Official statistics institute denies undergoing interference or pressure from any national authority
Apr 13, 2018
Official statistics institute denies undergoing interference or pressure from any national authority.
The National Institute of Statistics (INS) has assured that "it has not been subjected to any interference or pressure of any kind on from any national authority," arguing that a government decision approved on Thursday under which the institute "is organised and operates as a specialist body of the central public administration under the authority of the government and the co-ordination of the prime minister, via the Secretariat General of the Government" exclusively covers the legal framework for its operation, while the initiation of this piece of legislation dates back to November 2017, having been started by INS itself.
In a press statement released on Friday, INS mentions that it is one of the oldest organisations in the central public administration of Romania, having been established under an order of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza on July 12, 1859, which means that in 2019 it will celebrate 160 years of uninterrupted operation. After 1989, the organisation and functioning of the INS was initially regulated under Government Ordinance (OG) 9/1992 approved by Law 11/1994.
"According to Article 1 paragraph (1) of Government Decision 957/2005, INS operates as a specialist body of the central public administration subordinated to the government and co-ordinated by the secretary general of the government. Following changes in the composition of the government that led to the establishment of the Prime Minister's Chancellery under Government Decision 649/2016, INS was switched under the direct co-ordination of the prime minister conducted via the chancellery. Once the chancellery was abolished under OG 1/2017, redefining the co-ordination framework for INS became a necessity that materialised by the decision of the government approved at the meeting on April 12, 2018, according to which the National Institute of Statistics is organised and operates as a specialist body of the central public administration subordinated to the government and co-ordinated by the prime minister under the General Secretariat of the Government, with a legal personality, which main aim is organising and co-ordinating official statistics in Romania. In conclusion, beyond any supposition, the piece of legislation approved on April 12 targets exclusively the legal framework of the INS. We want to mention that the beginning of this last piece of legislation dates back to November 2017, with the initiator being the National Institute of Statistics itself," says INS.
In addition, in the context of public debate on data released by INS, INS says that, in accordance with the European regulations on European and national statistics, the statistical offices operate as independent professional bodies whose activity is carried out in the absence of any pressure from political, vested interests, the European Union or any national authorities.
INS also mentions that the privileges bestowed on the INS heads, implicitly in INS Romania, are provided by legal documents that make them the ones that "have the sole responsibility for deciding on processes, statistical methods, standards and procedures, and on the content and timing of statistical releases and publications for European statistics developed, produced and disseminated."(Article 5a of EU Regulation 2015/759).
"According to paragraph c) of the same article, the INS head ‘shall act in an independent manner while performing their statistical tasks; and neither seek nor take instructions from any government or other institution, body, office or entity.' In the spirit and letter of the provisions above, INS has not been subjected to any interference or pressure of any kind from any national authority," according to INS.
The Government adopted on Thursday a draft decision amending Government Decision 957/2005 on the organisation and functioning of the National Institute of Statistics (INS).
"We cannot say that it will switch under the authority of the prime minister (...) The National Institute of Statistics was under the prime minister's coordination before as well. What has happened after this change? There are two aspects (...) First, it is a legislative harmonisation, that is to say the governmental decision on the National Institute of Statistics is harmonised with Government Emergency Ordinance 1/2017. Secondly, it is an update of property maps," governmental spokesman Nelu Barbu told a news conference at the Government House. AGERPRES (RO - editor: Oana Tilica; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)
[Read the article in Agerpres]