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 European Commission > Eurostat > Quality > European Statistics Code of Practice > Implementation in Eurostat > Principle 3: Adequacy of resources

Implementation in Eurostat: Institutional environment

Principle 3: Adequacy of resources

 

The resources available to statistical authorities are sufficient to meet European Statistics requirements.

Indicator 3.1: Staff, financial, and computing resources, adequate both in magnitude and in quality, are available to meet current statistical needs.

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The multi-annual work programme establishes the financial envelope for European statistics for the period concerned. A key component of the preparation of the annual and multi-annual statistical programmes is an assessment of the resources required. In particular, the annual work programme contains information on the source of financial resources for new work. The annual programme is adopted by the Commission together with the corresponding financing decision. The multi-annual programme is approved by the European Parliament and the Council.

A number of actions are under way that contribute to enhancing the quality of human resources, while facing the challenge of a decreasing number of staff during the period 2013-2017 in the context of the Commission-wide 5% staff cuts:
  • Reviews of the allocation of resources towards core statistical tasks and reduction of horizontal activities
  • Improved training provision for statistics
  • More regular programs of external recruitment of statistically qualified staff
  • Annual system of re-allocating a proportion of remaining jobs to areas with higher statistical priorities
  • Temporary secondment of staff by Eurostat and the National Statistical Institutes
  • Enhanced participation of Eurostat staff in European Statistical Training Programmes
  • Further improvements in the management of statistical projects and processes that lead to efficiency gains.

Indicator 3.2: The scope, detail and cost of statistics are commensurate with needs.

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The decisions regarding the scope and detail of European statistics are defined in the legislation passed for different statistical areas. The proposed legislation is first carefully prepared and discussed with the partners in the European Statistical System before being submitted to the European Statistical System Committee (ESSC) for its opinion. The ESSC also gives its opinion on the Commission's annual statistical work programmes.

An important input to the discussions on user needs comes from the European Statistical Advisory Committee, comprising 24 members who represent users, respondents and other stakeholders of European Statistics. This committee plays an important role in ensuring that user requirements as well as the response burden on information providers and producers are taken into account in developing the statistical work programmes.

Eurostat has established an annual priority setting mechanism that involves dialogues with the producers and users of statistics. This is based on a strategy driven approach that results in a list of negative priorities.

Indicator 3.3: Procedures exist to assess and justify demands for new statistics against their cost.

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The European Statistical System Committee assesses demands for new statistics, taking into account their priority with regard to policy needs, financial constraints and the expected burden on respondents.

In accordance with European Statistical Law, the impact and cost of European statistics are taken into account in an assessment of the statistical activities proposed in the multi-annual programme (ex-ante evaluation).

In the preparation process leading to the adoption of legislative proposals in the field of statistics, roadmaps are prepared and submitted to the Commission central services in charge of impact assessment. For the multi-annual European Statistical Programme 2013-2017 a formal impact assessment was required for and submitted to the Impact Assessment Board of the Commission.

The European Statistical Advisory Committee (ESAC) is consulted at an early stage in the preparation of the European statistical programme about the proposed activities and in particular their relevance and their related costs. Eurostat must report annually how it has taken the ESAC opinion into account.

Indicator 3.4: Procedures exist to assess the continuing need for all statistics, to see if any can be discontinued or curtailed to free up resources.

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In order to enhance the communication with users, stakeholder dialogues at top management level have been introduced (ECB, EP and Commission DGs, including ECFIN, REGIO, AGRI and RTD)

The multi-annual statistical programme defines the framework for the development, production and dissemination of European statistics for a period of up to 5 years. It is prepared in discussion with the users and identifies the priorities regarding the statistical needs at an EU level.

The European Statistical Advisory Committee (ESAC) is consulted at an early stage in the preparation of the European statistical programme about the proposed activities, including the balance regarding priorities and resources between the different statistical activities planned. Eurostat must report annually how it has taken the ESAC opinion into account. In addition, meetings with the policy Directorates General of the European Commission and with the European Central Bank provide an opportunity to assess the continuing need for specific European statistics. Furthermore, the need for specific European statistics is also assessed as part of Eurostat's internal evaluation of all its statistical processes.

Eurostat has established an annual priority setting mechanism that involves dialogues with the producers and users of statistics. This is based on a strategy-driven approach that results in a list of negative priorities.

A process of priority setting has been established with the objective of ensuring that statistics are fit for purpose and in line with users' needs. It is based on systematic consultation of users at both national and Union levels and is discussed regularly in the European Statistical System Committee.

See also

Last update 10.03.2011