2022 marks 30 years since the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics were first developed and adopted at UNECE. The United Nations Statistical Commission adopted these principles in 1994 at the global level. The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) endorsed the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics at policy level in 2013; and in January 2014, they were adopted by the General Assembly.The principles underlie everything that the producers of official statistics do: from the methods for collecting, processing and storing data to the ways that statistical offices disseminate statistics and communicate with those who use them.By marking this anniversary, statistical offices across the region are recognizing the continued and increasing importance of the Principles in guiding what they do. Thirty years on, they remain a collective manifesto for serving society with impartial, relevant and accurate information to guide decisions.
From January to June 2022, the Conference of European Statisticians is celebrating the Fundamental Principles through a series of country-led communications campaigns telling a shared story about the importance and impact of each Fundamental Principle on society and everyday life and why they matter.
All countries, organizations, members of the statistical community and users of statistics are welcome to participate in this joint celebration. Share your experiences and examples relating to the principles on your social media platforms, websites and other outlets, using the hashtags #FPOS30 (for the campaign overall); #cesUNECE (to refer to the Conference of European Statisticians) and the full words "Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics" in social media posts wherever possible.
Official statistics provide an indispensable element in the information system of a democratic society, serving the government, the economy and the public with data about the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation. To this end, official statistics that meet the test of practical utility are to be compiled and made available on an impartial basis by official statistical agencies to honour citizens' entitlement to public information.
To retain trust in official statistics, the statistical agencies need to decide according to strictly professional considerations, including scientific principles and professional ethics, on the methods and procedures for the collection, processing, storage and presentation of statistical data.
To facilitate a correct interpretation of the data, the statistical agencies are to present information according to scientific standards on the sources, methods and procedures of the statistics.
The statistical agencies are entitled to comment on erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics.
Data for statistical purposes may be drawn from all types of sources, be they statistical surveys or administrative records. Statistical agencies are to choose the source with regard to quality, timeliness, costs and the burden on respondents.
Individual data collected by statistical agencies for statistical compilation, whether they refer to natural or legal persons, are to be strictly confidential and used exclusively for statistical purposes.
The laws, regulations and measures under which the statistical systems operate are to be made public.
Coordination among statistical agencies within countries is essential to achieve consistency and efficiency in the statistical system.
The use by statistical agencies in each country of international concepts, classifications and methods promotes the consistency and efficiency of statistical systems at all official levels.
Bilateral and multilateral cooperation in statistics contributes to the improvement of systems of official statistics in all countries.