UK Statistics Authority Chair

Body: UK Statistics Authority
Appointing Department: Cabinet Office
Sector: Charity & Public Sector
Location: Nationwide - some travel to London and other Office for National Statistics sites will be expected.
Skills required: Regulation, Transformation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: Fees of £71,250 per year
Time Requirements: 130 days per year

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched

    22/11/2021

  • Closed for Applications

    12/12/2021

  • Panel Sift

    TBC

  • Final Interview Date

    TBC

  • Announcement

    TBC

 

Assessment Panel

  • Alex Chisholm

    Panel Chair

    Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office • Departmental Official

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  • Jayne-Anne Gadhia

    Lead Non-Executive, HM Revenue and Customs • Senior Independent Panel Member

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  • Sian Jones

    Deputy Chair, UK Statistics Authority • Representative of Organisation

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  • Clare Lombardelli

    Director General, Chief Economic Adviser, HM Treasury • Other Panel Member

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  • Dr Graeme Archer

    Other Panel Member

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Vacancy Description

The Chair of the UK Statistics Authority (Statistics Board in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007) is responsible for reinforcing the independence, integrity and quality of official statistics produced in Government. They ensure the official statistics system brought about by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 is one in which the public, Parliament and all users of official statistics can have confidence.

The Chair is responsible for building on the reforms brought about by the 2007 Act, as amended by the subsequent Digital Economy Act 2017, and to consider whether any further changes to the official statistics system are required and successfully implementing change where necessary.

The Chair is responsible for providing support, oversight and guidance to the National Statistician, in their role as the Chief Executive of the Authority. The National Statistician is the Chief Executive of the Authority Board, Permanent Secretary of the Department, head of the Office for National Statistics and the leader of the wider Government Statistical Service and Analysis Function. The UK Statistics Authority Board defends the public interest in statistics and holds the National Statistician to account.

This is a very high-profile post, which will attract a great deal of Parliamentary and public attention.

Applicants should note that the UK Statistics Authority will be subject to an independent review. This could mean that some aspects of the role description are amended. Any new Chair would be expected to implement the findings of the independent review.

The Chair has the following key responsibilities:

  • To ensure the independence, trustworthiness and impartiality of the UK Statistics Authority, operating openly and transparently.
  • To provide strategic leadership. This will include ensuring that the UK statistical system is trustworthy and has a clearly articulated strategy; scrutiny of the National Statistician’s leadership of the Authority and generating enthusiasm within it; and supporting and challenging the Government Statistical Service throughout the UK.
  • To be an effective advocate and influential ambassador, working with the National Statistician, with key stakeholders within government, the wider statistics community (including overseas), and the media and across the UK public arena to ensure that the use of data and statistics is in accordance with best practice. This will include the Authority’s external relations and managing key relationships with Parliament, with the Devolved Administrations and within the UK Government.
  • To ensure there is strong leadership and management of the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR). To provide support, oversight and guidance to the Director General for Regulation in their role and to ensure that the necessary separation of functions is maintained. To support the work of the OSR in upholding the trustworthiness, quality and value of official statistics.
  • To use the Authority’s voice to stand up for statistics and to represent the public, reporting publicly concerns and highlighting good practice, in line with section 8 of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. To make considered judgements about high profile uses of official statistics, including political use by Ministers and elected representatives, and intervene where:
    • official statistics or data are used or presented in such a way that, in the Authority’s opinion, they are likely to mislead the public or undermine the integrity of official statistics;
    • the advice of professional statisticians is ignored; or
    • the Code of Practice for Statistics is otherwise disregarded.
  • To ensure there is strong leadership and management of the Office for National Statistics (the executive office of the Authority) as it continues a radical transformation programme of economic and social statistics; provides leadership of the cross-Government Integrated Data Programme; develops Census alternatives and a recommendation on the future of the Census; and informs the public and decision makers about the health of the country.
  • To provide support, oversight and guidance to the National Statistician, in their role as the Chief Executive of the Authority. In particular the Chair will work with the Chief Executive to ensure that the internal organisation is effective
  • To ensure that the Authority Board has regard to the advice of the Chief Executive, as the Authority’s principal adviser on:
    • The quality of official statistics;
    • Good practice in relation to official statistics; and
    • The comprehensiveness of official statistics
  • To ensure that the Authority Board has regard to the advice of the Director General for Regulation, as the Authority’s principal adviser on the Authority’s regulatory functions.
  • To provide leadership to the Authority Board itself:
    • Ensure that the Authority Board has the right mix of skills and experience;
    • Provide effective leadership in meetings of the Authority Board;
    • Represent the Authority in dealings with Ministers, with key external stakeholders, and with the media and the public;
    • Ensure the Chief Executive is held to account; and
    • Ensure the Director General for Regulation is held to account.
  • To work with the Chief Executive to develop the role of official statistics in supporting policy making, wider civil society, and open and transparent public services.
  • Support the Chief Executive in promoting, developing and securing improved data sharing practices for statistical purposes to maximise the accessibility and use of official statistics for the public good.

The successful candidate will be required to shape their role and the organisation in line with the findings of the forthcoming independent review of UKSA, working with Parliament and wider stakeholders as appropriate.

Person Specification

All candidates must demonstrate, in their CV and supporting letter, how they meet the following criteria, through their knowledge, attributes and skills.

Essential Criteria

  • The ability to analyse strategic and complex issues and to think clearly.
  • An understanding of the role and use of statistics and economics data both within and outside government at a senior level together with an understanding of, commitment to, and enthusiasm for statistical independence and impartiality.
  • The ability to be open minded about reform of the organisation; scan the horizon for future issues; understand both policy issues and the concerns of the public; hold demonstrable independence of view whilst being politically aware; facilitate the resolution of complex debates; and be personally and professionally resilient.
  • The ability to lead a high-profile organisation in a complex and dynamic environment and communicate a sense of purpose and direction to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Drive, energy, resilience, a focus on targeted performance measurement, and a commitment to deliver concrete benefits to the Authority’s customers and staff and to the broader public sector.
  • The ability to develop and communicate a strategy working with the National Statistician and to communicate this with a wide range of audiences; and the ability to work under a high level of public interest and scrutiny.
  • Team building and leadership skills, including an ability to maintain and develop a professional and effective Authority Board in which all members, executive and non-executive, are able to play their full part in the organisation’s activities; integrity and a strong personal reputation are also essential.

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience of leading a high-profile organisation, either in the public or private sector.
  • Demonstrable experience of working with senior government stakeholders, either in a public or private sector context.

How to Apply

To apply, please send:

  • A Curriculum Vitae (maximum two sides of A4) with your education, professional qualifications and full employment history.
  • A supporting statement (maximum two sides of A4), setting out how you meet the eligibility criteria – make sure you refer to the contents of this document; please ensure your full name is clearly noted at the top of your letter.
  • Recruitment Monitoring form (Google) you do not need to have a Google account to complete the form here. If you experience problems accessing the monitoring form please contact the Sponsor Team.
  • Disability Confident – Offering an interview to disabled people declaration (if applicable)
  • Contact details including e-mail addresses for two referees;

If you have any questions about the appointments process please contact Max Emmett at uksarecruitment@cabinetoffice.gov.uk (07753278166) or Ross Tivey ross.tivey@statistics.gov.uk (020 7592 8644).

The Advisory Assessment Panel reserves the right to only consider applications that contain all of the elements listed above, and that arrive before the deadline for applications listed below.

We will acknowledge receipt of your application via email in 5 working days. If you do not receive this acknowledgement, please contact Max Emmett via the contact details provided above.

Attachments
2021-12-06 - UKSA Chair Candidate Pack
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