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Country Profile of Vanuatu

Main statistical agency
Main statistical agency name
Statistics Office
Web address
Main duties
The principal statistical sources in Vanuatu are from the NSO. The NSO's responsibilities include the national accounts, consumer price index (CPI), Census of Population and Housing, and social data.

Brief history and other relevant background information
Brief history and other relevant background information
The Vanuatu Statistics Office is a Government department and is Vanuatu's official statistical agency. Its roles and functions are governed by the Statistics Act of 1983. The Department is headed by the Government Statistician whose responsibilities are also detailed in the Statistics Act.

Prior to the Comprehensive Reform Program which started in 1996, the Statistics Office was part of the National Planning Office, under the direction of the Prime Minister's Office. As a result of the Reform , the Statistics Office is now a separate Department under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM).

Legal basis
Legal basis
All statistical activities are undertaken according to the Vanuatu Statistics Office Act 1983. The Act officially establishes the VNSO and as an independent Government institution. Section 4 of the Act (Collection of Statistics and access to Public Records) defines the scope in which statistics can be collected by the Vanuatu Statistics Office. Section 5 (Census) empowers the VNSO to conduct censuses whenever appropriate. The Statistics Act provides the legal authority for the NSO's operations. Although the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu Act provides the legal authority for the Reserve Bank's statistical activities, it needs to be revised to strengthen its authority for the collection of data from non-banks and offshore companies.

Other producers of official statistics
Other producers of official statistics
Statistical data related to broad money and the financial sector are produced and published under Section 31 of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu (RBV) Act (1980). The legal clauses as well as the authority note on the survey forms clearly specifies the confidentiality assurances. Data on exchange rates is gathered under Section 31 of the RBV Act. Other data relating to the regulatory functions of the Bank are required under the Financial Institutions Act as well as under the RBV Act.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) is responsible for government finance statistics (GFS).

The Police Department, Civil Status Office, Environment Department, Family Health Association and the National Council of Women, Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority also produce statistics.

Statistical advisory bodies
Statistical advisory bodies
A high-level Statistics Users' Committee is designated under the Statistics Act to provide guidance to the NSO on budget-related issues, but the committee has been difficult to convene. As an alternative, the Minister has approved an Economic Statistics Committee and a Social Statistics Committee to advise the NSO on subject-matter issues. In addition, the Macroeconomic Policy Committee composed of representatives of the MFEM, the Reserve Bank, and the NSO (and using services of the Department for Economic and Social Development) meets regularly to examine recent economic data.

Data collection
Most recent population census
16-30 November 1999
Access to administrative data
Yes, the Statistics Office has access to administrative data.
Data confidentiality
All staff recruited whether permanent or temporary has to sign a secrecy form that forbids release of confidential data.

Data dissemination
Release calendar (existence, when and how published)
Simultaneous access is achieved through press releases carried in the media (radio or newspapers) announcing the release of publications.

The Office has a publication schedule for its monthly news, quarterly news bulletin and annual reports. This is not published officially, but is displayed publicly in the reception area of the NSO where many users come to collect publications and request data. The schedule is updated annually and in most cases the actual releases have matched the scheduled dates.
Main publications
The NSO produces a quarterly publication entitled "Statistical Indicators," containing summary data for key series. Separate publications or releases for important indicators (national accounts, CPI, merchandise trade, tourism) supplement this publication. There are also separate publications for benchmark surveys, such as the Census of Population, the 2000 Labor Market Survey, and the 2000 Informal Sector Survey.
Languages of main publications
How are data disseminated (Paper, CD Rom, Website, online databases, databanks)?
Paper, Website.

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