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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
February 2008
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I. Overall Assessment

1. Although Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) does not at present participate in the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), data dissemination practices in BiH meet or exceed many of the GDDS recommendations for dissemination of macroeconomic statistics in terms of coverage, periodicity, and timeliness (see Appendix I). The main exceptions are the unavailability of annual GDP at constant prices, central government domestic debt, and the consumer price index. Significant advances are, however, being made in compiling GDP estimates with the assistance of the IMF real-sector advisor and in developing a consumer price index (CPI) with the assistance of the Italian Government. The authorities have also developed metadata for some of the statistical datasets.

2. This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) data module, which was prepared during March 13–28, 2007, assesses the quality of the national accounts, prices, government finance (GFS), monetary, and balance of payments statistics. In the absence of a CPI, which is under development, the retail price index (RPI) is assessed in this report. The report also assesses the three statistical institutions and the Central Bank that compile these macroeconomic statistics.

3. The assignment of legal authority and responsibilities for statistical functions across the three statistical institutions in the country mirrors the sharing of political powers between the state, on the one hand, and the two entities, on the other. The functional responsibilities that define the working relationships between these institutions are set out in the State Law on Statistics that was enacted in 2002 and established a single statistical framework in which the Bosnia and Herzegovina Agency for Statistics (BHAS), the statistical agency at the level of the state, was given a central role for coordinating a national work program in statistics. The statistical institutions at the state and entity levels are assigned responsibilities for statistical functions that were expected to be both separate and complementary. From the inception, however, the effective functioning of this arrangement fell far short of expectations as many stipulations of the law were never implemented, due partly to the fragmentation and duplication of functions across the statistical institutions and the lack of effective cooperation among these institutions to support the development of a country-wide statistical program. Subsequent reforms introduced to improve the effectiveness of the statistical system have had only a limited impact.

4. The Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CBBH) has the exclusive mandate to compile GFS, monetary, and balance of payments statistics for BiH. This institutional environment fosters clarity in the identification of statistical objectives and efficiency in their implementation. A formal agreement signed with the BHAS specifies responsibilities for the compilation of macroeconomic statistics of BiH and the areas of cooperation between the two institutions.

5. The strength of the conceptual and analytical framework used to compile macroeconomic statistics, as shown in Table 1, varies across datasets. In most cases, the shortcomings identified in the source data and the inability of the statistical institutions to meet users' needs negatively impact on the analytical usefulness of the datasets.

Table 1.Bosnia and Herzegovina: Data Quality Assessment Framework July 2003—Summary Results
Key to symbols: O = Practice Observed; LO = Practice Largely Observed; LNO = Practice Largely Not Observed; NO = Practice Not Observed; NA = Not Applicable
Datasets
Dimensions/ElementsNational AccountsRetail Price IndexGovernment Finance StatisticsMonetary StatisticsBalance of Payments Statistics
0.Prerequisites of quality
0.1Legal and institutional environmentLNOLNOLOOLO
0.2ResourcesLNOLNOLOLOLNO
0.3RelevanceLNOLNOLOLOLO
0.4Other quality managementLNOLNOOOLO
1.Assurances of integrity
1.1ProfessionalismOOOOO
1.2TransparencyOOOOO
1.3Ethical standardsOOOOO
2.Methodological soundness
2.1Concepts and definitionsOLNOOOO
2.2ScopeLNONOLNOOO
2.3Classification/sectorizationLOLNOLOLOLO
2.4Basis for recordingLOLOLOOLO
3.Accuracy and reliability
3.1Source dataLNOLNOLNOOLNO
3.2Assessment of source dataLNOLOOOO
3.3Statistical techniquesLOLNOOOLO
3.4Assessment and validation of intermediate data and statistical outputsLOLOOOO
3.5Revision studiesLOLOOOLO
4.Serviceability
4.1Periodicity and timelinessOOOOO
4.2ConsistencyLNOOLNOLOLO
4.3Revision policy and practiceLOLNOOOO
5.Accessibility
5.1Data accessibilityLOLOLOOO
5.2Metadata accessibilityLNOLNOOOLO
5.3Assistance to usersLOLOOOO
Practice observed: current practices generally in observance meet or achieve the objectives of DQAF internationally accepted statistical practices without any significant deficiencies. Practice largely observed: some departures, but these are not seen as sufficient to raise doubts about the authorities' ability to observe the DQAF practices. Practice largely not observed: significant departures and the authorities will need to take significant action to achieve observance. Practice not observed: most DQAF practices are not met. Not applicable: used only exceptionally when statistical practices do not apply to a country's circumstances. Table 2a. Bosnia and Herzegovina: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 0 and 1—Bosnia and Herzegovina Agency for Statistics, Federal Institute of Statistics, and Republika Srpska Institute of Statistics
Practice observed: current practices generally in observance meet or achieve the objectives of DQAF internationally accepted statistical practices without any significant deficiencies. Practice largely observed: some departures, but these are not seen as sufficient to raise doubts about the authorities' ability to observe the DQAF practices. Practice largely not observed: significant departures and the authorities will need to take significant action to achieve observance. Practice not observed: most DQAF practices are not met. Not applicable: used only exceptionally when statistical practices do not apply to a country's circumstances. Table 2a. Bosnia and Herzegovina: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 0 and 1—Bosnia and Herzegovina Agency for Statistics, Federal Institute of Statistics, and Republika Srpska Institute of Statistics

6. The remainder of this section presents the mission's main conclusions on the quality of five macroeconomic datasets, using the IMF's Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF July 2003). The presentation is done at the level of the DQAF's quality dimensions, by institution for the first two dimensions, and across datasets for the remaining four. Section II provides a summary assessment by institution and dataset based on a four-part scale. This is followed by staff recommendations in Section III. An overview of current practices regarding coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of macroeconomic data compared to the GDDS is provided in Appendix I. The authorities' response to this report and a volume of detailed assessments are presented in separate documents.

7. Prerequisite of quality and assurances of integrity. The main agencies that compile statistics assessed in this report are the three statistical institutions within BiH and the CBBH.

  • The statistical institutions comprise the state-level BHAS and the two statistical institutes at the level of the entities--the Federal Institute of Statistics of the Federation of BiH (FIS) and the Republika Srpska Institute of Statistics (RSIS). Following the enactment of the State Law on Statistics in 2002, a period during which the effectiveness of the statistical system was hampered by a lack of clarity with regard to the allocation of legal authority and institutional responsibilities between the statistical institutions at the level of the state and those at the entity level, reforms were introduced in late 2004 with the objective of improving the institutional environment in which these organizations operate. As well, in November 2005, an agreement was signed between the ministries of finance at the level of the state and the entities and the counterpart statistical institutions that set out a framework for coordinating and disseminating statistical data. Serious difficulties still remain in reaching agreement on a cohesive statistical program with clear priorities that can be supported and implemented by all statistical institutions. Decisions of strategic importance on implementing statistical policies continue to be made on an ad hoc basis and involve significant compromise among the institutions, resulting at times in sub-optimal outcomes. Against this background, the Statistical Council, which was established as an advisory group to steer the work of the BHAS, is ineffective in providing guidance for the development of a viable national statistical program that is acceptable to all parties. While staff resources of the statistical institutions are generally adequate to carry out routine statistical tasks, these resources are inadequate for responding to demands for new statistical activities proposed by some external donors, including absorbing their corresponding technical assistance. The relevance of a number of these statistical activities is questionable since they may not adequately reflect the needs of national users but give priority to complying with the proposals made by external donors in the ongoing work programs. Despite the difficult situation in which they function, the statistical institutions operate in an environment that promotes impartiality and transparency in the choice of techniques and practices that are followed to compile statistical data.

  • The CBBH By-law, which was enacted in 2002 and amended in 2006, specifies the scope of the responsibility of the CBBH for collecting, compiling, and disseminating monetary, balance of payments, and GFS, among others. These statistical responsibilities are reaffirmed by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed between the CBBH and the BHAS and clarifies their respective functional responsibilities. Staff resources in the CBBH divisions that compile the statistics are professionally well qualified and have technical expertise in the areas of their respective statistical responsibilities. However, staffing levels are not considered to be adequate to carry out their statistical tasks in a proficient manner. Informal consultations take place periodically with other government agencies, the media, and other data users to identify new statistical needs, but there is no formal process of monitoring user needs. Consistent with the independent legal status of the CBBH, statistical functions are performed exclusively on the basis of professional and ethical considerations. The policies followed by which statistical data are made available to the public and to official government agencies are consistent with international practices on transparency.

8. Methodological soundness. In contrast to monetary and balance of payments statistics, which are compiled according to international methodologies, there are significant weaknesses in the national accounts and the RPI. In addition to shortcomings in the areas of classification/sectorization and the basis of recording for these datasets, significant inadequacies have been identified with respect to their scope. In this connection, no constant price GDP estimates are available and national accounts are limited to production account data compiled at current prices. Moreover, these estimates do not adequately capture activities in the informal and non-observed economy. No country-wide price indices are published in BiH, although RPIs are compiled separately by each entity. The general government includes the state government, entity governments, cantons, the Brcko District, almost all extrabudgetary funds (including social security funds), and local governments. The scope of the GFS, however, falls short of international standards as a result of the unavailability of a cash statement, a balance sheet, projects directly financed by foreign donors, and the omission of an extrabudgetary fund in one of the entities. In addition, data on the level of outstanding government domestic debt are currently not available.

9. Accuracy and reliability. Except for monetary statistics, the accuracy and reliability of all datasets suffer from substantial deficiencies in the underlying source data. Weaknesses are particularly obvious in: (i) the national accounts, where a statistical register of enterprises does not exist; source data rely heavily on administrative records and cover the informal economy inadequately; (ii) the balance of payments, where source data are inadequate due to the lack of comprehensive surveys on services and remittances and to the difficulty of recording the large number of small cash transactions; and (iii) the RPI, where the weights are significantly outdated and quality adjustments are not routinely undertaken. With respect to the GFS, limited source data are available from administrative records and significant transformations are required to bring these source data into consistency with the methodological principles required for the GFS. In most datasets, statistical techniques applied to these source data conform to sound statistical procedures. For the most part, revision studies are not conducted routinely and for those that are carried out—for the national accounts and balance of payments—little use is made of the results to improve statistical processes.

10. Serviceability. All disseminated data meet or exceed the GDDS recommendations on periodicity and timeliness, with consistent time series over a reasonable time-period (Table 4). However, significant inconsistencies exist within datasets (balance of payments) and across datasets (GFS and national accounts; GFS and monetary statistics), raising notable concerns about the serviceability of these datasets. In most cases, these inconsistencies can be explained by inadequate source data. Revised data are clearly identified for all datasets, except for the RPI, where they are not applicable. However, in some cases, these revisions do not follow a regular and transparent schedule.

11. Accessibility. All datasets are readily accessible in hardcopy and electronic form, although the level of detail made available to users varies among the statistical institutions and the electronic format is not always user-friendly. With regard to the national accounts and the RPIs, these are disseminated separately for the country (GDP estimates) and for the entities (GDP estimates and RPI). Country-wide data are available for government finance, monetary statistics, and balance of payments. Metadata accessibility is adequate for those datasets compiled by the CBBH (GFS, monetary statistics, and balance of payments statistics) but is not well developed for the national accounts and RPI which are compiled by the statistical institutions. Assistance to users is broadly adequate and additional information is available upon request.

II. Assessment by Institution and Dataset

12. This section presents the results of the assessment at the level of the DQAF elements, including the use of a four-point rating scale (Table 1). Assessments of the prerequisites of data quality and the assurances of integrity (Dimensions “0” and “1” of the DQAF) are presented in Tables 2a and 2b. For each dataset, the assessment of methodological soundness, accuracy and reliability, serviceability, and accessibility (Dimensions “2” to “5” of the DQAF) is shown in Tables 3a3e.

Table 2a.Bosnia and Herzegovina: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 0 and 1—Bosnia and Herzegovina Agency for Statistics, Federal Institute of Statistics, and Republika Srpska Institute of Statistics
0. Prerequisites of quality1. Assurances of integrity
Legal and institutional environment

The BiH Law on Statistics was enacted by the UN High Representative in 2002 and ratified by the State Parliament in 2004. It assigns the BHAS the responsibility for compiling countrywide statistics, coordination of statistical work, and setting the methodological standards for the statistical work in the country. The same Law attributes to the statistical institutions of the entities the responsibility for compiling the statistics at the entity level. The current entities' laws on statistics, issued in 2003, provide the legal bases for the statistical work at the entity level. The BiH Law and the entities' laws are not fully harmonized, thus undermining coordination and cooperation among the institutions. The main instrument of coordination of the statistical work is the four-year program that lays out the activities to be undertaken by the responsible institutions. In principle, this program is prepared by the BHAS in consultation with the entities and the State Statistical Council and is implemented through corresponding annual work plans. As similar planning instruments and procedures exist at the entity level, the four-year work program is not implemented as envisaged. These institutional arrangements complicate coordination across agencies as do pressures from external sources to approve proposals for new statistical projects. Data sharing between the entities and the BHAS is mandatory by law; however, transmission of data has, at times, been problematic and not in compliance with the spirit of the law. The dialogue among the institutions involved has not always been smooth to effectively foster a timely project implementation and application of standards. All three institutions guarantee in their laws the confidentiality of the data and establish penalties for non-compliance. Reporting for statistical purposes is mandatory for all natural and legal persons.

Resources

Staff resources are over stretched with the regular tasks and the numerous activities related to ongoing technical assistance projects for the development of the statistics. The number of staff dedicated to the compilation of national accounts and price statistics is not enough neither at the BHAS nor at the entities' institutions of statistics. Although the BHAS and the entities anticipate an increase of the staff, it is proving difficult to recruit suitable professionals. These problems are compounded by the relatively high turnover of staff, in particular of IT experts. Financial resources are provided from the budgets of the respective state and entity budgets. These resources are generally sufficient to conduct the regular work, but do not provide enough funds for capital investments. The development of new statistical activities is mainly financed by donors.

Relevance

The relevance of the statistics is largely driven by the commitments made to meet the data requirements of the European Union (EU), which are reflected in the work programs. These commitments do not take account of capacity constraints pointing thus to the need for prioritizing statistical activities, consistent with available resources. The statistical institutions of BiH have not established procedures of consultations with users on a regular basis.

Other quality management

Although awareness of data quality exists, the statistical institutions of BiH have not established systematic procedures to monitor the quality of the data produced. Nevertheless, the adoption of international standards with the support of the EU, international organizations, and bilateral donors, is introducing changes in data collection and compilation procedures contributing to improvements to the quality of the data.
Professionalism

The state and entity laws on statistics and observed practices provide the institutions with legal independence to carry out their functions. In choosing data sources and methods for the compilation of the statistics, the statistical institutions are driven by statistical considerations. Although they are entitled to comment on misinterpretation of their data, they often prefer not to engage in debates that may be political in nature.

Transparency

The three statistical institutions publicize the terms and conditions under which data are collected, processed, and disseminated. The regulating laws and work programs are made available to the public on their websites. There is no government access to the data prior to their release and data are released simultaneously to all users. The statistical institutions clearly identify their data in all publications and request attribution when their data are reproduced by others.

Ethical standards

Employees of all statistical institutions of the BiH are subject to the rules that govern conduct as specified in the respective laws applicable to civil servants. Moreover, in support of these laws, the BHAS applies an ethical code to its staff.
Table 2b.Bosnia and Herzegovina: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 0 and 1—Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina
0. Prerequisites of quality1. Assurances of integrity
Legal and institutional environment

The CBBH Law and by-laws provide clear authority to CBBH to compile monetary, government finance, and balance of payments statistics. In addition, there is a MoU with BHAS that assigns exclusive responsibility to the CBBH for compilation of these statistics. While the arrangements for monetary statistics are appropriate, there is duplication of GFS compilation. The Macroeconomic Analysis Unit (MAU) of the Indirect Taxation Authority also compiles general government data for operational purposes. Although these data are not official statistics, they are available to users on the website of the MAU and are currently neither consistent nor reconciled with the GFS that are compiled by the CBBH. In addition, there is some scope for expanding arrangements for sharing data with other agencies to improve balance of payments data. The relevant legislation protects the confidentiality of individual data and the procedures for handling data also support the maintenance of confidentiality. Reporting of data to CBBH is supported by good procedures for assistance and follow-up, and penalty measures for noncompliance with reporting requirements are in place.



Resources

Staff are well-trained and have technical expertise appropriate to their areas of responsibility. For monetary statistics, overall staff resources are considered adequate but inadequate for the main units (i.e., CBBH units outside the central office, which carry the responsibility for data collection and compilation). Each CBBH main unit has one staff member working on monetary statistics and no back-up arrangements are in place. For GFS and balance of payments statistics, the number of employees is considered to be inadequate. Computing resources are broadly adequate, although there is insufficient support for the specialized needs of balance of payments compilation. Facilities are acceptable, although there is scope for improvement. Management encourages the efficient use of resources.



Relevance

The relevance of CBBH statistics is supported by informal contacts with users and by following international standards as a guide to meeting users' needs. There are several cases where sources and methods have been refined over time. However, no proactive measures are in place to identify users' needs. CBBH staff participate in international and regional statistical meetings to keep abreast of developments in statistical standards and best practices that can be applied in BiH.



Other quality management

Quality is considered by CBBH, for example, in continuing improvement of methods, participation in training courses and seminars, and monitoring of performance, although communication with main units could be improved for balance of payments statistics.
Professionalism

The legal provisions support statistical impartiality by CBBH. Staff are recruited and promoted on the basis of competence. Decisions concerning statistics are made on the basis of statistical considerations, and CBBH is entitled to comment on misuse of statistics.



Transparency

CBBH encourages transparency by publishing the relevant laws, keeping the public informed of its activities, and not providing early access to statistics to users, including government ministries. Statistical publications are clearly labeled as CBBH products. Information on major changes to source data and methods is released in advance.



Ethical standards

The CBBH has a code of conduct that provides comprehensive ethical guidelines for the staff of the CBBH. Staff are informed of the requirements.
Table 3a.Bosnia and Herzegovina: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 2 to 5—National Accounts
2. Methodological soundness3. Accuracy and reliability4. Serviceability5. Accessibility
Concepts and definitions.

The national accounts are compiled following the conceptual framework of the European System of Accounts 1995 (1995 ESA).

Scope.

Very few of the tables and accounts prescribed by the ISWGNA are produced. The aggregates produced are the annual value added and GDP at current prices and estimates of the gross national income and gross disposable income. A few deviations from the international standards also exist in the scope of the production and the assets boundary. Work is advanced to produce constant price estimates of GDP and the expenditure components of GDP. Experimental estimates of value added components are also at an advanced stage.

Classification/sectorization.

The Classification of Activities NACE Rev. 1 is used to classify the activities. Other classifications have been introduced for the purposes of compiling the GDP by expenditure, i.e. the Classification of Products by Activity (CPA) and the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) for household consumption classification. However, classification of institutional units by sector is based on legal status rather than economic criteria.

Basis for recording.

Valuation of GDP and value added broadly accord with international standards. All transactions are recorded on an accrual basis with the exception of government revenues (cash basis).
Source data.

A statistical register has not yet been established, the entities use separate address books for legal enterprises. Compilation of GDP estimates relies heavily on financial statements of enterprises in the absence of a regular program of surveys suitable for national accounts compilation. Source data providers for the unincorporated enterprises are mainly the tax authorities, complemented by other administrative records. Price and volume measures are not entirely suitable for compilation needs of constant price estimates.

Assessment of source data. Data used in GDP estimates' compilation are regularly assessed for coverage, misreporting, and sampling errors, where applicable. However, results of assessments are not actively used to improve source data. Source data for the informal sector, in particular agriculture, trade, and catering are not fully reliable.

Statistical techniques used in compilation of GDP by production are generally satisfactory. However, consumption of fixed capital, adjustment for holding gains, and accrual basis are not properly addressed. Estimates of the nonobserved economy are not yet incorporated into the accounts.

Assessment and validation of intermediate data and statistical outputs

Validation of data is made separately by entities at all stages of data processing. Assessment of discrepancies in intermediate results is made when they occur.

Revision studies are carried out but adequate use of the results is not made to improve on the statistical processes.
Periodicity and timeliness

Periodicity and timeliness follow the GDDS recommendations for the GDP at current prices (see Table 4).

Consistency.

Internal consistency is difficult to analyze in the absence of complementary GDP estimates. However, efforts should be made to improve internal and inter-sectoral consistency of data. In particular, national accounts need to be reconciled with GFS. Data are generally consistent over time. Recent revisions to GDP estimates have been incorporated consistently in the 2000-2005 series.

Revision policy and practice.

The revision cycle at BHAS is, in principle, coordinated with those at the entity level, but delays occur occasionally in its implementation. Preliminary data are clearly identified in all institutions' publications. Causes of revisions are mentioned in all publications but no analyses on revisions are made available to users.
Data accessibility GDP estimates are disseminated in publications and on the websites separately by the BHAS and by the entities. Presentation and level of detail are adequate for the BHAS and the Federation but less satisfactory for the RS. No publication includes data analyses and commentaries. Statistics are released simultaneously to all users. Data are usually released regularly although a preannounced schedule is not available.

Metadata accessibility.

A metadata summary is available in the institutions' publications and on their websites. However, no comprehensive source and methods document is available.

Assistance to users.

National accounts publications do not identify a contact person or, in some cases, BHAS does not provide sufficient contact information. Catalogs of publications are not available but each website includes a listing of publications and main survey results.
Table 3b.Bosnia and Herzegovina: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 2 to 5—Retail Price Index
2. Methodological soundness3. Accuracy and reliability4. Serviceability5. Accessibility
Concepts and definitions

The RPI is used in the entities as the official indicator of inflation. However it should be noted that a Consumer Price Index (CPI) is being developed according to international standards.

The concept underlying the weights of the RPI is the trade turnover, including services. It has a broader coverage than a CPI as it also includes products not used by consumers. The RPI is based on the methodology inherited from the former Yugoslavia, and therefore it predates the current international standards. Market prices are used in the compilation of the RPI, thus following international recommended practices.

Scope

No countrywide index is compiled. Separate RPIs are compiled for the entities and the district of Brcko.

Classification/sectorization

For the collection of prices and compilation of the RPI the old classification of products of the former Yugoslavia is used.

Basis for recording

Actual market prices charged by all types of outlets and service providers are collected for the compilation of the RPI every month. However, the product specifications slightly deviate from good practices as the terms of transactions are not part of the characteristics of the prices collected.
Source data

A comprehensive price survey is conducted monthly by the entities. However, no comprehensive data collection system exists to update the weights. Source data used to derive the weight system of the current RPIs are older than fifteen years. Additionally, these data are no longer available nor is the detailed underlying methodology.

Assessment of source data

Price data are regularly assessed by compilers but field inspection checks are limited.

Statistical techniques

A Laspeyres type formula is used for aggregating the elementary product price indices. However, weights are not aligned with the price reference period thus likely introducing a bias in the index. No specific adjustment for quality changes is made when introducing new products.

Assessment and validation of intermediate data and statistical outputs

Validation of intermediate results is limited and not systematic. A shortcoming is the lack of other comparable price indices that can be used for comparison.

Revision studies

No studies of revisions have been carried out since no major revisions have been introduced since the inception of the RPIs. Improvements in data collection have followed the identification of problems in the field work.
Periodicity and timeliness

The RPIs meet the GDDS recommendations for the inflation measures with respect to periodicity and timeliness. The indices are published regularly before the 15th of the month following the reference period.



Consistency

Consistent data series have been produced for more than ten years. The indices are calculated at the entity level only. No indices are calculated for cities, therefore no discrepancies arise from different typologies of aggregation.



Revision policy and practice

There is no revision policy established for revising the RPIs or updating their underlying weights, although the list of products composing the basket is updated every year to take into account the increasing share of new products.
Data accessibility

Data accessibility is in general good, although long-term series are not disseminated. The data on the RPI are available on the websites of the respective statistical institutions.



Metadata accessibility

There is no detailed metadata available on the compilation of the RPIs. Very limited description of sources and methods is published.



Assistance to users

Additional data and special tabulations are provided free of charge upon written request to the statistical institutions. Compilers are also keen to provide clarifications as needed. Although no specific names are given, the publications (also posted on the websites) provide all contact details for addressing inquiries, which are promptly handled by the institutions.
Table 3c.Bosnia and Herzegovina: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 2 to 5—Government Finance Statistics
2. Methodological soundness3. Accuracy and reliability4. Serviceability5. Accessibility
Concepts and definitions

Since the inception of the compilation of Government Finance Statistics (GFS) in BiH in 2003, the CBBH follows the definitions and concepts of the IMF's GFSM 2001.



Scope

Although the institutional coverage of GFS (general government) is broadly consistent with the GFSM 2001 and other internationally accepted guidelines, the coverage of transactions is not. The GFS does not cover the stocks and the cash flows of the institutional units that comprise general government, nor transactions relating to projects directly financed by international donors. The CBBH compiles only the Statement of Government Operations.



Classification/sectorization

The sectorization of government and the economic classification of transactions are broadly consistent with the GFSM 2001. Limited data on expense by function are available due to the differences in the functional classifications used in the entities.



Basis for recording

Stocks are valued at market prices. Transactions are recorded on a mixed accrual/cash basis.
Source data

Data are obtained from administrative records, financial accounts, and the Oracle Treasury system. Most data received cannot be electronically processed. Not all the statements recommended in the GFSM 2001 are compiled because the full range of economic stocks and flows are not available. Although timely, the source data as received by the CBBH do not approximate the definitions, scope, and classifications required. Even though additional data are obtained and appropriate bridge tables exist to facilitate the compilation, the level of detail in the source data is not always sufficient to ensure proper classification. Data on external government debt are obtained from the State Ministry of Finance and Treasury. Data on the level of outstanding government domestic debt are still in process of verification and legislative review, therefore the data are currently not available.



Assessment of source data

To the extent possible, automated procedures are used to facilitate the monitoring of the accuracy of data. Any data inconsistencies are discussed with the reporting institution.



Statistical techniques

Generally accepted statistical methods are used to adjust and consolidate GFS data.



Assessment and validation of intermediate data and statistical outputs

Assessment and validation of intermediate data and statistical outputs are conducted routinely. Statistical discrepancies and other potential problems are investigated and accounted for.



Revision studies

Revisions are monitored and analyzed. These are minimal due to the extensive use of accounting data as the data source to compile GFS, even at the preliminary stage.
Periodicity and timeliness

BiH meets or exceeds the periodicity and timelines recommended by the GDDS for general government operations and quarterly consolidated central government operations. However, although foreign government debt data are published quarterly, no data are yet disseminated on government domestic debt.



Consistency

General government finance data are internally consistent. No long-term time series are available, but the data are consistent for the time periods available. GFS and monetary statistics cannot be reconciled because of differences in sectorization, as well as a lack of detailed data and balance sheets. Except for projects directly financed by international donors, which are currently excluded from GFS, GFS and balance of payments use the same source data. GFS data are not reconciled with national accounts.



Revision policy and practice

Due to the recent inception of GFS, a regular and well-known timetable is not yet followed for revisions.
Data accessibility

The Statement of Government Operations is disseminated in a clear manner, with charts, tables, and commentaries to assist users. Although there is no Advance Release Calendar the data are released regularly by the CBBH on its website and in hardcopy.



Metadata accessibility

Documentation on the metadata is available on the website of the CBBH.



Assistance to users

Assistance to users is provided through addressing users' queries and information requests. The publications of the CBBH provide comprehensive contact information. A list of CBBH publications is posted on the CBBH's website.
Table 3d.Bosnia and Herzegovina: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 2 to 5—Monetary Statistics
2. Methodological soundness3. Accuracy and reliability4. Serviceability5. Accessibility
Concepts and definitions

Concepts and definitions used for compiling monetary statistics are broadly consistent with the framework as recommended in the IMF's Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual (MFSM).

Scope

The scope of the monetary statistics compiled by the CBBH is consistent with the MFSM guidelines. The depository corporation survey covers the CBBH and all other depository corporations in BiH.

Classification/sectorization

Classification and sectorization used for compiling monetary statistics are broadly consistent with MFSM guidelines. However, RS Road Fund is classified as public nonfinancial corporation based on legal decision instead of economic classification, and some MFSM- recommended categories of financial assets, such as shares and other equities, and insurance technical reserves are not separately shown.

Basis for recording

Accounting data of CBBH and banks used for compiling monetary statistics are on an accrual basis. Market valuation principles are applied except for nontradable assets (loans and deposits), which are recorded at nominal value consistent with the MFSM guidelines.
Source data

Source data, collected through a decentralized system involving CBBH Main Units, provide timely and sufficient information needed for classification/sectorization as recommended in MFSM.

Assessment of source data

Source data, primarily generated from accounting records of the banking sector, are routinely reviewed to ensure the accuracy and reliability.

Statistical techniques

Statistical techniques used are sound. Seasonal adjustments of data series use internationally accepted methods.

Assessment and validation of intermediate data and statistical outputs

Assessment and validation of intermediate data and statistical outputs are conducted routinely. Statistical discrepancies and other potential problems are investigated and taken into account in the future work program.

Revision studies

Revision studies are carried out regularly to measure the direction and magnitude of revisions and are used to inform future statistical processes.
Periodicity and timeliness

Monthly monetary statistics are available 5 weeks after the end of the reference month, which meet the periodicity and timeliness recommendations of GDDS.

Consistency

Internal data consistency of the monetary statistics dataset, such as inter-bank positions, is routinely checked. Consistent time series over a reasonable period of time are maintained. While data are consistent with corresponding measures of balance of payments, consistency checks with the GFS data are not possible due to lack of sufficiently detailed information. There are no formal procedures in place to conduct routine reconciliation between monetary data and the other two datasets.

Revision policy and practice

Revision policy and practice are adequate. Revisions follow a regular schedule. Preliminary data are clearly identified. Revision studies and analysis are published.
Data accessibility

Data accessibility is in line with internationally accepted practices. Presentation of statistics is clear, dissemination formats are adequate, dissemination of data to all users occur at the same time, and an advance release calendar is published.

Metadata accessibility

Metadata accessibility is adequate. Information on the underlying methodology used for compiling the data is available publicly. Detailed supplementary data are published to better meet users' needs.

Assistance to users

Assistance to users is provided through addressing users' queries and information requests. Detailed contact information is published on CBBH internet website. Listings of available data and metadata are posted on the CBBH's website.
Table 3e.Bosnia and Herzegovina: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 2 to 5—Balance of Payments Statistics
2. Methodological soundness3. Accuracy and reliability4. Serviceability5. Accessibility
Concepts and definitions

Concepts and definitions follow international standards, as stated in the fifth edition of the Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5), including the residence concept.



Scope

In accordance with international standards, the scope of balance of payments statistics is defined as transactions between residents and nonresidents.



Classification/sectorization

Classifications and sectorization in balance of payments statistics generally follow international standards, with some technical exceptions for components of capital transfers and direct investment income.



Basis for recording

CBBH adopts an accrual timing basis in its surveys, in accordance with international standards. However, data on exports and imports use a customs frontier basis as do most countries. As well, some other items, such as interest, are recorded on a payments basis.
Source data

Source data have significant gaps. These gaps arise because the BiH economy has international transactions that are difficult to measure. There are many small-scale cash transactions outside the banking and payment systems, and other transactions, such as services, compensation of employees, and remittances, which are difficult to record comprehensively. Trade data may also be subject to incomplete coverage and underinvoicing.



Assessment of source data

Staff regularly assess source data and have identified substantial shortcomings.



Statistical techniques

Suitable statistical techniques are used to adjust the data. Fixed ratio adjustments are made in several cases to take account of known shortcomings in the source data. While moving closer to correct values, these adjustments often lack a strong quantitative foundation, therefore, the estimates are subject to a high degree of uncertainty.



Assessment and validation of intermediate data and statistical outputs

CBBH staff review the data, identify problems during processing, and determine the extent of data shortcomings.



Revision studies

CBBH staff review quarter-to-quarter revisions and note the causes. However, there has been no long-term study to inform statistical processes.
Periodicity and timeliness

Balance of payments data are available quarterly within three months of the end of the reference quarter. Accordingly, they more than satisfy GDDS recommendations on periodicity and timeliness.



Consistency

Data are consistent over time and with monetary statistics. Data are consistent with GFS, except that balance of payments statistics also include all donor funded projects. Due to the limited scope of the national accounts, reconciliation is not applicable. There are large inconsistencies within the dataset, as evidenced by consistently positive net errors and omissions. These errors and omissions are believed to be caused by the data source shortcomings noted previously.



Revision policy and practice

A revision policy is implemented and available to users on request. Preliminary and/or revised data are clearly identified. An explanation of the major revisions in 2005 was published.
Data accessibility

Data are made available in a variety of formats (tables, charts, spreadsheets, commentary). The CBBH website provides a wide range of data free of charge. Data are made available to all users at the same time and in accordance with the Advance Release Calendar. Additional data are made available on request.



Metadata accessibility

Summaries of sources and methods are made available on the CBBH website. Documentation on adjustments is currently only made available to selected users, thereby limiting the transparency about the nature of adjustments made to source data by CBBH.



Assistance to users

Users' queries and information requests are satisfied. Contact information is provided on the CBBH website. A listing of publications and other available materials is posted on the CBBH website.

13. As input to the mission's assessment of the quality of official statistics produced by BiH, an informal survey of key users of macroeconomic statistics was conducted. While there was satisfaction with the coverage and detail of the published datasets, including their periodicity and timeliness and accessibility, satisfaction was considerably lower with regard to the methodological soundness and reliability of the data. The quality of BiH's statistics was largely perceived as worse than that of statistics disseminated by neighboring countries.

III. Staff's Recommendations

14. Based on the review of BiH's statistical practices, discussions with the data-producing agencies, and consultation (survey questionnaire) from some data users (see Appendix III of the Detailed Assessments volume), the mission has a set of recommendations. These recommendations are designed to increase further BiH's adherence to internationally accepted statistical practices and would, in the mission's view, enhance the analytical usefulness of BiH's statistics. Some additional technical suggestions are included in the Detailed Assessments volume.

Cross-cutting Recommendations

  • Strengthen the mandate of the BHAS to coordinate a cohesive national statistical program. Consideration should be given to assigning the BHAS a substantive official role in planning and implementing the work programs of the entity statistical institutes, inclusive of budget preparation processes.

  • Improve coordination and cooperation among statistical institutions that are responsible for compiling national accounts and price statistics to produce effective country-wide work programs. Establish working groups among major data producing agencies to improve data sharing and validation, thereby enhancing intersectoral consistency.

  • Conduct regular (quarterly or annual) inter-sectoral data consistency checks and produce reports on the conclusions of these checks.

  • Provide additional resources to statistical institutions responsible for compiling national accounts, prices, government finance, and balance of payments statistics.

  • Enhance the role of the Statistical Council in setting priorities for the country's work program by enlarging its composition to include representatives of the private sector.

  • Move forward with GDDS participation, so as to provide a framework for statistical improvements, reflecting national priorities. As a first step, appoint a GDDS country coordinator for BiH.

  • Prepare and disseminate detailed manuals of sources and methods used for the compilation of the national accounts and price statistics.

  • Establish formal procedures to identify users' needs.

  • Disseminate all data on the website in a format that is downloadable and user-friendly, such as Excel.

National Accounts

  • Finalize and publish the constant price GDP estimates and the expenditure components of GDP.

  • Finalize the estimates of the nonobserved economy and integrate them into the national accounts.

  • Advance the work for the construction of a business register making use of all available databases. Once the business register is available, (i) consider introducing regular business surveys and (ii) completing the identification of the institutional sectors countrywide.

  • Request resources to fund additional projects to conduct household budget surveys and labor force surveys. Additional resources are also required for producing a country-wide producer price index in order to improve the accuracy and reliability of the GDP estimates.

  • Undertake regular revision studies and publish the results.

  • Include commentary on particular data developments in publications to improve assistance to users.

Price Indices

  • Give highest priority to completing the compilation and dissemination of a countrywide CPI. When completed, discontinue production of the RPIs.

  • Improve data validation at all stages to enhance the accuracy and reliability of the final results.

  • Post monthly short- and long-term annual data series on the agencies' website in order to improve data accessibility.

Government Finance Statistics

  • Expand the institutional coverage of the GFS to include all the road funds.

  • Expand the data collection programs to include cash flow data (cash statement) and balance sheet data.

  • Apply the same institutional classification for general government in all sectors.

  • In order to assist with the inter-sectoral data consistency checks, undertake compilation of a financial balance sheet for the general government.

  • Continue to explore data sources to gain more information on projects directly financed by international donors.

  • In cooperation with the government institutions, include the GFS classification codes in their charts of accounts to improve the quality of the source data and to facilitate the processing of the data.

  • Disseminate data on domestic debt as soon as they become available.

Monetary Statistics

  • Establish formal arrangements for backing up the single staff member working on monetary and financial statistics in each CBBH main unit with a view to ensuring efficient use of existing staff resources.

  • Reclassify RS Road Fund from public nonfinancial corporation to government unit (extra-budgetary fund) based on economic classification instead of legal decision.

  • Show separately all categories of financial instruments in monetary data as recommended by the MFSM.

Balance of Payments Statistics

  • Develop additional data sources as resources become available, particularly surveys of household to collect data on remittances.

  • Work to obtain data on international arrivals and departures data, and on surveys of travelers' expenditure patterns to improve travel credits and debits.

  • Reclassify some items currently included in capital transfers to other items so as to be consistent with international definitions.

  • Reclassify interest from inter-company loans as income from direct investment instead of income from other investment.

  • Continue to review and improve adjustments based on additional information and studies and replace them with collected data, where possible.

Table 4.Bosnia and Herzegovina: Practices Compared to the GDDS Coverage Periodicity, and Timeliness of Data
GDDS Data CategoryCoverage (meets GDDS)PeriodicityTimeliness
GDDSBiHGDDSBiH
Comprehensive Framework
Real sector:National AccountsYesAA10−14 months7 months
Fiscal sector:Central govt. operationsYesAQ6−9 months3 months
General govt. operationsYesAA6−9 months6 months
General govt. debtForeign debt onlyAQ6−9 months3 months
Financial sector: Depository Corporations SurveyYesMM2−3 months5 weeks
External sector: Balance of paymentsYesAQ6−9 months3 months
International Investment Position (IIP)N/AAN/A6-9 monthsN/A
Data Categories and Indicators
Real Sector
National accounts aggregates:
GDP (nominal and real)Yes (nominal only)A (Q)A6−9 months7 months
Gross national income, capital formation, savingYesAA6−9 months11 months
Production index/indices
Manufacturing or industrial production index/indicesYesMM6−12 weeks25 days (Entities)
Primary commodity, agricultural, or other indices, as relevantN/AAs relevantN/A6−12 weeksN/A
Price indices:
Retail price indexYesMM1−2 months15 days (Entities)
Producer price indexYesMM1−2 months15 days (Federation)
Labor market indicators:
EmploymentYesABiannual6−9 monthsBiannual (Entities)
UnemploymentYesABiannual6−9 monthsBiannual (Entities)
Wages/earnings (all sectors)YesAM6−9 months45 days (Entities)
Fiscal Sector
Central government aggregates:
Central govt. budgetary aggregates: revenue, expenditure, balance, and financing with breakdowns (debt holder, instrument, currency)YesQQ1 quarter1 quarter
Interest paymentsYesQQ1 quarter1 quarter
Central government debt:
Central govt. debt: domestic and foreign debt, as relevant, withForeign debt onlyA (Q)Q1−2 quarters1 quarter
appropriate breakdowns (debt holder, instrument, currency)N/AA (Q)N/A1−2 quartersN/A
Government guaranteed debt
Financial Sector
Broad money and credit aggregatesYesMM1−3 months5 weeks
Central bank aggregatesYesMM1−2 months5 weeks
Interest rates:
Short- and long-term govt. security rates, policy variable rateN/AMN/A1/N/A
Money or interbank market rates and a range of deposit and lending ratesDeposit and lending rates meet GDDS recommendationsMM5 weeks
Stock market:
Share price index, as relevantN/AMN/A1/N/A
External Sector
Balance of payments aggregatesYesA (Q)Q6 months3 months
Public and publicly guaranteed external debt outstanding, with maturity breakdownGeneral govt. debt. No maturity breakdownQQ1−2 quarters1 quarter
Public and publicly guaranteed debt service scheduleN/A6 MN/A3−6 monthsN/A
Private external debt not publicly guaranteedN/AAN/A6−9 monthsN/A
International reserves:Yes, but in national currencyMM (published quarterly)1-4 months5 weeks
Gross official reserves denominated in U.S. dollars
Reserve-related liabilitiesYesMM1−4 months5 weeks
Merchandise trade:
Total exports and total importsYesMM8 wks-3 mths3 weeks
Major commodity breakdowns with longer time lapseYesMM8 wks-3 mths3 weeks
Exchange rates: spot ratesYesDailyM1/5−6 weeks
Italics indicate encouraged categories.D=daily; W=weekly; M=monthly; Q=quarterly; A=annual; N/A = not applicable/not available.

Dissemination as part of a high-frequency (e.g. monthly) publication.

Italics indicate encouraged categories.D=daily; W=weekly; M=monthly; Q=quarterly; A=annual; N/A = not applicable/not available.

Dissemination as part of a high-frequency (e.g. monthly) publication.

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