|About us | Contact us | Site Map|
5 March 2013
OTTAWA GROUP ON PRICE INDICES
The Ottawa Group on Price Indices was formed in 1994 to provide a forum for specialists to share their experiences and discuss research on crucial problems of measuring price change. Without avoiding theoretical issues, the focus of the Group is on applied research, particularly though not exclusively in the area of consumer price indices. The Group examines advantages and disadvantages of various concepts, methods and procedures in the context of realistic operational environments, supported by concrete examples whenever possible. Participants are specialists and practitioners who work for, or are advisers to, statistical agencies in different countries or international organizations. The Group meets every 18 to 24 months.
The Group has a Steering Committee, which ensures both the continuity and evolution of its activities. The Committee comprises representatives of the agencies that host the Group's recent or upcoming meetings, together with others agreed to by the membership from time to time. The representative of the Australian Bureau of Statistics is currently serving as Executive Secretary. The Committee outlines long-term activity plans for the Group and proposes topics for the meetings. The Committee extends invitations to selected agencies for the submission of papers on the agreed topics and is responsible for the selection of papers to be presented. Their authors are invited to the meeting, possibly with other specialists whose contribution to the discussion on a specific topic is considered useful. The number of active participants is kept limited for the sake of efficient discussion, however the host agency may invite a reasonable number of additional participants.
Although the meetings may be divided into sessions, these are not organised in a parallel manner. Each session is devoted to one, clearly defined topic with a designated moderator who is also responsible for producing a summary of the discussions and recording any recommendations.
The host agency provides facilities for the meeting and arranges for the collation of papers and summaries of proceedings. The participants bear the cost of travel, accommodation and subsistence during the sessions.
Information about the Group and copies of papers and summaries of proceedings are available on the Internet. The agency providing secretariat services (currently the Australian Bureau of Statistics) is responsible for maintaining a Web-site open to the public (www.ottawagroup.org ). The Steering Committee may also decide to edit and periodically release compendia on selected topics, whenever it is warranted by the status of available materials.
As well as the Ottawa Group which focuses on technical issues, the Joint UNECE/ILO Meeting on Consumer Price Indices serves as a forum for discussion of the practical as well as methodological aspects of the compilation of price indices. By presentation and discussion of papers and exchange of experiences the meeting supports the development of internationally accepted standards and methods and their implementation in practice. Information about the next meeting in 2012 is available on the UNECE website.
The Group has met on twelve occasions:
The Group last reported to the Statistical Commission in 2011. At the most recent meeting, the Group considered issues such as housing and residential property price indices, new developments in calculation and weighting methodologies, developments in the use of scanner data, the intra-and international comparability of price indices and international comparisons. The Group continues to focus on the use of different techniques and procedures for dealing with changes in product quality (especially hedonic methods), increasingly complex pricing schemes (for example, discounts associated with the bundling of telephone, Internet access and cable television services) and the impact of new technologies. Sessions have been devoted to especially difficult areas for price index construction, such as financial and insurance services, health-care services, telecommunications services and housing.
A copy of the papers presented at the latest meeting and previous meetings are available to download at www.ottawagroup.org.
Point of contactAdam Harris
Secretariate, Ottawa Group
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Locked Bag 10
Belconnen ACT 2616
Telephone: (61) 2 6252 7692
Reporting to the UN Statistical Commission