Quality documentation for statistical institutes

Quality Declaration of European Statistical System shortly summarises quality requirements for European Statistical System.

European Statistics Code of Practice is the cornerstone of the common quality framework of the European Statistical System and a self-regulatory instrument. It is aimed at establishing public trust in European statistics and it defines 16 general principles and corresponding indicators for developing, producing and disseminating statistics. These principles are covering institutional environment, statistical processes and statistical outputs. 

United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics are a pillar of the Global Statistical System. Ten general principles regulate official statistics and are applicable in national statistical systems and institutes in daily work.

Recommendations of the OECD Council on Good Statistical Practice summarise general requirements for quality in statistics available in various documents, thus helping OECD countries to present their statistics compliant with the OECD requirements. Twelve recommendations generally meet the United Nations core principles for statistics and provisions of the European Statistics Code of Practice.

The National Statistical System of Latvia (hereinafter – NSS of Latvia) is established by statistical institutions and the Statistical Council. The managing institution of the NSS of Latvia is the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (hereinafter – the CSB), which implements functional subordination over other statistical institutions in the field of production of official statistics, providing methodological guidelines, by supervising the conformity of production of official statistics with the laws and regulations, and also by issuing orders that are required to produce official statistics.

To ensure that NSS of Latvia has common principles and requirements, CSB has developed the Quality Policy of the National Statistical System of Latvia and imposed total quality requirements for statistical institutions which are based on European Statistics Code of Practice.

For implementation of Quality Policy of the NSS of Latvia, the CSB has developed a Memorandum of Understanding (in Latvian), by which the statistical institutions confirm their commitment to implementing and promoting quality standards in their statistical institutions.

Guidelines for Implementation of European Statistics Code of Practice were developed to facilitate common perception and understanding of the requirements imposed by the Code of Practice. Based on the situation in Latvia, the Guidelines explain principles of the Code, as well as indicators and statistical terms used, moreover, requirements are supplemented with binding national legislation, explanatory information, and examples of good practice.

The Quality Policy of CSB consists of the CSB's vision, mission, core values and commitment to meet the requirements, follow good practice and ensure continuous improvement. The quality policy is designed and implemented in accordance with the CSB strategy (3-year period) and the action plan.

Statistical dissemination policy defines general principles of statistical data dissemination, availability of CSB`s products and services for data users, communication with data users, cooperation with the media, availability of individual data for scientific and educational purposes.

Revision policy is an important component of good governance practice addressed  more and more often in the international statistical society.The objective of the Revision policy is to lay down the order of review or revision of the prepared and published data.

Revision is review of any published statistical data, regardless of the fact, whether the data are distributed electronically (in publicly available data bases or in press releases of CSB or in printed form (CSB publications)).

The first chapter of the present document explains the terms applied in the Revision policy, the second chapter characterises shortly the CSB revision policy, whereas the third chapter stipulates the revision cycle of the statistical data prepared by the CSB.

Compliance of statistical institutes with quality assurance framework

With an aim to produce high quality official statistics for Latvian, European and international policy makers and society and achieve establishment and implementation of common principles and requirements in National Statistical System of Latvia (hereinafter – the NSS of Latvia),  CSB as the managing institution of the NSS of Latvia, based on European Statistics Code of Practice 2011 edition (hereinafter – the Code), has imposed common total quality requirements for Latvian statistical institutions. Quality assurance requirements are explained in the Guidelines for Implementation of European Statistics Code of Practice (in Latvian only).

To monitor conformity of Latvian statistical institutions with total quality requirements, statistical institutions are assessed.

During the period from 29 September to 3 October 2014, based on Eurostat’s (Statistical Office of European Union) initiative, a group of independent experts undertook detailed expertise of CSB conformity to all principles of the Code. Detailed expertise resulted in two peer review reports:

The experts did not find any unconformities with the Code requirements, however they made 16 recommendations for improvement of the CSB activities. For the introduction thereof, CSB has defined improvement actions with a deadline in 2019. Until the end of 2017, CSB has implemented nine recommendations (in Latvian only).

As the managing institution of the NSS of Latvia, CSB has researched conformity to the Code requirements in Latvian statistical institutions producing European statistics (→ ONAs), and summarised results achieved in 2018 (in Latvian only).

Results of the assessment show that 84 % of all institutions met requirements fully, 12 % did it partly, and 4 % of the institutions do not conform with the requirements.

CSB aims at increasing Code conformity rate to 5 % annually by giving methodological support and providing improvement activities.