29 March 2000


The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced today that he has appointed former Royal Statistical Society President Sir John Kingman as Chairman of the Statistics Commission.

 The Statistics Commission will be an independent, non-executive body which will be a check on the integrity and independence of National Statistics.

Sir John, who is currently Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, has been appointed following an open competition and selection process, in accordance with the Code of Practice of the Commissioner for Public Appointments - the 'Nolan' procedures.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Melanie Johnson said:

"I warmly welcome Sir John Kingman's appointment as Chairman of the new Statistics Commission. His experience and expertise in the field of statistics has made him an exemplary candidate for this exciting new post."


1. Sir John Kingman is 60. He has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol since 1985. Previously he was Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford from 1969 to 1985. He has been actively involved in a variety of professional bodies in the UK and overseas, was Chairman of the Institute of Statisticians from 1973 to 1976, President of the Royal Statistical Society 1987-89, and President of the London Mathematical Society 1990-92. He is an honorary Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, a Fellow of the Royal Society and has been awarded honours from a large number of other institutions.

2. Sir John has been a member of a wide ranging group of boards and advisory bodies, both in the public and private sectors. He continues to act as Special Trustee of the United Bristol Hospitals.

3. Sir John has not carried out any political activity in the last 5 years and holds no Ministerial appointments, other than the above. His appointment as Chair of the Statistics Commission will be for three years (after which it may be renewed). The appointment requires a commitment of five days per month on average over each 12 month period. An annual remuneration of £28,000 will be paid.

4. Besides the Economic Secretary, the selection panel comprised:

  • Professor Adrian Smith (Principal of Queen Mary and Westfield College and former President of the Royal Statistical Society);
  • Mrs Gwen Batchelor (Finance Director of Abbey National plc Treasury Services and Non-executive Director of the ONS);
  • Sir Andrew Turnbull (Permanent Secretary to the Treasury).

The Chancellor appointed Sir John on their unanimous recommendation.

 The Statistics Commission is a key element of the Government's new arrangement for official statistics, the biggest overhaul for over thirty years. The new arrangements are set out in the White Paper, Building Trust in Statistics (CM4412) available from the National Statistics website - link below.

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