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Paper 3rd October 2001 - BESAC(01)1

BESAC(01)01 - REMIT, MEMBERSHIP AND COMMUNICATION ARRANGEMENTS

Remit

1. Annex 1 gives an extract from the Scottish Executive Paper describing the new SCOTSTAT arrangements. This extract describes, in general terms the remit of the committees, discusses membership, the proposed frequency of meetings and the links between committees, the board and cross-cutting groups.

2. Drawing on the general remit given to all committees it is proposed that, in slightly expanded form, the remit of the Built Environment Statistics Advisory Committee should be:-

"Through liaison between users and providers of statistics on the built environment - including statistics on housing and planning issues- identify the key strategic statistical information required by all interested parties, develop and implement a strategy for prioritising and meeting these needs while minimising the burden on data suppliers and maintaining quality fit for purpose. In particular the committee will: -

  • Maintain an overview of the need for, quality, availability and dissemination of statistics on the built environment.
  • Initiate and take reports from working groups set up to review or develop statistical sources and dissemination methods in relation to the built environment.
  • Contribute to and comment on the relevant parts of the Scottish Executive Annual Statistics Plan.
  • Consider specific issues raised by the SCOTSTAT board.
  • Produce an annual report for the board, covering the work of the committee and its working groups.
  • Nominate a representative for the SCOTSTAT board and report annually to the board on the work of the committee.
  • Contribute to discussion/ work on cross-cutting issues with other committees.
  • Review the membership of the committee to ensure representation of key interests in statistics on the built environment.
  • The Committee will meet no more than twice a year in the Autumn and Spring. Members, and interested users will be kept in touch with progress through the Built Environment pages on the SCOTSTAT section of the Scottish Executive (SE) Website.
  • Membership of the committee aims to be wide ranging covering all key user/ provider interests in statistics on the built environment. Where a committee member represents a particular user/ provider community, he/ she will provide liaison with that community gauging the views of the community when the work of the committee requires this."

3. This Committee is one of two advisory committees covering the National Statistics Natural and Built Environment Theme. In our consultation document circulated earlier this year on the establishment of advisory committees, we proposed two separate committees on the basis that the majority of users and providers of statistics differed between the two halves of the theme. We may wish, at some stage, to review the names of this and the natural environment committee to ensure that the scope of the committees is clear to those with a potential interest in our work.

Members of the Committee are asked to consider whether any changes are required to this Remit.

Membership

4. The following list details members of the Built Environment Statistics Advisory Committee (BESAC).

Duncan Gray (Chair)

Senior Statistician

Scottish Executive Development Department,

Economic Advice and Statistics

Alan Campbell

Information and Research Manager

Aberdeenshire Council

Norma Robson

Research Manager

Perth & Kinross Council

Hal Pawson

Heriot Watt University

School of Planning and Housing

Bruce Oelman

Chief Statistician

Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions

Housing Data and Statistics

Stevan Croasdale

Scottish Executive Development Department,

Housing Statistics Branch

Anna Dickie

Scottish Executive Development Department Homelessness Team

Helen Jones

Scottish Executive Development Department, Housing Division 1

John Landrock

Scottish Executive Development Department,

Environment and Planning Statistics Branch

David Morrison

Scottish Executive Planning and Development Control Group

Deborah Pegg

Scottish Executive Development Department,

Housing Statistics Branch

Craig Sclater

Scottish Executive Development Department,

Housing Statistics Branch

Diana Wilkinson

Scottish Executive Central Research Unit (Housing & Transport)

Tony O'Sullivan

Chief Economist, Scottish Homes

Gillian Young

Business Intelligence Manager, Scottish Homes

Sid Patten

Director, Scottish Building Federation

Bruce Black

Manager, Scottish House Builders Association

Jean Curran

Development Manager, Scottish Enterprise

Unavailable for 3rd October

Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland

Nomination Invited

The Royal Statistical Society

Nomination Invited

Royal Town Planning Institute (Scotland)

Nomination Invited

Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

Nomination Invited

Shelter Scotland

Circulation of Papers Only

Graham Atherton

Policy and Research Officer, COSLA

Sandy Cumming

Chief Executive, Highlands and Islands Enterprise



Members of the Committee are asked to consider whether the membership of the committee is suitably wide enough to cover the issues, bearing in mind that much of the work will be undertaken by sub committees which may include people who are not part of the Committee.

Communication Arrangements

5. In order to communicate with members of BESAC it is proposed to use email wherever possible.

6. In order to communicate more widely with both data providers and data users, it is proposed that copies of papers and minutes of BESAC should be placed on the SE website. Access would be provided both via the SCOTSTAT pages: ( http://www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/scotstats.asp)

7. Papers would be placed on the website at the same time as they were circulated to members of the committee. The minutes of meetings would not allocate comments to individuals but rather would summarise the points made. As BESAC is an Advisory Committee, it should not be necessary to identify individual views on any particular issue. It is hoped that this will make individual members feel more able to express their concerns with issues such as changes to data quality and the need for additions or reductions in the volume of statistics that are collected. The secretariat will place Minutes of Meetings on the website after they have been circulated to members for comments and subsequently amended.Members of the Committee are asked to consider the proposed communication arrangements.

Members of the Committee are asked to consider the proposed communication arrangements.

Housing Statistics Branch

September 2001

ANNEX 1 - SCOTSTAT FRAMEWORK EXTRACT

The full framework document can be found at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/scotstat_framework.pdf

6. Committees

6.1 Remit

6.1.1 To identify the key strategic statistical information required by all interested parties, and to develop and implement a strategy for prioritising and meeting these needs while minimising, where possible, the burden on data suppliers and maintaining quality fit for purpose. This will involve:

  • Consideration of issues raised by the Board (including issues initially raised by the Statistics Commission).
  • Production of annual report for the Board covering:

- progress made, particularly on specific issues raised by the Board

- major developments, including details of how decisions regarding these were taken

- proposed work programme, including advice on priorities

  • Carrying out audits of existing relevant information, identifying gap areas etc
  • Commenting on relevant SE workplan(s).
  • Establishing and overseeing working groups, agreeing their work plans and reports.
  • Contributing to discussion/work on cross-cutting issues with other Committees

6.1.2 The Committees will decide on the establishment of working groups to cover particularareas and issues. They will set up leaders, remits, membership and reporting lines. The working group will generally, but not always, be short-lived, looking at specific areas, and may require sub-groups to be set up.

6.1.3 Working groups may also be set up by a combination of Committees or by the Board. This may be useful, for example, in tackling certain generic or cross-cutting issues.

6.1.4 A summary of the key points contained in minutes of meetings will be circulated to the Chairman/Depute Chairman of all other Committees. There will be joint responsibility to ensure that areas of joint interest between Committees are identified and addressed.

6.2 Membership

6.2.1 The chair could come from within or outside SE (or be joint/rotating).

6.2.2 The Committees will be based on National Statistics 'Themes'. The detail of this is contained in Annex A.

6.2.3 Membership could include representatives from:

  • Data suppliers
  • 'Umbrella' organisations e.g. COSLA, CBI, Audit Scotland
  • External experts e.g. from academia
  • Relevant Government Departments including statisticians, researchers and policy specialists
  • Other interest groups e.g. private and voluntary bodies, trade unions
  • SPICe

6.2.4 Members would generally be appointed to represent a wide community, rather than just their own interests and as such will be expected to consult as appropriate.

6.2.5 The membership above would be used for meetings and be relatively stable. However, much of the group's work would be done electronically and so a more fluid (and wider) 'membership' could be engaged.

6.2.6 An 'electronic register' would be developed for electronic consultation. Papers, agendas, minutes and a general discussion forum would also be available on a dedicated website.

6.3 Frequency

6.3.1 The Committees would meet face-to-face at least once a year and other meetings could be carried out via electronic means. Electronic correspondence on an ongoing basis would also be encouraged.

6.4 Links

  • To the Board
  • To working groups set up by Committees, and those set up by the Board
  • To cross-cutting groups
  • To UK Theme Working Groups, and UK-wide consultation groups