The Statistical Commission,
- Bearing in mind that official statistical information
is an essential basis for development in the economic,
demographic, social and environmental fields and for mutual
knowledge and trade among the States and peoples of the
- Bearing in mind that the essential trust of the public
in official statistical information depends to a large
extent on respect for the fundamental values an principles
which are the basis of any society which seeks to understand
itself and to respect the rights of its members.
- Bearing in mind that the quality of official statistics,
and thus the quality of the information available to the
Government, the economy and the public depends largely
on the cooperation of citizens, enterprises, and other
respondents in providing appropriate and reliable data
needed for necessary statistical compilations and on the
cooperation between users and producers of statistics
in order to meet users' needs.
- Recalling the efforts of governmental and non-governmental
organizations active in statistics to establish standards
and concepts to allow comparisons among countries,
- Recalling also the International Statistical Institute
Declaration of Professional Ethics,
- Having expressed the opinion that resolution C (47),
adopted by the Economic Commission for Europe on 15 April
1992, is of universal significance,
- Noting that, at its eighth session, held in Bangkok
in November 1993, the Working Group of Statistical Experts,
assigned by the Committee on Statistics of the Economic
and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific to examine
the Fundamental Principles, had agreed in principle to
the ECE version and had emphasized that those principles
were applicable to all nations,
- Noting also that, at its eighth session, held at Addis
Ababa in March 1994, the Joint Conference of African Planners,
Statisticians and Demographers, considered that the Fundamental
Principles of Official Statistics are of universal significance,
Adopts the present principles of official statistics:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. The statistical agencies are entitled
to comment on erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. The laws, regulations and measures under
which the statistical systems operate are to be made public.
8. Coordination among statistical agencies
within countries is essential to achieve consistency and
efficiency in the statistical system.
9. 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.
10. Bilateral and multilateral cooperation
in statistics contributes to the improvement of systems
of official statistics in all countries.