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Change is here. Change is about people

This week, Heather Savory and her team will be leading a series of conversations with staff across the Office celebrating changes that have been made recently and the ever greater importance of working as one-office. As we prepare for the next financial year, collaboration has been essential for our business planning and we are working with colleagues to better integrate our plans with GSS work in all government departments. This will help shape clear delivery milestones within Better Statistics, Better Decisions. What has already been achieved can inspire us all as well as providing the raw material to learn for the future. It also gives a chance to say well done to colleagues.

In my last blog, I looked forward to great things in 2018. January did not disappoint. It has been particularly pleasing to get some really supportive feedback from others. Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary, joined our Analysis Function conference to show his support and enthusiasm for our work.

His tweet shows just how important the most senior civil servant in the country thinks our work can be in the biggest decisions which need to be taken.

John Manzoni, Civil Service Chief Executive, cited the Data Science Campus as an exemplar of the kind of change that makes the civil service brilliant. A leading academic wrote to me specifically to single out ONS colleagues for the support they had given in writing a report on social change in Britain. I am regularly approached by people wanting to applaud our helpfulness, professionalism and openness.

I have had a couple of people shadow me this month and the positive comments they have made about us the people they have met whilst they have been with me have been a joy to hear. The various team meetings I have joined this month – the migration team, the economic statistics senior management team, Department for International Development statisticians on a visit to Newport, the Methods, Data and Research Directorate leadership group, analysts at the Ministry of Justice, the statistics team at Ofsted – have all had a buzz about them and a great desire to share the impressive results of their work and their plans for the months ahead. As many of you will have noticed, I like picking up stories from these encounters to share with others.

Alongside these activities it has also been a big month for more set piece examples where people have been sharing innovation and joining together to make things better for the future. These events show the extraordinary energy that can be generated when people come together with a common goal to serve the public good. Highlights for me, as well as what I said above, have been a Civil Service in Action event in Bristol involving civil servants from across the South West and Wales led by Frankie Kay and attended by several colleagues from ONS, the RAS conference in Titchfield featuring some fabulous work on trade statistics, administrative data, the census, earnings statistics and new methods for data linking to name just a few.

Central to all of our successes over the past month has been the recurring importance of learning new skills, working in partnership with others, good management and diversity. As we each discover and nurture the talents we have and join together with others we can celebrate the change we are making now and use it as platform to build an ever better future. I am looking forward to February.

John Pullinger

John Pullinger
John Pullinger
John Pullinger is the National Statistician. He is the UK Statistics Authority’s and the Government’s principal adviser on official statistics. He is the Head of the Government Statistical Service (GSS) and, as the Authority’s Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary, is a member of the Board of the UK Statistics Authority.

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