Extension of appointments to the Statistics Advisory Committee

Date published: 15 January 2019

The Department of Finance has announced extensions to the appointments of seven members of the Statistics Advisory Committee, in accordance with the CPANI Code of Practice.

The Statistics Advisory Committee is responsible for advising NI Departments on all matters relating to the collection and disclosure of statistical information from businesses under the Statistics of Trade and Employment (NI) Order 1988. The committee also advises on areas of quality assurance, National Statistics, Codes of Practice and other such matters as may be referred to it by NI Departments.

The seven members, Dr Chris Morris, Mr John Compton, Mr Derek Bond, Dr Kieran Payne, Dr Bernie Stuart, Mr Richard Ramsey and Mrs Sharon McNicholl, have each served the Committee for one five-year term on a non-remunerated basis.

The extensions, which have been backdated to 3rd June 2018, will run through to 31st December 2019. Proceedings to reconstitute the committee, as required, will be initiated in early 2019.

Notes to editors: 

1. Appointments and reappointments to the committee are made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland’s Code of Practice and are non-remunerated.

2. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. The seven members in question have declared that they have not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

3. Dr Morris was a NISRA statistician for over 30 years in various departments, working on a wide range of statistical issues and surveys. Since retirement in 2009 he has been working as a self-employed research consultant and is currently engaged in historical research for a further degree. He will therefore bring a wealth of research and statistical expertise to the Statistics Advisory Committee. Dr Morris currently holds no other public appointments.

4. Mr Compton has been an advisor to PwC since 1995 and is currently PwC’s Deputy Head of UK Communications. He is a member of the Global CEO survey team and has managed a number of high profile research projects. He brings extensive experience of presenting statistical information, together with strong communication skills to the Statistics Advisory Committee. Mr Compton currently holds no other public appointments. 

5. Professor Bond is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute and a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. As a chartered statistician and chartered scientist he is involved in the professional development of statisticians. He is an econometrician by training and, after a career as an academic researcher, is now an independent adviser of international standing. He has been President of the International Statistical Institute Committee on Regional and Urban Statistics and a vice-president of the International Association for Official Statistics. Professor Bond works closely with EuroStat, Eastern Europe and most recently China. He brings a wealth of experience in international level official statistics to the Committee.

6. Dr Payne has over seven years’ experience working in Credit Risk Modelling at RBS.  He is a strong technical manager leading a team of analysts and managers in the development of Regulatory Compliant Credit Risk Models. This involves regular interaction with UK and European regulators and he has been involved in many European inspections. Dr Payne brings a strong understanding of statistical methodologies, is an expert in banking regulation (capital requirements) and enthusiastic adopter of new modelling technologies. Dr Payne holds a PhD in Statistics from Queens University Belfast and currently holds no other public appointments.

7. Dr Stuart is a retired Senior Civil Servant. Her most recent roles were: leading the work to set up a centralised HR Service for the NICS; leading the newly formed Public Sector Reform Division in Department of Finance, including development of the NI Innovation Lab; and Investment Director in the Department of Health. She previously worked as a statistician in the Department of Agriculture and brings extensive experience of dealing with statistical data, leadership, and change management. Dr Stuart is also a Non-Executive Board member with DAERA since 1 September 2018, and will serve for a three-year period.

8. Mr Ramsey is the chief economist in the Ulster Bank, Northern Ireland. He is a respected commentator on economic matters in Northern Ireland. He previously worked in Economics Division as economist in DETI, Invest NI and DFP. Mr Ramsey brings a strong knowledge of economic and financial market analysis and strong communications skills to the Statistics Advisory Committee. He is also a leading economic commentator in the local media on economic statistics matter and currently holds no other public appointments.

9. Ms McNicholl, an economist by training, has worked in management positions in Belfast City Council for nearly 20 years, and was the corporate planning and strategic policy manager in the Chief Executive’s Department. She has recently moved on promotion to a Director level post in Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Council. Ms McNicholl brings to the Committee extensive experience of quantitative and qualitative analysis across a range of data sources and a wealth of public sector experience.

10.  All media queries to DOF Press Office on 028 90816 895 or 028 90816 724. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 90 378110 and your call will be returned.


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