
The paper presented a summary of the Research Micro File applications agreed to-date. The Board asked that these applications be coded in a more structured way so as to provide a more detailed statistical analysis of the data sources being accessed and of the organisations undertaking the research etc.
This process is closely related to the microdata files lodged with the Irish Social Science Data Archive. Discussions on the future of the ISSDA should take into account the RMF process. (Reversed these two paragraphs)
This Bill provides for government departments to share business register data by matching their business registers to those of the Revenue Commissioners. The proposed Bill will provide a firm legal basis to allow such data sharing. The Board welcomed the proposed Data Sharing Bill as it will help progress the Board’s strategy on joining-up data. The draft Bill does not propose the sharing of confidential data.
The Census revisions will primarily have an impact on the Quarterly National Household Survey and on National Accounts. The revisions are likely to be incorporated into the QNHS release in Autumn 2012 and into the final national accounts estimates for 2012 due for publication in June 2013.
The next meeting will be on November 28th in the Department of the Taoiseach at 10:30.