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POSITIONING OF THE NATIONAL STATISTICAL OFFICE & COORDINATION OF THE NSS WORKSHOP ON STATISTICAL ORGANISATION AND MANAGEMENT, ANGOLA, 2-6/12/06 By Moffat Nyoni Acting Director of Census and Statistics, Zimbabwe. COVERAGE. What Type of Independence? The Merits and Demerits Which Ministry?

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  2. COVERAGE • What Type of Independence? • The Merits and Demerits • Which Ministry? • Coordination Mechanisms: Some Provisions of the Census and Statistics Bill

  3. What Type of Independence? • In principle there are three basic types of independence for a statistical office. • These are: (i) Professional independence (ii) Administrative independence and (iii) Financial independence In practice various combinations of the three are found. Neither administrative nor financial independence is found complete in any statistical office.

  4. Type of Independence • Professional independence requires that the authority producing official statistics does so without outside direction as to the methods used or results to be produced. • There is convergence on the need for professional independence which is seen by stakeholders to exist. • This leads to the need for the independence to be buttressed by law.

  5. Type of Independence (Continued) • Generally there has always been professional independence in most African statistical Offices, implied in the legislation but buttressed more by tradition. • Relying on tradition however is exposed to risk of loss of institutional memory when there are many changes at Ministries and in Statistical Offices. Some people may want to or actually cross the traditional boundaries without noticing that they have done what is taboo. • Professional independence is a partial insurance and assurance that only statistical methods and considerations are used in producing the statistics.

  6. Type of Independence (Continued) • Other reasons for requiring independence demand more than just professional Independence. • These include the need to cut down on bureaucracy and to craft conditions of service tailor made for the institution in order to attract, motivate and retain qualified and competent staff.

  7. What Type of Independence? • For that some form of administrative independence greater that normally enjoyed by government departments is required. • This gives rise to the idea of autonomy or semi-autonomy. • The autonomy always goes with professional independence.

  8. Type of Independence (Continued) • The third type of independence is financial. No country has achieved such independence for a statistical office. • However, outside statistical circles, once autonomy is mentioned, the expectation is that the entity should be self financing. • In Zimbabwe the decision to let CSO exit the public service was taken, in 1999, by the Public Service Commission, in the context of Commercialization of identified government entities.

  9. Merits and Demerits • The real choice therefore is between professional independence and enhancement of status within the Public Service or getting out of the service. • Advantages of remaining within the service include • Remain in touch with source of funds, not likely to be left in the cold • Get to know about new policies/programmes sufficiently permitting being proactive

  10. Merits Demerits (Remaining) • Demerits (In the case of Zimbabwe) include • Bureaucracy remains • Cannot craft appropriate conditions of service • Professional independence not visible to all stakeholders • Not easy to tap other sources of funding • Coordination role may be compromised • Allows tapping into and keeping pace with advances in best practices in corporate management.

  11. Merits and Demerits (Exiting) • The advantages of Exiting or semi-autonomy can be read off from the demerits of remaining in the public service. For example

  12. Which Ministry? • In most countries the NSO reports to the Ministry of Finance (MoF), where there is no planning function assigned to a single ministry, the Ministry of Finance and Planning or the Ministry of Planning where there is such a separate Ministry. In a few cases they report to the Office of the President • Regardless of whether the NSO is semi-autonomous or not it has to be accountable to Parliament through a Minister. • The MoF reduces bureaucracy and is likely to have experienced staff.

  13. Coordination Mechanisms • Some Provisions of the Census and Statistics Bill, 2006 of Zimbabwe.

  14. COORDINATION MECHANISMS • Minister at ministerial level • Board of Directors (key stakeholders) • Director General • ZIMDAT (a national socio-economic database • with development indicators and data)

  15. COORDINATING ROLE OF A STRONG STATISTICS AGENCY Other data producers Data users Statistics Agency Research & Training Centres Data suppliers

  16. BOARD OF DIRECTORS • Governing body for the Agency • 10 members consisting of: • Director-General (Secretary to the Board) • Representative of the Ministry responsible for statistics • No more than 8 others appointed by Minister in consultation with President

  17. BOARD OF DIRECTORS • Minister appoints chairperson (non-executive) from members • Members selected from experts in statistics, information technology, economics or related fields to represent main stakeholders • Appointed for 3 years renewable • At least half of the other members shall be women • Appointments to be gazetted

  18. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Responsibilities • Promote and protect impartiality of official statistics • Monitor compliance with best practices for statistical production • Set & monitor policy implementation for the NSS & management of Agency • Safeguard professional independence of Agency • Cause minutes of committee meetings • Annual report includes directives by Minister & final direction taken • Approve corporate plans, work plans & budgets of the Agency

  19. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Disqualifications • Not citizen of Zimbabwe • Married to person engaged in any activity that is likely to interfere with impartial discharge of duty as member • Declared insolvent or bankrupt • Made an assignment / arrangement with creditors which has not been rescinded or set aside • Been convicted within past five years • Is a Member of Parliament • Currently serving on two or more boards of other statutory or corporate bodies

  20. BOARD OF DIRECTORS One Ceases to be a Board Member when one: • vacates • becomes disqualified to be a member • is dismissed for: • failing to comply with conditions of appointment • being mentally or physically incapable of efficiently carrying functions • On recommendation of Board for absenteeism

  21. BOARD OF DIRECTORS • Meetings of the Board (at least six times in each financial year of the Agency) • 5 members form a quorum • Committees of the Board • Chaired by member of Board • Non-Board members to meet qualification conditions • Tenure of office determined by the Board • Remuneration and expenses of Board members • Paid from funds of agency • Remuneration fixed by the Minister • Allowances fixed by the Board

  22. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Disclosure of interest by member of board • Board or Committee Member or Spouse of member tenders or acquires pecuniary interest in a contract with Agency • Acquires pecuniary interest in a company or association of persons • Applying / negotiating for contract with Agency • Applying for approval of project proposal by the Agency • Owns immovable property or holds right in immovable property or pecuniary interest in company or association resulting in his private interests coming into conflict with duty

  23. DIRECTOR-GENERAL & OTHER STAFF DIRECTOR-GENERAL: • Appointed by the Board with approval of Minister responsible for statistics • Candidate to be Zimbabwe citizen • Removal from office by the Board • CEO of Statistics Agency • Secretary to the Board • FUNCTIONS: • Managing operation & property of the Agency • Supervise and control employee activities • Appoint part-time authorized officers • REMOVAL FROM OFFICE FOR: Same reasons as a Member of the Board

  24. DIRECTOR-GENERAL & OTHER STAFF Other Staff • Board determine, suspend, discipline or discharge staff • Board with approval of Minister provide staff salaries, allowances, pensions, gratuities, retirement benefits

  25. COLLECTION OF INFORMATION AND MANAGEMENT • National censuses or surveys by other government institutions • Approved by the Board • Results to be deposited with the National Statistics Agency • Minister may, by Statutory Instrument • make rules concerning procedures to be followed • Issue a code of practice setting out professional standards and ethics to be followed by all persons producing official statistics

  26. FINANCIAL PROVISION Funds of the Agency • Agency to be fully funded by government • Sources: • Appropriation by Parliament • Any fees or charges for any services • Loans, donations or grants with approval of Minister • Any other moneys as may vest or accrue to the Agency

  27. FINANCIAL PROVISION Accounts and Audit • Agency shall keep proper books of accounts • Agency shall submit annual financial reports to the Minister • Accounts subject to audit by Comptroller and Auditor-General and the report submitted to the Board and Minister

  28. GENERAL PROVISIONS Regulations may be provided for: • manner of conducting a census • specifying particulars and information to be collected in a survey or census • form in which any document be completed during census or survey • manner, form, time, place when information is required and the person requiring it. • matters in respect of which statistics may be collected • fees for services rendered or received • penalties for contravention of regulations

  29. COORDINATION OF THE NATIONAL STATISTICAL SYSTEM • Critical if provisions of the legislation are to be achieved • Possible coordination mechanisms • Producers Committees • User-Producer Committees • Producer - Research and Training Institutions • Donors (basket funding)

  30. COORDINATION OF THE NATIONAL STATISTICAL SYSTEM • Possible coordination mechanisms • Standardization of concepts, definitions, norms & classifications (e.g. Compendium) • Central Business Register • Statistical Plan • National statistical work programmes • National databases and databanks

  31. Thank You Tatenda Siyabonga

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