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Joint Biosecurity Centre

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL9307, tabled on 19 October 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish (1) the terms of reference, (2) leadership and personnel, and (3) the outcome of deliberations, of the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC); what assessment they have made of the impact on public trust in the decisions of the JBC of publishing such information; and who is responsible for appointing people to the JBC.

Answered on

11 January 2021

The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) is the analytical arm of National Health Service Test and Trace and is not dissimilar to the many analytical divisions and directorates across Government that provide insight to support policy making within Government departments. It is an organisation run and majority staffed by civil servants, with appointments made under standard civil service recruitment policy.

A description of its functions, leadership and governance is published online. The JBC is accountable to Parliament through the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Its governance arrangements include a range of ministerial, technical and data boards.

The JBC takes transparency seriously and since July has issued a range of publications with partners such as Public Health England, including the weekly Contain Framework Local Authority Watchlist, associated epidemiology presented to the Local Action Committee and Action Cards. As an integral part of NHS Test and Trace, information and analysis published by the JBC is issued under the NHS Test and Trace brand.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care