United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Statistical Division
SPECA PWG on Statistics
2nd Meeting, 14 and 15 June 2007
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Statistical Division
Item 7: Requirements for the
legal framework for the
Heinrich Brüngger.
Director, Statistical Division
Reference Material
Appendix III of the CES
Recommendations for the 2010
Censuses of Population and Housing
- UNECE Statistical Division
Slide 3
Relationship between census law
and statistics law
The census law can be simplified by an
explicit reference to the statistical law for
all matters for which no specific
provisions are included in the census law
However, this is only possible if the
individual data from the census are for
exclusively statistical use
- UNECE Statistical Division
Slide 4
Statistical use
Check whether the statistical law
contains a definition of statistical use that
covers also indirect use for statistical
purposes (e.g. through updating of
statistical registers of persons, dwellings,
buildings, or economic units, or through
dierct use as sampling frame for surveys)
- UNECE Statistical Division
Slide 5
Avoiding non-statistical use in all
phases of the census
Censuses use staff and insitutions, notably at
local level, which are not normally involved in
official statistics and are therefore not very
familiar with the confidentiality rules of official
For this reason, the census law needs to be
more specific on this issue than the statistical
law, and has to specify safeguards for all
phases of the production, especially for the
data collection and processing
- UNECE Statistical Division
Slide 6
Professional independence
While the topics covered by the census may be
fixed in the census law (which is not the case
for other data collection activities of official
statistics), the precise formulation of the
question is to be decided by statisticians on the
grounds of international standards and ease of
The lessons learnt from the pilot census are a
key element in the final decisions about the
- UNECE Statistical Division
Slide 7
Professional independence (ctd.)
Other items to be decided by statisticians
without political interference:
Choice of administrative sources in various forms
for completing and combining with the information
collected dreictly from respondents
Methods and strategies of editing, imputation and
quality control of individual data
Choice of aggregates to be released as results of
official statistics from the census, including the
terminology used in these tables
Quality control of results
Forms of dissemination
- UNECE Statistical Division
Slide 8
Dissemination of census results should follow
the same principles as dissemination of results
from other sources of official statistics, i.e. to
be fully under the umbrella of professional
independence without any clearance of results
by a committee or even government
This is so fundamental that repeating in the
census law what may already be contained in
the statistical law is justified, if no
discrepancies between the two laws are
- UNECE Statistical Division
Slide 9
Dissemination (ctd.)
Release dates to be announced in advance
Simultaneous release to all users
[Government may receive the release a few
hours ahead of the official release if this is on
the same day, for the exclusive purpose of
preparing a statement that is clearly separate
from the release of the NSO, but not for the
purpose of modifying or delaying the release of
the NSO]
- UNECE Statistical Division
Slide 10
Additional tabulation
Requests from users, especially government
users, for tabulation using census data but with
definitions that deviate from those used in the
official results, should be carried out by the
NSO as statistical services
An example may be indicators for allocation of
funds or seats to regions and municipalities.
These definitions may differ for good reasons
from the international statistical standards used
for the main results
- UNECE Statistical Division
Slide 11
Additional tabulation (ctd.)
In the user consultation during the planning
process of the census, the NSO has to get a
full picture of at least government requests for
such special tabulations
The NSO has to make sure that such requests
for additional tabulation can be easily met with
the individual data from the census
Avoid at all cost that definitions that are not in
line with international standards are imposed
from outside the statistical system to be used
for the main results from the census
- UNECE Statistical Division
Slide 12
Census laws should be rather detailed
concerning processes, rights and obligations,
but not so detailed on content
Census laws should not deviate from the
general provisions in the statistical law, but
rather specify additional safeguards to ensure
that the fundamental principles are respected
in the context of the census where the risk of
violation is greater compared to other activties
of official statistics
- UNECE Statistical Division
Slide 13

similar documents