© Crown copyright 2019
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/terms-of-reference-for-the-data-advisory-board/terms-of-reference-for-the-data-advisory-board-january-2019
Purpose of the board
The Data Advisory Board (the Board) is the senior public sector board responsible for driving the better use of data in government and addressing any gaps and barriers preventing it.
By both taking direct responsibility and accountability itself, and by delegating responsibility and lending authority to relevant delivery partners, the Board will:
● agree a set of strategic priorities for government’s use of data
● oversee and drive the delivery of these priorities and
● tackle the key cross-cutting issues that continue to be a barrier to the effective use of data
Strategic objectives for the Board
1. Take responsibility for strategic oversight of the National Data Strategy, a cross-government work programme, and a joint spending review bid, to be underpinned by the following themes:
Improve data quality
Improve data accessibility
Increase data use and
Increase data capability and innovation, and improve public trust
2. Provide strategic oversight of uptake of the information sharing powers under Part 5 of the Digital Economy Act 2017, shaping advice to Ministers on their uptake and implementation in early 2019.
3. To continue to oversee a small portfolio of new and scaled-up projects to showcase data-enabled change and continue to learn and work through solutions to ongoing barriers.
Work programme and immediate priorities for 2019
The data policy and governance team in DCMS has developed a work programme to deliver the above objectives. Immediate priorities are:
Supporting work on data inventories to improve the accessibility and quality of data held by government, and to set this as a priority for the Data Leaders Network
The development of a plan for scaling up and accelerating improvements in data capability, delegated to the Analysis Function Board and Government Data Science Partnership, to be approved by the Board
To actively champion better data sharing across the public sector. Where applicable this will include driving use of the data sharing powers within Part 5 of the Digital Economy Act 2017
To champion DECA projects that deliver cross-government benefits by scaling and re-use, securing the necessary priority and resource within and between departments and removing blockers that impede progress.
Board membership and responsibilities
The Board will be Chaired by the Chief Executive of the Civil Service, who will agree the agenda and review papers for each meeting with the Secretariat.
Membership of the Board is open to the senior leadership of the civil service, who will work with delivery partners to drive data-enabled change within their department and across the public sector.
There should be no more than one member from each central government department, usually the Permanent Secretary. In extraordinary circumstances membership may be delegated to nominated and agreed deputies with the authority to speak and make decisions about matters arising on behalf of their organisation.
Members should be responsible for:
● setting the strategic direction, and providing appropriate cross-cutting governance, for the use of data across the public sector
● helping to unblock projects that deliver cross-government benefits by securing the necessary priority and resource within and between departments
● providing advice and mentorship to other data projects or initiatives, as required and
● raising, and helping to resolve, cross-cutting challenges to advancing the data agenda in government
Representatives from bodies such as the Devolved Administrations and the LGA may be invited to attend the Board by the Chair as required.
Senior external representatives may also be invited by the Chair to provide expert advice and opinion on the government’s data agenda and activities.
Led by DCMS, and drawing on support from the Chair’s private office, the Secretariat will support the Board and Chair to meet their purpose.
With regard to DECA projects, the Secretariat will offer its services as a mediator if one or more parties feel unable to gain traction or move at the speed required by the Board. However, if mediation is insufficient then the Secretariat must escalate issues back to the Board itself, who are ultimately responsible for the portfolio.
Should be held quarterly, usually lasting an hour and not more than ninety minutes.
Review of the Board
The Board and its terms of reference will be reviewed annually by the Secretariat, approved by the Chair and presented to a full Board meeting for discussion and ratification.
Strategic links with delivery partners
In order to deliver the cross-government benefits of the Board’s work programme, and to make progress on cross-cutting challenges, Board members and the Secretariat will work with the following priority stakeholders:
Data Leaders Network (DLN), which supports the delivery of a cross-government programme to deliver strategic data priorities. This forum consists of a departmental Data Leader from each central government department, plus a Data Leader from each of the Devolved Administrations and the Office for National Statistics. Amongst other responsibilities, the DLN will act as a delivery arm of the Data Advisory Board, helping to drive progress on specific activities under the themes of the work programme, escalating strategic blockers and enablers back to the Board.
Technical partners, primarily but not exclusively the Government Data Science Partnership (GDSP) consisting of GDS, ONS and the Government Office for Science. These partners will contribute to the development of the cross-cutting spending review bid, and, when commissioned by the Board’s Secretariat, support specific DECA projects and other activities under the work programme with relevant skills and resource according to capacity.
Analysis Function Board (AFB) and Departmental Directors of Analysis (DDAN). The AFB champions the use of analysis to improve the effectiveness of Government policy and delivery, working with DDAN to to improve the Government’s analytical capacity, capability and deployment of resources. The AFB will develop a strategy for raising data capability across government, to be approved by the Board.
In delegating tasks and lending authority for action to these delivery partners, Board members remain accountable for progress and agree to monitor and unblock progress - escalating to other relevant Board members where necessary, and at quarterly Board meetings as a last resort.
Data Advisory Board Secretariat: email@example.com