Held on Thursday 20th June

Ian Maclean in the Chair and 16 Members. 

Apologies for absence 
Apologies for absence had been received 
from Ms Rachel Macleod, Ms Jayne 
Wilkinson and Messrs John Aczel, Brian 
Bowesman, Harvey Collyer, Jim Devin, Keith 
Dugmore, Melvyn Hayward, Eric Kilby, 
Stuart Platt, Philip Watson and David Wroe. 

Minutes of the previous AGM and Matters Arising 
The minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 17th May 2001 had been published in BSUG News and, there being no amendments or objections, they were duly signed by the Chairman as a true and accurate record of that meeting. There were  no matters arising from these minutes.  

Chairman’s Report 
The Chairman noted that this had been a relatively quiet year. Our Membership was reducing for a variety of reasons, despite the best efforts of the Committee to recruit new members.

The meetings held during the year had been excellent in terms of content, but were again poorly attended; this has been a perennial problem for BSUG and is an issue which we have been unable to solve. The Chairman also paid tribute to the active role played by the Officers of the group and to the valuable assistance provided by the Committee during the year.

He noted that the role of the group was changing as National Statistics developed, both through the National Statistician and the Statistics Commission; both of these are charged with actively seeking out the views of users. However, it was felt that there was still rather an informal approach to this process and that we needed to find ways of getting comments into the National Statistics Theme Groups and then getting these groups to take those comments on board in the planning process. The ONS were planning another Open Day for October and it was the intention of BSUG to ‘sponsor’ a breakout session on the plans for the Commerce, Energy and Industry Theme Group as part of this event (this would replace the separate seminar which we had held this session).

The Commission is even more disappointing as they seem to do little in the way of consultation with users; there is now a regular meeting between the Commission (staff and commissioners) and we hope that this will become more useful as it develops over the next year, but they are still missing the opportunity to plug into the existing network of user groups.

Treasurer’s Report
In the absence of the Treasurer, the Secretary presented the report prepared by the Treasurer.

It was noted that our improved financial position was almost entirely due to the fact that there had only been two editions of BSUG News in the past year and not the usual three. The Committee had taken this decision because of the financial position of the group.

The Chairman added a tribute to Ulric Spencer (Editor) and John Cunningham (Publisher) for all their efforts in producing BSUG News over the past year. The other main issue was the further significant fall in the number of members despite a campaign which saw flyers for the group circulated with Economic Trends (with the kind permission of the ONS and The Stationery Office). This was a matter of concern which the Committee would need to address at its first meeting.

The Treasurer’s report included the proposal that the subscription for the coming year should remain at £45.

The Treasurer’s Report, including the recommendation for the subscription level, was proposed for adoption by Ian Maclean, seconded by Geoff Noon and carried without objection.

Election of Officers and Committee
The Chairman announced that the Committee were nominating the following as Officers of the Group for the coming year: Chairman Ian Maclean, Business & Trade Statistics Ltd Treasurer John Cunningham, JCA Secretary Geoff Noon, Machine Tool Technologies Association

There being no other nominations, they were declared duly elected.

The Chairman indicated that the Committee would consist of the Officers, observers from The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, The Department of Trade and 
Industry, The Office for National Statistics and HM Customs & Excise, plus representatives of the Group elected by the AGM.

The existing elected Members of the Committee had agreed to stand again; the Secretary had also received a nomination  for Chris Meakin of the Economic Research Council.

There being no other nominations, the following were elected to the Committee:
John Aczel, Economic Services
Harvey Collyer, ISSB
Keith Dugmore, Demographic Decisions
David Fleming, Applied Business Statistics
Eric Kilby, Paper Federation of GB
Chris Meakin, Economic Research Council
Gerald Morris, BEAMA
Ulric Spencer
Philip Watson, Elastomer Associates
Jayne Wilkinson, The Stationery Office

Secretary’s Note: following the reorganisation of Government Departments in the Spring, the DTLR has been replaced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Transport and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Retail Statistics are the responsibility of ODPM and Construction Materials of the DTI.

Programme for the Coming Year
The Chairman announced that the first meeting of the new session would be in conjunction with the ONS Open Day being held on 11th October to discuss the draft National Statistics Plan for 2003. The 
intention was to hold a plenary session covering cross-cutting issues, before breakout sessions for a number of the Theme Groups; BSUG would be ‘sponsoring’ the session for the Commerce, Energy and Industry Theme.

The Chairman then raised a number of possible themes, but with little feedback from the Members present. It was suggested that the opportunity to network with other users of Business Statistics is a 
valuable function of the meetings. It seems likely that different members of the group are looking for different things from the group which makes high attendance at meetings unlikely.

Any Other Business
There being no other business, the Chairman closed the Annual General Meeting.