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Principle 5 - Cost-effectiveness

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.

Statistical offices must be cost-effective, making the best choice of

concepts, sources and methods by balancing quality, timeliness, costs and the reporting load of respondents. To assist in this balancing agencies should have policies to

minimize reporting burden , and implement

quality management and improvement programs to achieve the quality and timeliness required by uses of their statistics. The overall cost-effectiveness of an agency is influenced by

organizational planning and operation , the sound

application of statistical methodology , exploitation of information and communication technology and also

access to administrative records .

Co-ordination of statistical activities across agencies is applied in many countries to control the overall burden placed on respondents for information, to help maintain co-operation and ensure the quality of data. Special attention should be paid to

form design so that forms in collections are easy for respondents to complete accurately and efficient to process.