22/05/2013 - Russia’s official statistics are compiled with a high degree of professionalism and now have a solid legal basis, but their scope, timeliness and international comparability needs to be improved, according to an initial assessment by the OECD.
Presenting the report in Moscow, OECD Chief Statistician Martine Durand said the overall view of Russia’s statistical system was positive. "The main actors such as the federal state statistics service, ROSSTAT, should be congratulated on their work and commitment. But like all statistical systems, there are areas where improvements could be made."
She underlined the importance of the legal changes pursued by ROSSTAT and other statistics producers.
"Without a solid legal and institutional basis, backing from government, co-operation among official data agencies and the support of the public, it is not possible to produce credible and reliable official statistics," she said.
Among its recommendations, the report says:
- Exchange of data between federal agencies needs to be increased and administrative co-ordination should be reviewed on a regular basis.
- More efforts should be made to comply with international classifications and norms.
- Participation in the population census should be made mandatory for citizens.
- A number of gaps need to be filled in the compilation of national accounts data, which are used to measure Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and major gaps in financial accounts data need to be addressed.
The report notes ROSSTAT’s plans to address these shortcomings in the near term and welcomes the setting up of a working group alongside government ministries and the Central Bank of Russia to propose legislation to improve financial data collection.
The report says ROSSTAT has improved methodologies and data collection for the production of the Consumer Price Index. It gives a generally positive assessment of other areas including labour statistics, production and demand data, and business tendency and consumer surveys.
Russia is currently in accession discussions with the OECD and already works closely with the Organisation on issues ranging from economic analysis to tax cooperation.
The report, OECD Assessment of the Statistical System and Key Statistics of the Russian Federation, is available here.
For further information, journalists are invited to contact the OECD’s Media Division (email@example.com; tel. :+33 1 45.24.97.00) or visit: www.oecd.org/std.