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Andreas Georgiou: Extract statistical offices from policy-making bodies to buttress official statistical production

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‘“Preparing for the worst, while hoping for the best” should be the general principle behind all choices regarding the appropriate institutional setting for official statistics production.’ This is the message presented by Dr Andreas Georgiou, former President of the Hellenic Statistical Authority, in a letter to the editor in the latest issue of the Journal of Official Statistics.

In his letter, Dr Georgiou, a visiting lecturer and scholar at Amherst College, offers several suggestions to ensure the professional independence of national statistical offices and concludes that even if a political environment may appear to be benign, that can change rapidly. Full institutional independence of official statistics production should be complemented by other safeguards, for example provisions in law for the implementation of statistical principles in the national statistical system and quality assurance of statistical output by supranational entities. 

‘An independent statistical agency is essential for the credibility of official statistics,’ says Joakim Stymne, Director General of Statistics Sweden and publisher of the Journal of Official Statistics. ‘Dr Georgiou’s personal experience strongly supports the development of common guidelines in the European Union and the United Nations on how to produce and use official statistics. This is why Statistics Sweden’s participation in the development of such guidelines is so important.’ 

Read more in the latest issue of the Journal of Official Statistics, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2019, pp. 1–8.

Journal of Official Statistics (JOS) is an international quarterly published by Statistics Sweden. The journal publishes research articles related to survey methodology and statistical methods and analysis relevant for the production of official statistics. JOS is an open access journal. For more information, visit www.jos.nu.

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