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Guidance on Modernizing Statistical Legislation

Published: June 2019

 Official statistics are an indispensable element of the information system of democratic societies, serving governments, economies and the public with data that can help them understand and make decisions: about the economy, about the population, about society and the environment. An essential precondition for carrying out this task is a strong legal and institutional setting for statistical systems, so that their independence, integrity and accountability are guaranteed and statistical quality and data security are assured.

Aligning with the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, this publication provides guidance for countries to develop the statistical legislation needed to support the modernization of statistical systems, and to unleash the full value of official statistics.

The publication identifies common elements of effective legal frameworks and guides countries through the process of reviewing and revising statistical legislation. The publication also discusses emerging issues with implications for statistical legislation: open data, national and international data exchange, new ways of conducting censuses, cooperation with central banks and geospatial data agencies, and government data management.

The Guidance, developed by a UNECE Task Force composed of experts from national statistical offices and international organizations and endorsed by the Heads of statistical offices of more than 60 countries, is a valuable resource for countries wishing to benchmark or update the legal framework of their national statistical system.

 

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