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12 March 2012
WIESBADEN GROUP ON BUSINESS REGISTERS - ROUNDTABLE ON BUSINESS SURVEY FRAMES
The Wiesbaden Group on Business Registers is an international expert group under the umbrella of the UN Statistical Commission engaged in further development of business registers, survey frames and associated topics. The aim of the Wiesbaden Group is to provide a forum for the exchange of views and experiences and the conduct of joint experiments related to the development, maintenance and use of business registers to support a more integrated approach to structural economic statistics, to better fit into new, globalisation-related analytical needs, survey sampling and other statistical activities related to the production of business statistics. It is engaged with contemporary and emerging issues in the development and use of business registers. In particular, the Wiesbaden Group aims at tackling forward-looking matters and identifying new challenges concerning business registers in the wider sense. A UN City Group analyses the changing nature and role of business registers as backbone of business statistics and as sources of statistical data in their own right.
The Wiesbaden Group is an informal body and participation is on a voluntary basis. Participants, however, are required to contribute to the programme of the biannual meetings. Although its mandate does not emanate from a formal body, the Wiesbaden Group could, based on its discussions and/or experiments, make recommendations to a formal body (e.g., the Statistical Commission) regarding the consideration and/or adoption of certain practices or standards.
1986 ( Ottawa)
Meetings (held annually, since 2008 biannually)
First meeting: Ottawa, May 1986
Last meeting: 22nd Meeting at the Statistics Estonia, Tallinn, 27 - 30 September 2010.
Participating countries/statistical agencies at the 2010 meeting in Tallinn
Austria, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat), European Central Bank (ECB), Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Latvia, Luxemburg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Oman, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE; Statistics division) and the United States.
Topics discussed at the Wiesbaden meeting in September 2010:
Concepts and Methods for Information and Data Sharing
Profiling (Costs and Benefits)
Co-operation with Administrative Sources
Register Quality as a common task: Cooperation of the Register Department and Survey Departments
Improving sector's coverage of the BR: agriculture, public sector and non-profit institutions
Technical developments of the registers (Re-engineering)
Business Registers and Business Statistics in Developing Countries
Outcome and conclusions of sessions 1 to 7, the way forward
Future activities of the Wiesbaden Group
The next meeting of the Wiesbaden Group will take place in United States of America, Washington, in September 2012. It will be hosted and organised by the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) and the U.S. Census Bureau (CB). The meetings of the Wiesbaden Group and the joint UNECE/OECD/Eurostat seminars on business registers have quite a lot of overlapping points in their agendas. The Wiesbaden group agreed to hold face-to-face meetings every second year, alternating with the joint UNECE/OECD/Eurostat meetings. The last joint UNECE/OECD/Eurostat seminar will take place in September 2011, hosted by OECD, Paris. As generally, the Wiesbaden Group meetings and the joint seminars are aiming to complement one another the agendas of both meetings should be coordinated in advance. For those years without a Wiesbaden Group meeting, the national progress reports, and any other papers of interest, should be collected and disseminated via the Wiesbaden Group website (circa).
Steering Group activities:
In 2005 a steering group was set up. The Steering Group includes members of the National Statistical Institutes and international organisations. Current members of the group are Eurostat, France, Germany, OECD, UNECE, United Kingdom and United States (BLS and CB). Besides assisting the host of the next meeting, the steering group will ensure coordination with meetings on related topics, promote the output of the Wiesbaden Group, actively engage the UN Statistical Commission and other senior management forums to promote the work of the Wiesbaden Group and seek their inputs regarding future activities.
Terms of Reference
Work plan and major topics of the next conference(s):
The challenges for business registers resulting form globalisation have already been highlighted in previous conferences. The next meeting will focus on further aspects of globalisation. The Steering Group has compiled a list of possible topics and issues on globalisation for the next conference:
Profiling multinational enterprise groups
From global level to national: from GDP to GNI
European/Worldwide Common Identification Number.
At the last conference, it became obvious that the cooperation with users and partners on the field of development of the statistical business registers and dissemination on results of the work are still very relevant for participants. As a result, the following topics were proposed:
Partnership between statisticians and businesses
Management relationships with administrative registers holders
Dissemination of register’s data
Improvement of the data quality as the main task of the holders of the business registers.
More than half of the countries who participated at the previous conference reported on development and re-engineering projects of their registers. The Steering Group suggested following topics for the next conference:
Development and re-engineering of BR
Quality of BR
Expansion of BR into the NPI ’s sector and measurement of services
Use of Metadata in BR processes
The Steering Group advised to continue with the tradition to include a separate topic for developing countries in the conference agenda. It was suggested for the next hosting country to organize a seminar, where developing as well as developed countries will have an opportunity to share their experience in the field of business registers and register-based business statistics.
Greater support of developing countries (sponsoring):
Several delegates from developing countries expressed an interest in attending the 2010 conference, but some could not afford the travel and hotel costs. Thus, funding for participation remains the biggest barrier for developing countries. The steering group should consider one of its aims to encourage national statistical offices and other bodies to provide funding.
All reports and papers of the Wiesbaden Group were made public through the CIRCA website.
Point of contact
Contact for information on the next meeting, to be held in the United States in 2012
Shirin Anne Ahmed