Publication - Minutes

Research Data Scotland (RDS) Transition Board minutes: 25 March 2021

Published: 5 Oct 2021
Directorate:
Digital Directorate
Part of:
Economy, Public sector
Date of meeting: 25 Mar 2021

Minutes of the Research Data Scotland (RDS) Transition Board held on 25 March 2021.

Published:
5 Oct 2021
Research Data Scotland (RDS) Transition Board minutes: 25 March 2021

Attendees and apologies

Attending:

  • Roger Halliday - Chair
  • Nicola Kerr
  • Carole Morris
  • Mark Parsons 
  • Jill Pell
  • Alan Ferrier
  • Alessia Morris
  • Chris Dibben
  • Emily Jefferson
  • Albert King
  • Phil Couser
  • Neil Rawlins – minute taker

Apologies:

  • Carol Sinclair
  • Angela Daly
  • Corri Black
  • Peter Whitehouse

Items and actions

Summary of actions arising

  • a Board to run organisation and strategy, along with an international advisory committee to be formed - RH/MP/PC
  • partners to provide assistance to NRS to recruit data scientists - AF/All
  • update on the RDS classification to be provided at the next Transition Board meeting - AM
  • invite to next Board meeting to be circulated - NR

Meeting minutes 

Welcome and introductions

Previous minutes and actions - (papers A and B)

Update on progress and actions from the previous meeting. 

Progress reports - paper C to paper L (to note)

Comment and updates on the papers circulated previously:

  • OBC has been approved by Ministers
  • HR function and recruitment underway
  • revival of the Service Design work stream
  • FBC to be signed off by Ministers after the electoral stand still period

Paper M - options for chair and board recruitment

It was noted that the first Board meeting of RDS would take place in September. It was further noted that academic engagement and connections with Europe and New Zealand where similar organisations to RDS had been successfully launched was a positive step. It was clarified that legal accountability sits with the founder members (SG, PHS, UoE) and their appointed trustees/directors. Co-opted directors would not be legally accountable. A broader, external advisory committee should be formed to focus on strategy and RDS wider vision. It was agreed the three trustees would develop, and agree an approach.

Action:

  • a Board to run organisation and strategy, along with an international advisory committee to be formed once a Chair is in place

Paper O - brokering and facilitative role paper

The paper was discussed and it was agreed this its recommendations offered the right approach to the facilitative role of RDS, although the question of the risk to RDS liability was also raised. It was also agreed that where data controllers do not agree to engage with RDS on the basis of becoming the lead data controller for the data being donated, the fall-back position should be engaging with RDS as an agent. This should be the position for the more risk adverse Data Controllers.

Paper N - NRS indexing team - transformation strategy 2021-2022

The paper was introduced and outlined. The question of funding was raised and if this would be through RDS. It was noted that API was missing and that the whole process could be automated from end to end. The question of recruiting the right staff to undertake this transformation was discussed, including secondments. A number of offers to help with Digital Skills recruitment was received and this was agreed to be followed up.

Action:

  • partners to provide assistance to NRS to recruit data scientists

AoB

It was noted that ONS undertakes an assessment of new bodies being created. RDS has been set up as a private body, however due to this being largely public sector funded there is a risk it could be classified as a public sector organisation under ONS assessment. To mitigate this risk some work is required to determine the extent of the public sector influence and work will be undertaken with lawyers on this. The membership of other partner organisations in the joint venture is one of the key mitigation measures being considered. An extension from ONS has been requested.

Action:

  • update on the RDS classification to be provided at the next Transition Board meeting 

Next steps

Reports to be provided for the next Transition Board meeting:

  • ONS classification
  • IG delivery plan
  • service design update
  • governance set up with RDS Board to run organisation and strategy and an international advisory committee

Date of next meeting and close 

Next meeting Thursday 6 May at 2pm.

Action:

  • invite to be sent