About the Statistical Council
The Statistical Council is an advisory body for the producers of statistics – Statistics Estonia and Eesti Pank (central bank of Estonia) – and for the Ministry of Finance. It is established by the order of the Government of the Republic issued on the basis of the Official Statistics Act. The objective of the Statistical Council is to ensure, by giving advice and delivering opinions, the functioning of the official statistical system. On the one hand, the Statistical Council is related to the production of official statistics, while on the other hand, it is related to the users of official statistics, and thereby to the public in general. First of all, the Statistical Council is expected to increase the independence of official statistics, to make the production of statistics more transparent and to include the society into the statistics production process on a wider scale.
The task of the Statistical Council is
- to advise a producer of official statistics on the compilation of the official statistical programme;
- to give Statistics Estonia recommendations for coordinating the production of official statistics;
- to deliver the Minister of Finance its opinion about the official statistical programme and amendments thereto before their approval;
- to advise a producer of official statistics on the production of official statistics, including the implementation of statistical principles and quality criteria;
- to give the Minister of Finance an estimate about the costs of production of official statistics and present it in its annual report;
- to give the Minister of Finance recommendations and deliver its opinion in the sphere of statistical legislation;
- to express its opinion about the suitability of a candidate to the committee conducting the public competition for filling the post of Director General of Statistics Estonia and to the Minister of Finance about the release of the Director General of Statistics Estonia from office.
The Statistical Council is composed of 13 members: representatives from Statistics Estonia, Eesti Pank and the Data Protection Inspectorate, as well as ten members from among the representatives of users and respondents and from among experts. The selection of experts appointed to the Statistical Council is based on the principle that the domains of statistics, demography, social sphere, environment, economy and agriculture are represented. The work of the Statistical Council is managed by the Chairman. The members of the Statistical Council are appointed for a term of four years. The current membership of the Statistical Council was given powers on 15.01.2015.
The Statistical Council submits to the Government of the Republic an annual report on the Statistical Council’s activities for a calendar year by 30 April of the following year. The annual report is submitted to the Government of the Republic through the Minister of Finance.
The Statistical Council’s Rules of Procedure are established by the Government of the Republic. The meetings of the Statistical Council are held at least once per three months. The minutes of the meetings are made public.
A body having similar tasks has been set up in all Member States of the European Union, excl. Latvia. In Estonia, the tradition of setting up a Statistical Council was re-established by the redaction of the Official Statistics Act which took effect on 01.08.2010. From 1922 to the Soviet time, an advisory Statistical Council managed by the Secretary of State functioned under the State Statistical Central Bureau.
There are also domain-specific statistical councils working alongside Statistics Estonia: the Scientific Council of Social Statistics, the Scientific Council of the Population and Housing Census, and the Scientific Council of Regional Statistics.