Quality assessment tools in the National Statistical System

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Quality assessment tools in the National Statistical System

In its role of coordinating methodologies and quality within the National Statistical System (Sistan), Istat has initiated a plan to consolidate the quality of statistics produced within Sistan, with priority given to the production of European statistics by Other National Authorities (ONA).

The Quality Guidelines for Statistics of the National Statistical System (available in Italian only) are the reference standard for assessing the data quality of the entire official statistics network.

Besides the Guidelines, there is a programme for assessing the quality of European statistics produced by the ONAs; it is carried out through an audit procedure based on non-adversarial criteria, mutual trust and sharing of processes between the actors involved.

The procedure includes an evaluation questionnaire, a supporting tool for quality analysis. The audit consists in a team of ISTAT experts interviewing and administering the questionnaire to those responsible for the production process under evaluation.

The procedure also provides for the guidelines and the questionnaire to be sent to the managers of the process before the evaluation begins. This ensures transparency and facilitates the identification of all information useful for its effective implementation.

The results of the procedure are set out in a report, which outlines the production process and its main strengths and weaknesses. It also presents a plan of improvement actions to be monitored for 18 months after the conclusion of the procedure. The report is drafted by the ISTAT evaluation team and shared with the managers of the process under audit.