International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
This report examines whether the IMF has effectively leveraged an important asset: data. It finds that in general, the IMF has been able to rely on a large amount of data of acceptable quality, and that data provision from member countries has improved markedly over time. Nonetheless, problems with data or data practices have, at times, adversely affected the IMF’s surveillance and lending activities. The roots of data problems are diverse, ranging from problems due to member countries’ capacity constraints or reluctance to share sensitive data to internal issues such as lack of appropriate staff incentives, institutional rigidities, and long-standing work practices. Efforts to tackle these problems are piecemeal, the report finds, without a clear comprehensive strategy that recognizes data as an institutional strategic asset, not just a consumption good for economists. The report makes a number of recommendations that could promote greater progress in this regard.
This update to the Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC)—Data Module on Greece highlights general recommendations, consumer price index, government finance statistics, and balance-of-payment statistics. The National Statistical Service of Greece (NSSG) has been working toward publishing in 2005 detailed government finance statistics, including time series. National accounts press releases include charts and commentaries about recent developments. The NSSG is investigating whether provisional structural surveys could be used to improve the timeliness of the weight revisions.