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Peer review committee praised the work of Statistics Estonia and gave first recommendations for the future

Posted on 21. October 2021 9:30

Following the peer review of Statistics Estonia last month, the peer review team has given first recommendations to Statistics Estonia. The feedback highlighted strong statistical legislation in Estonia, the agency’s role in data governance and consistent work to improve the quality of databases and questionnaires.

Statistics Estonia and all other European Union statistical authorities, forming the European Statistical System partnership, are responsible for the development, production and dissemination of European statistics. Compliance with the European Statistics Code of Practice was evaluated through a peer review that took place in Estonia on 6–10 September 2021 and has resulted in first recommendations to Statistics Estonia.

According to Kristi Lebin, Quality Manager at Statistics Estonia, the agency has performed well in the last five years. “Our activities are nearly fully compliant with the European Statistics Code of Practice: only one of the recommendations concerns compliance. We should concentrate our efforts on the development activities that are already in progress and work on strengthening the independence of the statistical system,” added Lebin.

The peer review committee noted that the strengths of Statistics Estonia were the statistics act and the agency’s role in data governance. They acknowledged the work of Statistics Estonia in increasing the transparency of the quality of state databases as well as strong cooperation with the stakeholders who order and use statistics. The committee also took notice of the work of the experimental statistics team of the agency. Statistics dissemination channels, communication with various stakeholders and dedicated employees were given as other positive examples.

Following the peer review, the committee also gave Statistics Estonia a few recommendations for development. The experts considered it important that the national statistical system and its independence be strengthened. Among else they recommended that the government should incorporate health statistics into official statistics and increase budgetary funding of the agency, incl. raise salaries of its employees. They highlighted that the government should consider ways to enhance the independence of the Statistical Council and decrease political influence on setting the statistical programme.

The expert team gave additional recommendations to make the most of the evolving data landscape, to build on cooperation with stakeholders and strengthen internal processes and information flows.

The final report of the Estonian peer review will be published at the end of the year. Based on the report, Statistics Estonia will start preparing an action plan. Summaries of previous peer reviews can be found on Eurostat website.

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