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European statistics code of practise

FOR THE NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY STATISTICAL AUTHORITIES

ADOPTED BY THE STATISTICAL PROGRAMME COMMITTEE ON 24 FEBRUARY 2005 AND PROMULGATED IN THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION OF 25 MAY 2005 ON THE INDEPENDENCE, INTEGRITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY STATISTICAL AUTHORITIES

The European Statistics Code of Practice is based on 15 principles. Governance authorities and statistical authorities in the European Union commit themselves to adhering to the principles fixed in this code covering the institutional environment, statistical processes and outputs. A set of indicators of good practice for each of the 15 principles provides a reference for reviewing the implementation of the Code.

 

Institutional environment

Institutional and organisational factors have a significant influence on the effectiveness and credibility of a statistical authority producing and disseminating European statistics. The relevant issues are professional independence, mandate for data collection, adequacy of resources, quality commitment, statistical confidentiality, impartiality and objectivity.

 

PRINCIPLE 1: PROFESSIONAL INDEPENDENCE

The professional independence of statistical authorities from other policy, regulatory or administrative departments and bodies, as well as from privatesector operators, ensures the credibility of European statistics.

Indicators:

 

PRINCIPLE 2: MANDATE FOR DATA COLLECTION

Statistical authorities must have a clear legal mandate to collect information for European statistical purposes. Administrations, enterprises and households, and the public at large may be compelled by law to allow access to or deliver data for European statistical purposes at the request of statistical authorities.

Indicators:

 

PRINCIPLE 3: ADEQUACY OF RESOURCES

The resources available to statistical authorities must be sufficient to meet European statistics requirements.

Indicators:

 

PRINCIPLE 4: QUALITY COMMITMENT

All ESS members commit themselves to work and cooperate according to the principles fixed in the ‘Quality declaration of the European statistical system’.

Indicators:

 

PRINCIPLE 5: STATISTICAL CONFIDENTIALITY

The privacy of data providers (households, enterprises, administrations and other respondents), the confidentiality of the information they provide and its use only for statistical purposes must be absolutely guaranteed.

Indicators:

 

PRINCIPLE 6: IMPARTIALITY AND OBJECTIVITY

Statistical authorities must produce and disseminate European statistics respecting scientific independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably.

Indicators:

Statistical processes

European and other international standards, guidelines and good practices must be fully observed in the processes used by the statistical authorities to organise, collect, process and disseminate official statistics. The credibility of the statistics is enhanced by a reputation for good management and efficiency. The relevant aspects are sound methodology, appropriate statistical procedures, non-excessive burden on respondents and cost effectiveness.

 

PRINCIPLE 7: SOUND METHODOLOGY

Sound methodology must underpin quality statistics. This requires adequate tools, procedures and expertise.

Indicators:

 

PRINCIPLE 8: APPROPRIATE STATISTICAL PROCEDURES

Appropriate statistical procedures, implemented from data collection to data validation, must underpin quality statistics.

Indicators:

 

PRINCIPLE 9: NON-EXCESSIVE BURDEN ON RESPONDENTS

The reporting burden should be proportionate to the needs of the users and should not be excessive for respondents. The statistical authority monitors the response burden and sets targets for its reduction over time.

Indicators:

 

PRINCIPLE 10: COST EFFECTIVENESS

Resources must be effectively used.

Indicators:

Statistical output

Available statistics must meet users’ needs. Statistics comply with European quality standards and serve the needs of European institutions, governments, research institutions, business concerns and the public generally. The important issues concern the extent to which the statistics are relevant, accurate and reliable, timely, coherent, comparable across regions and countries, and readily accessible by users.

 

PRINCIPLE 11: RELEVANCE

European statistics must meet the needs of users.

Indicators:

 

PRINCIPLE 12: ACCURACY AND RELIABILITY

European statistics must accurately and reliably portray reality.

Indicators:

 

PRINCIPLE 13: TIMELINESS AND PUNCTUALITY

European statistics must be disseminated in a timely and punctual manner.

Indicators:

 

PRINCIPLE 14: COHERENCE AND COMPARABILITY

European statistics should be consistent internally, over time and comparable between regions and countries; it should be possible to combine and make joint use of related data from different sources.

Indicators:

 

PRINCIPLE 15: ACCESSIBILITY AND CLARITY

European statistics should be presented in a clear and understandable form, disseminated in a suitable and convenient manner, available and accessible on an impartial basis with supporting metadata and guidance.

Indicators:

 

DEFINITIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS DOCUMENT:

‘European statistics’ shall mean Community statistics as defined in Council Regulation (EC) No 322/97 of 17 February 1997 on Community statistics, produced and disseminated by national statistical authorities and the Community’s statistical authority (Eurostat) in conformity with Article 285(2) of the Treaty.

The ‘statistical authority’ shall mean, at national level, the national statistical institute (NSI) and other statistical bodies in charge of producing and disseminating European statistics and, at Community level, Eurostat.

The ‘European statistical system’, hereinafter referred to as ‘the ESS’, shall mean the partnership comprising Eurostat, national statistical institutes and other national statistical bodies responsible in each Member State for producing and disseminating European statistics.

 

Reference documents