8.41. The United Nations Statistical Commission consistently encourages countries to ensure that institutional arrangements possess certain characteristics that enhance their effectiveness. These characteristics are of a fundamental importance to tourism statistics and include the following:
(a) Coverage by the totality of the collective responsibilities of the agencies involved in a given statistical domain of all the stages of the statistical process – from the identification of user needs through the collection of raw data to data compilation and dissemination and evaluation of disseminated statistics;
(b) An unambiguous definition of the rights and responsibilities of all involved agencies in order to avert misunderstandings, duplication of work or omission of some significant work elements;
(c) The laying out in proper fashion of the working arrangements between agencies in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) or a similar document. An important benefit of the MoU is that it serves as a mechanism for informing agencies in adavance about changes of administrative procedures or statistical processes which could affect the quality of the data used for the production of statistics, thereby making inter‑agency cooperation more predictable;
(d) The informal agreements between the responsible units of the involved agencies are maintained to ensure necessary flexibility;
(e) Designation of a single body, e.g., the National Tourism Administration or the Inter‑institutional Platform for Tourism Statistics, with a clear mandate to monitor and coordinate various aspects of the statistics production process resulting in official tourism statistics. The existence of such a body is also essential from the users’ perspective, as it provides a clear designation of a single source of official data and a point of contact for any enquires. This raises the users’ confidence in data quality and promotes a wider and more effective data use;
(f) Inclusion of the main user groups in the institutional arrangements and their active participation in setting and monitoring the production and dissemination of statistics.
8.42. The efficiency of institutional arrangements is further enhanced if the responsible body has an appropriate mandate and executes it effectively. In this connection, it is a good practice if the responsible body: (a) adopts a strategic approach to planning its work that involves multilevel planning activities and (b) implements efficient process management, beginning with the identification of data sources, followed by data collection and processing, and ending with dissemination of outputs in various user‑friendly formats (see Box VIII.4).
 A memorandum of understanding is a legal document that outlines the terms and details of an agreement among agencies, including each party’s requirements and responsibilities. See also IRTS 2008, para. 9.30. It should be noted that the documentation of the agencies’ responsibilities relevant to tourism statistics may be a part of a broader MoU among the concerned agencies, covering other areas of cooperation and other statistical domains.