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 group provides a forum for the exchange of views and experiences and the conduct of joint work related to the development, maintenance and use of business registers.
The group's work supports a more integrated approach to structural economic statistics and addresses new, globalization-related analytical needs. It is engaged with contemporary and emerging issues in the development and use of business registers. In particular, the Wiesbaden Group tackles forward-looking matters and identifies new challenges concerning business registers in the wider sense. The group analyses the changing nature and roles of the business register as the backbone of business statistics and a source of statistical data in its own right.
The Wiesbaden Group is an informal body and participation is voluntary. Participants are, however, required to contribute to the programme of the biannual meetings of the group. Although its mandate does not emanate from a formal body, the Wiesbaden Group reports to the UN Statistical Commission on its activities and recommendations of practices and standards.
Organization of Work
The group was established in 1986 under the name Roundtable of Business Survey Frames and the first meeting took place in Ottawa, Canada. In 2007 the group was renamed to the Wiesbaden Group on Business Registers to be in line with the naming of other UN City Groups. Until 2008 meetings were organized annually; after 2008 the group has met every second year.
In 2005 a Steering Group was set up. The Steering Group includes members of National Statistical offices and international organizations. Current members of the group are: Austria, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, United Kingdom, United States (BLS and CB), Eurostat, OECD, UNECE and UNSD. Besides assisting the host of the upcoming meeting, the Steering Group ensures coordination with meetings on related topics, promotes the output of the Wiesbaden Group and actively engages the UN Statistical Commission and other senior management forums to promote the work of the Wiesbaden Group and seek their inputs regarding future activities.
The Wiesbaden Group meetings are organized every second year, alternating with the biennial meetings of the Group of Experts on Business Registers jointly organized by UNECE, Eurostat and OECD. The meetings of the Wiesbaden Group and the Expert Group complement each other. To ensure close coordination of work and avoiding duplication of efforts the Steering Group prepares and oversees the activities of both groups and ensures that the agendas of the meetings are coordinated in advance.
The meetings are organized around national progress reports and a number of sessions on selected substantial topics. National progress reports have also been collected for years when the Wiesbaden Group did not meet and disseminated via the Wiesbaden Group website (CIRCABC).