Permanent staff of the OBR
The BRC are supported in their work by the OBR’s permanent staff of 45 civil servants, led by Steve Farrington. The staff work in teams covering: economic forecasting and analysis; fiscal forecasting and analysis; welfare forecasting and analysis; sustainability analysis; and strategy, communications and operations. OBR staff vacancies are advertised openly where possible and applications for externally advertised posts are welcome from both inside and outside the civil service.
The OBR has a strong commitment to equality and diversity, so it’s important our employees come from the widest possible range of backgrounds, bringing us the widest possible range of perspectives and ways of thinking. As part of our ongoing efforts in this area, in our 2022-23 Annual report and accounts the Oversight Board committed to staff diversity targets on the basis of gender and ethnic background. The initial date for the achievement of these targets is September 2025, and we will report against them in our annual report each year.
The OBR’s Oversight Board ensures that effective arrangements are in place to provide assurance on risk management, governance and internal control. It consists of the three members of the BRC, plus the non-executive members, currently Dame Susan Rice, Baroness Hogg and Bronwyn Curtis OBE.
The Office for Budget Responsibility established an advisory panel of leading economic and fiscal experts in 2011 to help develop and scrutinise its work programme and forecasting methods. Since then, we have held regular meetings in which we have discussed our work priorities, core publications, and analytical approaches. The panel was revised and expanded in 2023 to include a wider range of experts across six different aspects of our work.
Since 2020, the OBR has also conducted periodic roundtables with a set of thinktanks with standing macroeconomic expertise to discuss recent economic and fiscal developments and issues that are relevant to our forecasts and analysis. The Institute for Fiscal Studies, Institute for Government, National Institute for Economic and Social Research, and Resolution Foundation have regularly participated in these discussions and shared their insights.