The PWS (Public Weather Service) provides a coherent range of weather information, services, advice and weather-related warnings that enable the UK public to make informed decisions in their day-to-day activities, to optimise or mitigate against the impact of the weather, and to contribute to the protection of life, property and basic infrastructure. The PWS also provides relevant and timely information to Public Sector users to enable them to fulfil their duties.
The PWS also fulfils international commitments on behalf of UK Government, and provides research, and forecast and observational data which are essential inputs to a wide range of Met Office services.
The PWSCG (Public Weather Service Customer Group) provides independent advice and recommendations to a BIS Minister to enable formal agreement of the PWS Customer-Supplier Agreement. In addition, it acts as the customer on behalf of the public for free-at-point-of-use weather services and advice and ensures that these services are aligned to the operational needs of Public Sector users of PWS outputs. It also acts as guardian on behalf of the public and Public Sector users of the Met Office's underpinning operational capability. It is responsible for setting its requirement and specifying its outputs, supporting research and development to meet future requirements, acting as watchdog to ensure delivery of services to agreed quality standards.
Specific responsibilities include:
A BIS Minister is responsible for the Public Weather Service Customer Function.
A Shareholder Executive Minister is responsible for the Met Office and is accountable to Parliament for the Trading Fund's policy and operations. The Chief Executive of the Met Office is personally accountable to the Minister for the effective and efficient management of the Trading Fund and for achieving the Aims and Objectives set by the Board and owning Department. He is also appointed the Accounting Officer for the Trading Fund. The Trading Fund reports performance and seeks top level guidance from the Shareholder Executive.
PWSCG is responsible for proposing changes to these Terms of Reference to a BIS Minister.
The Chairman will be a public appointment a BIS Minister. Other Members will be drawn from the main Public Sector users of PWS outputs, together with public appointment(s) by the Chairman as appropriate to represent public users of the PWS. The chairman may also allow representatives to attend the meetings as observers. Membership may include representative from:
Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat
ACPO - Association of Chief Police Officers
CFOA - Chief Fire Officers Association
Local Government Association
Northern Ireland Government
Maritime and Coastguard agency
Civil Aviation Authority
Head of the PWSCG Secretariat will act as advisor to the PWSCG and, as a representative of the funding Department will provide assurance to the budget holder regarding appropriate use of BIS funds. In addition, a representative from a nominated broadcaster (currently BBC), acting with the Met Office to deliver the PWS outputs, will be assigned to the Customer Group to advise on output specification, effective communication of the PWS message and inform the PWSCG on public perception of the PWS outputs, based on feedback from viewers and listeners.
The Chairman and public appointee(s) will be remunerated by BIS through the PWSCG Secretariat, contracted for a fixed term.
The Chairman has responsibilities additional to those of the group. He/she is the single point within the PWSCG accountable to the Minister for Skills, and is responsible for:
The Chairman will appoint a deputy to act on his/her behalf in his/her absence.
The PWSCG will be supported by a Secretariat staffed by officials provided by BIS. The Secretariat will be a dedicated resource and strongly support the Chairman and PWSCG, in particular:
The PWSCG will normally meet quarterly to conduct its formal business. Other ad hoc meetings may be called by the Chairman as required. A formal meeting of the PWSCG will be considered quorate provided no more than one third of members and one of the independent members (excluding any advisors, observers and the Secretariat) are absent. Where necessary, voting will be on a two thirds majority basis and the Chairman will have the casting vote.
The PWSCG is established on an on-going basis until no longer required, when it will be dissolved on instruction from a BIS Minister.
Last updated: 2 August 2013