PWSCG Terms of Reference


1. The Public Weather Service Customer Group (PWSCG) is an independent body which acts as the customer on behalf of the public and public sector users of the Public Weather Service (PWS) and provides independent advice to Government ministers to enable the formal agreement of the PWS Customer-Supplier Agreement (CSA) between Government and the Met Office.


2. The responsibilities of the PWSCG are as follows:

  • Setting the current and future requirements of the PWS and specifying its outputs, performance indicators and targets;
  • Monitoring the performance and delivery of the PWS outputs against the agreed performance indicators and targets, and considering in-period modifications to the PWS as appropriate;
  • Setting the current and future requirements for the Met Office underpinning capability and international commitments funded under the PWS to enable delivery of PWS outputs and other direct services to Government, the public sector and civil aviation;
  • Regularly reviewing the value for money of the PWS, commissioning additional research as necessary;
  • Supporting the Met Office in its delivery of the PWS through knowledge sharing and identifying opportunities for alternative additional funding for the PWS as appropriate;
  • Providing independent advice to Government ministers on the PWS as required;
  • Consulting widely with the public and the public sector users of the PWS, as appropriate, in order to effectively undertake its responsibilities above.


3. The Chair of the PWSCG will be a public appointment by a Government Minister. The Chair is the single point within the PWSCG accountable to the Minister. The Chair's responsibilities are as follows:

  • Chairing meetings of the PWSCG;
  • Ensuring the proper execution of the PWSCG Terms of Reference;
  • Keeping the PWSCG Terms of Reference under regular review and proposing any changes to the appropriate Government minister;
  • Formally approving the PWS Customer-Supplier Agreement, and formally notifying the Met Office on behalf of the PWSCG as to the extent to which the Met Office has delivered the Agreement;
  • Representing the interests of the PWSCG during Government Spending Reviews and in any other relevant cross-Government initiatives;
  • Negotiating the PWS price with the funding Government Department and the Met Office, if necessary, to ensure appropriate financial provision for the PWS;
  • Ensuring that PWS funds are spent with due regard to economy, value for money and the Government's drive for efficiency;
  • Raising the profile of the PWS across the Government and devolved administrations, including increasing the integration of the PWS in wider Government initiatives and increasing the impact of the PWS across the UK;
  • Reporting on the activities of the PWSCG and the delivery of the PWS to the Departmental Owners and Met Office Board;
  • Providing a focal point for all PWSCG correspondence;
  • Maintaining communication with other PWSCG members and Met Office Executive between formal meetings of the PWSCG.

4. The Chair will appoint a deputy to act on his/her behalf in his/her absence.


5. The membership of the PWSCG shall be drawn from the main public sector users of PWS outputs, other funders of the PWS and interested Government departments, and shall include a public appointment by the Chair to represent the public users of the PWS (referred to as the Independent Member of the PWSCG).

6. Membership shall include representatives from:

  • Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat
  • National Police Chiefs' Council
  • Chief Fire Officers Association
  • Local Government Association
  • Scottish Government
  • Welsh Government
  • Northern Ireland Government
  • Environment Agency
  • Highways England
  • Maritime and Coastguard Agency
  • Civil Aviation Authority
  • Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Department for Communities and Local Government
  • Public Health England

7. The Chair may invite other organisations to be represented on the PWSCG that fulfil the conditions laid out in 5 above.

8. The Chair and Independent Member will be contracted for a fixed term, and remunerated by Government through the PWSCG Secretariat.

PWSCG Secretariat

9. The PWSCG will be supported by a Secretariat staffed by officials provided by the Government department responsible for the PWS. The Secretariat will be a dedicated resource to support the Chairand PWSCG in delivering their responsibilities outlined in these terms of reference. The Secretariat should provide policy and technical advice to the Chair and PWSCG on all matters pertaining to the PWS, and shall attend PWSCG meetings as advisors.

Meetings of the PWSCG

10. The PWSCG will meet at least three times per year, including a meeting to assess the annual delivery of the PWS CSA and agree performance measures for future years. Other meetings may be called by the Chair as required.

11. A formal meeting of the PWSCG will be considered quorate provided no more than one half of members and one of the independent members are absent. An inquorate meeting may proceed in an advisory capacity to the Chair.

12. Voting will be on a two thirds majority basis and the Chair will have the casting vote.

13. The PWSCG may establish sub-groups or hold special interest meetings as it considers appropriate to deliver its terms of reference.


14. The PWSCG is established on an on-going basis until no longer required, when it will be dissolved on instruction from a Government Minister.