9.2. It is good practice for national legislation and/or regulations to grant the compiling agency adequate access to administrative data sources for the compilation of statistics on the international supply of services, as well as for the maintenance of the SBR and the trade in services satellite register, following policies adopted in national statistical systems (see chapter 2), and that appropriate institutional arrangements between the compiling agency and the administrative authorities be in place (see chapter 3).
9.3. Compilers should fully understand and document relevant aspects of the administrative data sources, including (a) information on how the data are processed, registered and stored, (b) methodologies and definitions, (c) coverage, (d) periodicity and timeliness, (e) changes in regulations pertaining to the administrative data that is collected and (f) budgetary constraints of the administrative authority. In particular, compilers should be well aware of how the concepts and definitions used in administrative sources coincide with those that are necessary for the compilation of data on the international supply of services. The use of unique identifiers of economic units by all administrative authorities (as is done increasingly in many countries) would greatly facilitate the integration of the administrative records into the statistical system and help to eliminate duplication in coverage.
9.4. In particular, the present Guide advises the use of customs records as a source for trade-related transport and insurance services, with immigration records and entry/departure cards being a source for measuring the flows of inbound and outbound visitors. Compilers are encouraged to consult UNWTO’s list of proposed items for inclusion in entry/departure cards.
9.5. Compilers are encouraged to use immigration records to estimate the movements, numbers and presence of foreign natural persons under mode 4 of the supply of services and for compiling certain FATS variables, if the immigration authority collects work permits containing information on foreign entrants applying for work.
9.6. Finally, it is advised to use the records of tax authorities, especially VAT declarations, as a source for values of trade in services, foreign affiliate relationships and the movement of natural persons. Moreover, tax records often include information on the ownership relationship between businesses and employment, and on income from foreign sources separately from income earned from domestic operations, which can also complement other sources in order to identify enterprises and individuals with investments abroad.
Next: B. General purpose and description of administrative records