About the Statistical Council
According to the Official Statistics Act, the Statistical Council is formed by an order of the Estonian Government. The duties of the Statistical Council are to advise the producers of official statistics, Statistic Estonia and Eesti Pank (central Bank of Estonia), and the Ministry of Finance. The objective of the activities of the Statistical Council is to contribute to fulfilling the purpose of official statistics through giving advice and delivering opinions. The Statistical Council is concerned with the production of official statistics, on the one hand, and the users of official statistics and thereby the public, on the other hand. The Statistical Council is first of all expected to increase the independence of official statistics, to make the process of producing statistics more transparent and increase the involvement of the public in the production of statistics.
The tasks of the Statistical Council are
- to advise the producers of official statistics on the preparation of the official statistical programme;
- to give recommendations to Statistics Estonia for coordinating the production of official statistics;
- to deliver to the Minister of Finance its opinion on the official statistical programme and amendments thereto before their approval;
- to advise the producers of official statistics on the preparation of official statistics, including application of statistical principles and quality criteria;
- to provide the Minister of Finance with an estimate of the costs of producing official statistics and present it in its annual report;
- to give recommendations to the Minister of Finance and deliver opinions in the field of statistical legislation;
- to express its opinion on the suitability of a candidate to the committee conducting the public competition for filling the position of the Director General of Statistics Estonia;
- to give recommendations on coordination of data governance to a producer of official statistics and express its opinion on the organisation of data governance.
The Statistical Council consists of 11 members, including one member from Statistics Estonia, one member from Eesti Pank and one member from the Data Protection Inspectorate, and eight members from among the representatives of users of official statistics, respondents and from among experts. The experts in the Statistical Council are appointed such that experts in the fields of statistics, demography, social sphere, environment and economics, including agriculture, are represented. The Statistical Council is managed by the chairman. The term of authority of each membership of the Statistical Council is four years.
The Statistics Council prepares for the Government of the Republic an annual report on its activities. The report is submitted not later than by 30 April of the following year to the Government through the Minister of Finance.
The rules of procedure of the Statistical Council are established by the Government of the Republic. The meetings of the Statistical Council are held at least once every three months. The minutes of the meetings are made public.
All European Union member states have a body with similar tasks. In Estonia, the tradition of setting up a statistical council was re-established by the redaction of the Official Statistics Act that entered into force on 1 August 2010. From 1922 until the Soviet time, an advisory council chaired by the Secretary of State was working at the State Central Bureau of Statistics.
There are also domain-specific councils at Statistics Estonia: the Scientific Council of Population and Social Statistics, the Scientific Council of the Population and Housing Census, and the Council of Regional Statistics.