Principle 1 - Relevance, impartiality and equal access
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 honor citizens' entitlement to public information.
There are many elements to this principle. First, official statistics are one of the
cornerstones of good government and public confidence in good government. Official
statistics, by definition, are produced by government agencies and can inform debate and
decision making both by governments and by the wider community. Objective, reliable and
accessible official statistics give people and organizations, nationally and internationally,
confidence in the integrity of government and public decision making on the economic, social
and environmental situation within a country. They should therefore meet the needs of a
range of users and be made widely available.
Second, to meet the test of practical utility, statistics must be relevant, of a quality
suitable for the use made, and in a form that facilitates easy and correct use. The key
to achieving this is maintaining an understanding of what statistical information users
want and how they want it. Statistical agencies follow many practices to achieve this
understanding, the most common ones being
Third, impartiality in compilation and release is achieved through the process being free
from political interference in both the methodology adopted and what is released and when.
In many countries this independence is enshrined in