UK Statistics Authority looks for a Parliamentary and Public Affairs Officer
About the job
Working at the heart of the UK’s official statistics system, this is a unique opportunity to work in a fast-paced environment across a variety of contemporary statistical and policy issues.As Parliamentary and Public Affairs Officer, you’ll be part of the Statistics Authority’s Central Policy Secretariat (CPS) team supporting the leadership of the UK Statistics Authority, the National Statistician (Permanent Secretary) and the three Deputy National Statisticians (Directors General), to fulfil their objectives.
The UK Statistics Authority is an independent body at arm’s length from government, which reports directly to the UK Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 established the Authority with the statutory objective of “promoting and safeguarding the production and publication of official statistics that serve the public good”. The public good includes:
• Informing the public about social and economic matters;
• Assisting in the development and evaluation of public policy; and
• Regulating quality and publicly challenging the misuse of statistics.
The CPS provides support to the Authority Chair and Board. This role will support the Authority to deliver the collective mission of the UK’s official statistics system: to provide high quality statistics, analysis and advice to help Britain make better decisions.
You will be a member of a small Parliamentary Unit, working together to provide the Chair, National Statistician and his Deputies with parliamentary insight, and liaising across the Civil Service and Parliament to manage the Authority’s parliamentary engagement. You will support the Head of the Parliamentary Unit in this endeavour, including select committee inquiries as appropriate, and parliamentary handling of the 2021 Census. In doing so, you will build, develop and maintain excellent internal working relationships at all levels.
To be successful in this role you will need to be highly organised with the ability to work independently and manage competing priorities in an incredibly fast paced and diverse working environment.
Specific responsibilities will include:
1. Leading on aspects of parliamentary engagement, including select committee inquiries as appropriate.
a. preparation of written evidence to Select Committees and briefing for oral evidence by senior representatives of the organisation;
b. monitoring the business of Select Committees to identify opportunities for further engagement with their work.
2. Supporting the parliamentary handling of legislation for the 2021 Census, working closely with internal and external colleagues across the organisation, Government and Parliament.
3. Supporting the Parliamentary Unit to ensure our communications and responses to Parliamentary Questions and Official Correspondence are of the highest standard. You will monitor the impact of our parliamentary correspondence in the media and parliamentary debate and ensure these are communicated across the organisation.
This role will offer you a detailed understanding of the work of the UK Statistics Authority, the role of statistics in society, and how the statistical system engages with Parliament.
You will have opportunities to:
• build strong networks and raise your visibility across the organisation and the civil service;
• contribute to strategically important relationships with government departments and professional bodies;
• work on projects to drive up standards and improve the quality of drafting and parliamentary awareness across the organisation;
• work closely with senior leaders, including the National Statistician and his leadership team; and
• develop and maintain a high-level understanding of the issues across the UK Statistics Authority and an understanding of statistics in Government and society; and use this understanding to identify and monitor publications and announcements with the capacity to impact the UK statistical system.
• You will have a good understanding of Parliament, UK government and politics, the media, and the wider stakeholder environment, and will be able to demonstrate political and/or ‘news sense’ acumen, with an ability to see the big picture and identify emerging issues and trends which might require closer attention and monitoring.
• You will demonstrate a proven ability to juggle competing priorities while working methodically with complex information, delivering work to tight delivery timescales, and produce written material which is of an excellent standard that is readily understood by non-expert audiences.
• You will be able to communicate using appropriate styles to maximise understanding and impact, and you will have proven writing skills, including how to brief senior people and how to set out options for what action might be required.
• You will have experience of establishing collaborative relationships with a range of people, both internal and external, within government and beyond.
• You will have an understanding of the use of analysis, evidence and statistics in society.
We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
- Seeing the Big Picture
- Delivering at Pace
- Communicating and Influencing
- Working Together
- Making Effective Decisions
If you want your contribution to count and to work where you’ll be really valued, come and join us.
We know that excellent results can only be achieved by investing in and retaining the people who work for us. This is why our people count in more ways than one.
Apart from crunching the numbers that shape big decisions, we look after the interests of our staff. We invest in training and development to enhance skills and also offer a good work-life balance to improve well-being and staff retention.
As well as a competitive salary, you’ll enjoy:
• generous holiday allowance – 25 days annual leave, rising to 30 days after 5 years service in addition to 9 public holidays
• a good work-life balance – family-friendly working options including flexible working arrangements Monday to Friday between 7am and 7pm
• maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay followed by 13 weeks of statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid, and statutory paternity leave of 2 weeks plus an additional week of departmental paternity leave all at full pay
• career development and progression – a recognised silver-accredited Investor in People, we develop our people at every stage of their career, providing a personal progression plan, on- and off-site training courses and opportunities to gain qualifications and professional accreditations
• pension schemes – find out more on the Civil Service Pensions website
• welfare – our welfare service is provided through an Employee Assistance Programme, which offers help and support in dealing with work-related and personal problems
• a strong ethos of equality and diversity
From 4 October 2018, individuals moving across the Civil Service (to a new PAYE scheme) will no longer be able to continue to claim Childcare Vouchers.
Things you need to know
Selection process details
CV and personal statement application followed by a formal interview.Application stage
Please add your CV and use your personal statement to evidence your experience against the essential criteria within the person specification (this can be found within the job description).
Your personal statement cannot be more than 1200 words.
In cases where there is a high number of applications the sift pass mark may be adjusted and candidates will be invited to interview in merit order, i.e. those scoring the highest.
Should you be invited to interview, you will be assessed using various assessment techniques aligned to the new Civil Service Success Profiles: Success Profiles
Part of the assessment will be based on the following behaviours:
• Seeing the Big Picture
• Delivering at Pace
• Communicating and Influencing
• Working Together
• Making Effective Decisions
Candidates invited to interview will be asked to complete a short-written exercise (the content will be provided on the day and additional time will be given).
In certain circumstances, interviews may be conducted by Video Conference or Skype.
A reserve list may be held for a period up to 12 months from which further appointments may be made.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.