Selected Decisions and Selected Documents of the International Monetary Fund, Thirty-Third Issue December 31, 2010
Chapter

Article VIII, Section 5

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
April 2011
Share
  • ShareShare
Show Summary Details

Furnishing of Information

Strengthening the Effectiveness of Article VIII, Section 5

1. Pursuant to Article VIII, Section 5, the Fund decides that all members shall provide the information listed in Annex A to this decision, which is necessary for the Fund to discharge its duties effectively. Members shall provide the data specified in Annex A for the periods commencing after December 31, 2004, except as provided in paragraph 1(a). Reviews of Annex A shall be conducted together with reviews of data provision to the Fund for surveillance purposes, and the next review of Annex A and data provision to the Fund for surveillance purposes shall take place no later than April 30, 2013.1

(a) Members shall provide the data specified in paragraph (viii) of Annex A for the periods commencing after December 31, 2008.

2. When a member fails to provide information to the Fund as specified in Article VIII, Section 5 or in a decision of the Fund adopted pursuant to that Article including information listed in Annex A (hereinafter information required under Article VIII, Section 5), the procedural framework set forth in paragraphs 5 through 17 below shall apply. Failure to provide information includes both the nonprovision of information and the provision of inaccurate information.

3. A member has an obligation to provide information required under Article VIII, Section 5 to the best of its ability. Therefore, there is no breach of obligation if the member is unable to provide information required under Article VIII, Section 5 or to provide more accurate information than the information it has provided. However, a member that is unable to provide final data is obligated to provide provisional data to the best of its ability until it is in a position to provide the Fund with final data. When assessing a member’s ability to provide information, the Fund will give the member the benefit of any doubt.

4. In the context of performance criteria associated with the use of the Fund’s general resources, a member may be found in breach of its obligation under Article VIII, Section 5 only if (i) it has reported that a performance criterion was met when in fact it was not, or that a performance criterion was not observed by a particular margin and it is subsequently discovered that the margin of non-observance was greater than originally reported, and (ii) a purchase was made on the basis of the information provided by the member, or the information was reported to the Executive Board in the context of a review which was subsequently completed or of a decision of the Executive Board to grant a waiver for non-observance of the relevant performance criterion.

Procedures Prior to Report by the Managing Director to the Executive Board

5. Whenever it appears to the Managing Director that a member is not providing information required under Article VIII, Section 5, the Managing Director shall call upon the member to provide the required information; before making a formal representation to the member, the Managing Director shall inform, and enlist the cooperation of, the Executive Director for the member. If the member persists in not providing such information and has not demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Managing Director that it is unable to provide such information, the Managing Director shall notify the member of his intention to make a report to the Executive Board under Rule K-l for breach of obligation unless, within a specified period of not less than a month, such information is provided or the member demonstrates to his satisfaction that it is unable to provide such information.

6. Whenever it appears to the Managing Director that a member has provided inaccurate data on information required under Article VIII, Section 5, the Managing Director shall consult with the member to assess whether the inaccuracy is due to a lack of capacity on the part of the member; provided however, that in de minimis cases, as defined in paragraph 1 of Decision No. 13849, the preliminary communications and consultations with the member may be conducted by the Area Department. If, after the consultation with the member, the Managing Director finds no reason to believe that the inaccuracy is due to a lack of capacity on the part of the member, he shall notify the member of his intention to make a report to the Executive Board for breach of obligation under Rule K-l unless the member demonstrates to his satisfaction within a period of not less than one month that it was unable to provide more accurate information.

7. If the Managing Director concludes that the nonprovision of information or the provision of inaccurate information is due to the member’s inability to provide the required information in a timely and accurate fashion, he may so inform the Executive Board. In that case, the Executive Board may decide to apply the provisions of paragraph 10 below.

Report by the Managing Director

8. After the expiration of the period specified in the Managing Director’s notification to the member, the Managing Director shall make a report to the Executive Board under Rule K-l for breach of obligation, unless the Managing Director is satisfied that the member’s response meets the requirements specified in his notification. The report shall identify the nature of the breach and include the member’s response (if any) to the Managing Director’s notification, and may recommend the type of remedial actions to be taken by the member.

Consideration of the Report

9. Within 90 days of the issuance of the Managing Director’s report, the Executive Board will consider the report with a view to deciding whether the member has breached its obligations. Before reaching a decision, the Executive Board may request from the staff and the authorities additional clarification of the facts respecting the alleged breach of obligation; the Executive Board will specify a deadline for the provision of such clarification.

10. If the Executive Board finds that the member’s failure to provide information required under Article VIII, Section 5 is due to its inability to provide the information in a timely and accurate fashion, the Executive Board may call upon the member to strengthen its capacity to provide the required information and ask the Managing Director to report periodically on progress made by the member in that respect. The member may request technical assistance from the Fund.

11. (a) If the Executive Board finds that the member has breached its obligation, the Executive Board may call upon the member to prevent the recurrence of such a breach in the future and to take specific measures to that effect. Such measures may include the implementation of improvements in the member’s statistical systems or any other measures deemed appropriate in view of the circumstances.

  • (b) In addition, if the Executive Board finds that the member is still not providing the required information, the Executive Board will call upon the member to provide such information.

  • (c) The Executive Board will specify a deadline for taking any remedial actions specified under (a) and (b); in principle, the deadline will not exceed 90 days for actions specified under (b). The decision may note the intention of the Managing Director to recommend the issuance of a declaration of censure if the specified actions are not implemented within the specified period. In order to assist the Executive Board in identifying the appropriate actions to address a breach of obligation under Article VIII, Section 5, the member may, before the Board meeting, provide the Executive Board with a statement specifying the remedial actions it intends to take and a proposed timeframe. The member may also request technical assistance from the Fund.

  • (d) At the expiration of the period specified by the Executive Board, the Managing Director shall report to the Executive Board on the status of the specified actions. If the member has not taken the specified actions within the specified period, and depending on the circumstances of such failure, the Managing Director may recommend and the Executive Board may decide: (1) to extend the period before further steps under the procedural framework are taken; (2) to call upon the member to take additional remedial actions within a specified timeframe; or (3) to issue a declaration of censure against the member.

Declaration of Censure

12. If a member fails to implement the actions specified by the Executive Board before the established deadline, the Managing Director may recommend and the Executive Board may decide to issue a declaration of censure. Before the adoption of a declaration of censure, the Executive Board may issue a statement to the member setting out its concerns and giving the member a specified period to respond.

13. The declaration of censure will identify the breach of obligation under Article VIII, Section 5 and the specified remedial actions the member has failed to take within the specified timeframe. The declaration may specify a new deadline for the implementation by the member of the specified remedial actions; in addition, the declaration may identify further remedial actions for the member to implement before the specified deadline. It will note that the member’s failure to implement any of the actions called for in the declaration within the specified timeframe may result in the issuance of a complaint for in-eligibility under Article XXVI (a) and the imposition of this measure. At the expiration of the period specified by the Executive Board, the Managing Director shall report to the Executive Board on the status of the specified actions.

Sanctions under Article XXVI

14. Following the adoption of a declaration of censure, if the Executive Board finds that the member has failed to implement any of the actions called for in the declaration within the specified time-frame, the Managing Director may issue a complaint to the Executive Board and recommend that the Executive Board declare the member ineligible to use the general resources of the Fund for its breach of obligation under Article VIII, Section 5. The Executive Board decision declaring the member ineligible to use the general resources of the Fund will note that the member’s persistence in its failure to fulfill its obligations under Article VIII, Section 5 following the declaration of ineligibility may result in the issuance of a complaint for the suspension of the member’s voting and related rights and in the imposition of this measure.

15. If the member persists in its failure to fulfill its obligations under Article VIII, Section 5 for six months after the declaration of ineligibility, the Managing Director may issue a complaint and recommend that the Fund suspend the member’s voting and related rights. The Executive Board decision suspending the member’s voting and related rights will note that the member’s persistence in its failure to fulfill its obligations under Article VIII, Section 5 following the declaration of suspension of voting and related rights may result in the issuance of a complaint for compulsory withdrawal and in the initiation of the proceedings for the compulsory withdrawal of the member from the Fund.

16. If the member persists in its failure to fulfill its obligation under Article VIII, Section 5 for six months after the suspension of its voting rights, the Managing Director may initiate proceedings for the compulsory withdrawal of the member from the Fund.

17. All the Executive Board decisions arising from a breach of obligation taken under the procedures described above, including a decision to issue the statement of concern referred to in paragraph 12 above, will give rise to a public announcement with prior review of the text by the Executive Board.

18. (a) The following procedures shall apply to cases in which amember provides inaccurate information required under Article VIII, Section 5:

  • (i) for the purposes of a performance criterion under an arrangement in the General Resources Account, or

  • (ii) for another purpose in circumstances where the relevant information is reported to the Fund with respect to a performance criterion under an arrangement under a facility of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, or an assessment criterion under a Policy Support Instrument, and understandings have been reached between Fund staff and the relevant member that such reporting shall be made not only for the purposes of the relevant arrangement or instrument but for such other purposes as well, and where the deviation from the relevant performance criterion or assessment criterion, as the case may be, is judged to be de minimis as defined in paragraph 1 of Decision No. 13849.

(b) Whenever the Managing Director considers a deviation described in paragraph 18 (a) to be de minimis in nature:

  • (i) the consultations and notifications contemplated in paragraph 6 may be made by a representative of the relevant Area Department, and

  • (ii) the report of the Managing Director contemplated in paragraph 8 shall, wherever possible, be included in a staff report on the relevant member that deals with issues other than the potential breach of Article VIII, Section 5 and, with respect to potential remedial actions for such breach of obligation, shall include a recommendation that no further action by taken by the Fund. In those rare cases in which such a document cannot be issued to the Board promptly after the Managing Director concludes that a breach of obligation under Article VIII, Section 5 has arisen, the Managing Director shall consult Executive Directors and, if deemed appropriate by the Managing Director, a stand-alone report under Rule K-1 will be prepared for consideration by the Executive Board normally on a lapse-of-time basis.

(c) Whenever the Executive Board, under paragraph 1l(a), finds that a breach of obligation under Article VIII, Section 5 has occurred but that the relevant deviation was de minimis in nature as defined in paragraph 1 of Decision No. 13849,

  • (i) the Executive Board shall decide that no further action be taken by the Fund with respect to the breach, and

  • (ii) under paragraph 17, the finding of breach of obligation shall not be published by the Fund.

ANNEX A

The data referred to in paragraph 1 of this decision are the national data on the following matters:

  • (i) reserve, or base money;

  • (ii) broad money;

  • (iii) interest rates, both market-based and officially-determined, including discount rates, money market rates, rates on treasury bills, notes and bonds;

  • (iv) revenue, expenditure, balance and composition of financing (i.e., foreign financing and domestic bank and nonbank financing) for the general and central governments respectively1; the stocks of central government and central government-guaranteed debt, including currency and maturity composition and, if the debt data are amenable to classification on the basis of the residency or nonresidency of the holder, the extent to which the debt is held by residents or nonresidents;

  • (v) balance sheet of the central bank;

  • (vi) external current account balance;

  • (vii) exports and imports of goods and services;

  • (viii) for the monetary authorities: international reserve assets (specifying separately any reserve assets that are pledged or otherwise encumbered), reserve liabilities, short-term liabilities linked to a foreign currency but settled by other means, and the notional values of financial derivatives to pay and to receive foreign currency (including those linked to a foreign currency but settled by other means);

  • (ix) gross domestic product, or gross national product;

  • (x) consumer price index;

  • (xi) gross external debt1; and

  • (xii) consolidated balance sheet of the banking system.

Decision No. 13183-(04/10),

January 30, 2004,

as amended by Decision Nos.13814-(06/98), November 15, 2006,

13849-(06/108), December 20, 2006,

14107-(08/38), May 2, 2008, and

14354-(09/79), July 23, 2009,

effective January 7, 2010

The Acting Chair’s Summing Up—Review of Data Provision to the Fund for Surveillance Purposes Executive Board Meeting 08/38, May 2, 2008

Executive Directors welcomed the opportunity to review progress in members’ provision of data to the Fund for surveillance purposes, and the expanded data list adopted under the 2004 Decision on Strengthening the Effectiveness of Article VIII, Section 5. Directors stressed that timely and good quality data are crucial to Fund surveillance. Directors agreed with the thrust of the staff paper’s analysis and findings, and broadly endorsed the staff’s recommendations.

Data Provision Trends

Directors welcomed the progress made by members in providing adequate data to the Fund. They noted that significant data challenges remain in developing countries that have yet to attain market access, particularly in low-income or small countries. These challenges will require continued capacity building by the countries themselves, as well as the coordinated support of the international community. In this connection, Directors stressed the importance of targeted Fund technical assistance, within the established budgets, and of promoting dissemination of the core indicators required for surveillance under the General Data Dissemination System. They also encouraged donors to provide more targeted support to strengthening countries’ capacity to produce and disseminate statistics.

Treatment of Data Issues

Directors considered that there is room for improvement in the treatment of data issues in Article IV staff reports, and called for more candid assessments of data adequacy across countries. They agreed that, in cases where shortcomings in data provision significantly hamper surveillance, staff should highlight the implications of these deficiencies for its analysis and policy conclusions. In addition, in cases of severe deficiencies and where staff have had to construct key data based on limited information, staff should discuss with the authorities specific and prioritized remedial measures, and should report on this discussion. Most Directors supported the proposed new classification system for data adequacy as set out in paragraph 19 of the paper. Directors also supported the proposal that Statistical Issues Appendices be more focused and expanded to include financial sector data issues where warranted.

Handling of Potential Breaches of Article VIII, Section 5

Directors stressed that members should abide by their obligation to provide the Fund with data covered under Article VIII, Section 5 to the best of their ability. They encouraged management and staff to address vigorously this responsibility of members, while emphasizing the importance of a cooperative approach and of paying due attention to capacity limitations. Directors noted that the approach followed in recent years has been largely effective in resolving concerns that members may not be sharing data to the best of their ability. They pointed, however, to the wide variance in staff’s handling of such cases as an area for improvement, and stressed that staff must follow up expeditiously in cases where concerns arise. They endorsed the proposal to clarify guidance to staff regarding steps to follow when there is a concern that a member may not be complying with Article VIII, Section 5, to ensure consistent and evenhanded treatment. In cases of non-provision of data, most Directors agreed that there should be no delay in implementing the formal procedures specified under the 2004 Decision—including the “letter stage” where management notifies the member of its intention to inform the Board of a breach of obligation—once the criteria for moving to the letter stage are met, namely where the data are not provided and the member appears to have the capacity to provide the data. However, some Directors emphasized that staff should take care not to move to the letter stage prematurely. In cases where there are concerns that data are being provided late or inaccurately, staff should prepare a plan and timetable for following up on these concerns, including moving to the letter stage when necessary.

Evolving Data Needs

Directors had a wide-ranging discussion on how best to meet the evolving data needs of surveillance to keep pace with the changing global economic environment. Ongoing data initiatives have focused appropriately on positions and exposures across domestic sectors and vis-à-vis the rest of the world. These data are critical in assessing vulnerabilities, and have gained further prominence in light of recent global economic developments. Directors therefore broadly agreed that priority should remain on moving current initiatives forward and adapting them to absorb the new data provision requirements, rather than creating new ones. At the same time, a number of Directors noted the costs of enhanced data initiatives, for both the Fund and member countries, and emphasized that the costs and benefits of additional data collection should be carefully assessed. Many Directors stressed the importance of data on cross-border and intersectoral exposures and risks in advanced economies.

Directors were broadly supportive of the proposed approach to evolving data needs related to Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs), Currency Composition of Official Foreign Exchange Reserves (COFER), and assessing financial sector stability. On SWFs, many Directors supported the various data initiatives the Fund is undertaking as part of a wider effort to facilitate and coordinate work on a set of voluntary principles for SWFs, while at the same time, many Directors emphasized that data initiatives should not run ahead of collaborative and voluntary efforts to identify such principles. Noting the importance of COFER data for surveillance over the global economy and reserve currency economies, a number of Directors encouraged members who do not yet report such data to do so. Some Directors stressed that provision of COFER data should remain voluntary and confidential. In view of the increasing importance of data on intersectoral positions and exposures, Directors agreed that high priority should be attached to increasing the number of countries that report monetary and financial data using the Standardized Report Forms (SRFs), expanding the coverage of financial institutions in the monetary and financial statistics, and introducing additional information in SRFs for assessing financial sector stability. Current and planned efforts in the Fund with regard to Financial Soundness Indicators (FSIs) will also support better financial sector surveillance.

Directors endorsed the proposals in paragraph 42 of the paper to clarify and enhance the requirements for data provision to the Fund. Most Directors supported the proposal to incorporate International Investment Position (IIP) data into the Table of Common Indicators Required for Surveillance, although a number of Directors cautioned that close monitoring of reporting of IIP data should be accompanied by continued regard for the capacity constraints many countries face in producing them, and some Directors did not support the proposal on this account. Directors also agreed to expand the coverage of reserve liabilities and derivatives in the Annex of the 2004 Decision to include those linked to a foreign currency but settled in domestic currencies, for closer alignment with the practice in the template for International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity–the internationally accepted methodology for reserve reporting.

Directors agreed that with the discussions today, the Board concluded the review of Annex A envisaged under the 2004 Decision, and that future reviews of Annex A should be conducted together with the reviews of data provision to the Fund for surveillance purposes.

The next reviews are expected to be conducted in 2013, unless a need arises earlier.

BUFF/08/57,

May 12, 2008

Summing Up by the Acting Chairman—Standards for the Dissemination of Economic and Financial Statistics to the Public by Member Countries and Implementation of the SDDS Executive Board Meeting 96/36, April 12, 1996

Executive Directors noted that the Interim Committee, in its communiqué of October 8, 1995, had endorsed the establishment by the Fund of standards to guide members in the publication of their economic and financial data. Those standards would consist of two tiers: a general standard, and a more demanding standard, now designated as the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS). They recalled that the Interim Committee had requested that Fund members have the opportunity to subscribe to the SDDS by the time of the April 1996 Interim Committee meeting and were gratified that this objective would be achieved. Directors also appreciated the speedy staff work that had gone into the data dissemination initiative and the widespread consultation with users and producers of statistics, national authorities, and other international organizations that had been undertaken in preparation of the specific staff proposals.

Directors recalled their earlier approval, at the meeting of March 29, 1996, of the SDDS and of its immediate opening for subscription on a voluntary basis. They recognized that the establishment of the SDDS was an important step for the Fund and for its membership. Directors emphasized that in the initial phase the approach to its implementation would inevitably need to be both flexible and evolutionary.

Directors discussed the elaborations proposed by the staff regarding the timeliness of foreign trade data, the periodicity of foreign reserves data, some flexibility for release calendars, and procedures in case of possible non-observance of the SDDS. In light of the above considerations, the Executive Board approved those elaborations to the SDDS, whose scope and operational characteristics are set forth in the Annex to this summing up.

Executive Directors took note that a significant number of member countries had provided indications of their intention to subscribe to the SDDS and agreed that the electronic Data Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) should be open to the public by the end of August 1996. Directors also welcomed the preparation by the staff of an operations manual that would soon become available.

Directors observed that the SDDS was ambitious. At the same time, they welcomed the several aspects of flexibility built into the standard. They also noted that reviews of the operation of, and experience with, the SDDS would provide the opportunity to make adjustments that might be called for as experience accumulated through the transition period that would end at the close of 1998.

Directors agreed that invitations for subscription should be sent by the Managing Director as soon as possible. The package of materials would comprise a communication from the Managing Director, and, to be sent separately, this summing up with its Annex, and a paper entitled the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SM/96/83, Sup. 2, 4/15/96, to be circulated).

Directors called for work to continue on the elaboration of the general data dissemination standard for Board consideration before the end of 1996. They also called for a review of the operation of the special and general data dissemination standards by the end of 1997, and another review before the completion of the transition period at the end of 1998.

ANNEX1 Scope and Operational Characteristics of the Special Data Dissemination Standard

I. Purpose and framework

The purpose of the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) is to guide member countries in the provision to the public of comprehensive, timely, accessible, and reliable economic and financial statistics in a world of increasing economic and financial integration. The SDDS thus comprises four dimensions: (a) coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of data; (b) access by the public; (c) integrity of the disseminated data; and (d) quality of the disseminated data. For each of the four dimensions, the SDDS prescribes good practices that can be observed, or monitored, by users of statistics.

II. Dimensions of the SDDS

1. Coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of data

Comprehensive economic and financial data, disseminated on a timely basis, are essential to the transparency of macroeconomic performance and policy.

(A) Definitions and general considerations

(i) Coverage

In respect of coverage, the SDDS focuses on basic data that are most important in shedding light on economic performance and policy in four sectors across the economy—real, fiscal, financial, and external. The SDDS focuses on the minimum coverage necessary, but countries are encouraged to disseminate other data that may increase the transparency of economic performance and policy in general and for their own economic and financial situations in particular. For example, subscribers may take advantage of the possibility to provide—on a strictly voluntary basis—additional metadata to promote public knowledge and understanding of their practices with respect to measuring core inflation, forward-looking indicators, interest rates used as operating targets, financial soundness indicators, and gross outstanding external debt by remaining maturity.

This Annex incorporates amendments approved by the Executive Board including various reviews of the SDDS through March 12, 2010.

For each of the four sectors, the SDDS provides:

(a) a comprehensive statistical framework—national accounts for the real sector, government operations for fiscal data, depository corporations survey for financial data, and balance of payments accounts for external transactions;

(b) data that permit tracking of the principal measures in the comprehensive frameworks; and

(c) other data relevant to the sector.

These other data are often in the form of a price, including interest rates and exchange rates. The comprehensive frameworks and tracking categories are indicated in the attached Table 1.

(ii) Periodicity and timeliness

Table 1.The Special Data Dissemination Standard: Coverage, Periodicity, and Timeliness
CoveragePeriodicity1Timeliness1
PrescribedEncouraged categories and/or Components
Category 2Components
Real sector
GDP: nominal, real, and associated prices or price indices*GDP in current prices and GDP volume by production approach, with disaggregated components; or



GDP in current prices and GDP volume by expenditure category, with disaggregated components.
Saving; Gross national income.QQ
Production index/indices**Industrial, primary commodity, or sector, coverage as relevant.M (as relevant)6W (as relevant) (M encouraged)
Forward-looking indicator(s), for example, qualitative business surveys, orders, composite leading indicators.M or QM or Q
Labor marketEmployment, as relevant; Unemployment, as relevant; and Wages/earnings, as relevant.Q

(as relevant)
Q

(as relevant)
Price indicesConsumer prices; and Producer or wholesale prices.MM
Fiscal sector
General government operations (or public sector operations, as relevant)*For subscribers using the Manual on Government Finance Statistics 1986 (GFSM 1986) framework:
  • revenue;

  • expenditure;

  • balance (deficit/surplus);

  • aggregate financing, disaggregated by:

    • domestic financing (bank, non-bank),

    • foreign financing;

For subscribers using the GFSM 1986 framework:



Interest payments, indicated separately as a component of expenditure.



Financing of public enterprises separately identified.
A



(Q encouraged)
2Q



(Q encouraged)
General government operations (or public sector operations, as relevant)*If disaggregation by domestic (bank, nonbank) and foreign financing is not feasible, disaggregated by:
  • maturity, and either

  • instrument, or

  • currency of issue

A



(Q encouraged)
2Q



(Q encouraged)
For subscribers using the GFSM 2001 framework, see Tables 4.1a, 4.1b, and 4.1c of The Special Data Dissemination Standard: Guide for Subscribers and Users.For subscribers using the GFSM 2001 framework, see Tables 4.1a, 4.1b, and 4.1c of The Special Data Dissemination Standard: Guide for Subscribers and Users.
Central government operations**For subscribers using the GFSM 1986 framework:
  • revenue;

  • expenditure;

  • balance (deficit/surplus);

  • aggregate financing, disaggregated by:

    • domestic financing (bank, non-bank),

    • foreign financing;

If disaggregation by domestic (bank, nonbank) and foreign financing is not feasible, disaggregated by:
  • maturity, and either

  • instrument, or

  • currency of issue

For subscribers using the GFSM 1986 framework:



Interest payments, indicated separately as a component of expenditure.



Financing of public enterprises separately identified.
MM
Central government operations**











Central government debt
For subscribers using the GFSM 2001 framework, see Tables 4.1a, 4.1b, and 4.1c of The Special Data Dissemination Standard: Guide for Subscribers and Users.







Total, with disaggregated components: by maturity; and by residency (domestic, foreign); or by instrument; or by currency of issue. Non-central-government debt guaranteed by central government, as relevant.
For subscribers using the GFSM 2001 framework, see Tables 4.1a, 4.1b, and 4.1c of The Special Data Dissemination Standard: Guide for Subscribers and Users.



Debt service projections: Projected interest and amortization payments on medium-and long-term debt, provided quarterly for the coming four quarters, and annually thereafter; and Quarterly data on projected repayments of short-term debt.
M















Q
M















Q
Central government debtFor subscribers using the GFSM 2001 framework, see Tables 4.1a and 4.1d of The Special Data Dissemination Standard: Guide for Subscribers and Users.For subscribers using the GFSM 2001 framework, see Tables 4.1a and 4.1d of The Special Data Dissemination Standard: Guide for Subscribers and Users.QQ
Financial sector
Depository corporations survey*



(formerly called Analytical accounts of banking sector)
Broad money (for example, M3);







Domestic claims, disaggregated into:



(1a) net claims on general government (covering central, state, and local governments); or



(1b) claims on nonfinancial public sector (if public sector operations represent the comprehensive framework for the fiscal sector); and
Narrower (lower- ordered) monetary aggregates (such as M1 and M2);



Claims on other resident sectors, disaggregated into:



(1) Other financial corporations;
MM
Depository corporations survey*(2) claims on other resident sectors; and



Net foreign assets.



or



Total foreign assets.



Total foreign liabilities.
(2) Public nonfinancial corporations (not applicable if claims on nonfinancial public sector are disseminated);



(3) Other nonfinancial corporations; and



(4) Other resident sectors.
MM
Central bank survey**



(formerly called Analytical accounts of the central bank)
Monetary base; Domestic claims, disaggregated into:



(1a) net claims on general government (covering central, state, and local governments), or



(1b) claims on nonfinancial public sector (if public sector operations represent the comprehensive framework for the fiscal sector); and
Claims on other resident sectors, disaggregated into:



Other financial corporations;



Public non-financial corporations (not applicable if claims on nonfinancial public sector are disseminated);
M (W encouraged)2W (W encouraged)
Central bank survey**(2) claims on all other resident sectors; and



Net foreign assets.



or



Total foreign assets.



Total foreign liabilities.
Other nonfinancial corporations; and



Other resident sectors.
M (W encouraged)2W (W encouraged)
Interest ratesShort-term and long-term government security rates; and



Policy-oriented rate (for example, central bank lending rate).
Range of representative deposit and lending ratesD3
Financial soundness indicators (FSIs):



Regulatory Tier I capital to riskweighted assets



Regulatory Tier I capital to assets



Nonperforming loans net of provisions to capital



Nonperforming loans to total gross loans



Return on assets



Liquid assets to short-term liabilities



Net open position in foreign exchange to capital
Q1Q
Stock marketShare price index, as relevantD3
External sector
Balance of payments*Current account, disaggregated by:



(1) Goods: exports;



(2) Goods: imports;



(3) Services: credit;



(4) Services: debit;



(5) Income: credit;



(6) Income: debit;



(7) Current transfers: credit; and



(8) Current transfers: debit.



Capital account, disaggregated by:



(1) capital account: credit; and



(2) capital account: debit.



Disaggregation according to the standard components of internationally accepted statistical methodologies.QQ
Balance of payments*Financial account, disaggregated by:



(1) direct investment abroad;



(2) direct investment in reporting economy;



(3) portfolio investment, assets;



(4) portfolio investment, liabilities;



(5) other investment, assets;



(6) other investment, liabilities; and



(7) reserve assets.



Net errors and omissions.
Under financial account, separately report data on financial derivatives; assets and liabilities.QQ
Official reserve assets**Total amount of official reserve assets, disaggregated into:



(1) foreign currency reserves;



(2) IMF reserve position;



(3) SDRs;



(4) Gold; and



(5) other reserve assets.



M (W encouraged)1W
Template on International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity**See Table 2 of this Annex, Scope and Operational Characteristics of the Special Data Dissemination Standard.See the Pro Memoria component in Section III, item 5 of Table 2 of this Annex, Scope and Operational Characteristics of the Special Data Dissemination Standard.M (W encouraged)1M (1W encouraged)
Merchandise trade**Trade balance, disaggregated into:



(1) merchandise imports; and



(2) merchandise exports.
Disaggregation by major components, with longer time lapse.M8W (4-6W encouraged)
International investment positionAssets, disaggregated by:
  • direct investment abroad;

  • portfolio investment, disaggregated by:

    • (1) equity securities;

    • (2) debt securities;

  • other investment; and

  • reserve assets.

Disaggregation of assets and liabilities according to the standard components of internationally accepted statistical methodologies.

Under assets and liabilities, separately report data on financial derivatives.4
A

(Q encouraged); effective September 2014, Q prescribed
3Q

(1Q encouraged); effective September 2014, 1Q prescribed
International investment positionLiabilities, disaggregated by:
  • direct investment in reporting economy;

  • portfolio investment, disaggregated by:

    • (1) equity securities;

    • (2)debt securities; and

  • other investment.

A

(Q encouraged); effective September 2014, Q prescribed
3Q

(1Q encouraged); effective September 2014, 1Q prescribed
External debtSee Table 3 of this Annex, Scope and Operational Characteristics of the Special DataDissemination Standard.See Tables 6.2b and 6.2c of The Special Data Dissemination Standard: Guide for Subscribers and Users.



Principal and interest payments due in one year or less, by sector (see Table 4)
QQ
Exchange ratesSpot rates; and 3- and 6-month forward market rates, as relevant.D3
Addendum: PopulationKey distributions, for example, by age and sex.A5
Source: IMF Statistics Department

Periodicity refers to the frequency of compilation of the data. Timeliness refers to the speed of dissemination of the data; that is, the lapse of time between a reference date (or close of a reference period) and dissemination of the data. Dissemination of statistics may take several forms, including: formal publications (including news releases); announcement of availability on request (but not necessarily without charge), including through electronic databases; diskettes, tapes, or CD-ROM of a formal publication or a database; and recorded telephone messages and facsimile services.

(B) Specifications

The SDDS specifications for coverage, periodicity, and timeliness are summarized in the attached Table 1. Further specifications that apply to international reserves and foreign currency liquidity are set out in the attached Table 21; those for external debt are shown in Tables 3 and 4. Within the specifications, some data categories or components are designated “as relevant.” This designation recognizes that the relevance of a specific data category or component to an economy should be taken into account. If a data category or component is not relevant to a subscribing country, the subscribing country is deemed to be in observance of the SDDS with respect to the specific category or component even if it does not produce and disseminate data pertaining to that category or component. The “as relevant” provision can be applied in cases where a certain specification called for in the SDDS is inapplicable to an economy or where a certain financial instrument or market does not exist in the economy. However, when the specifications apply, the markets exist, or the financial instruments and arrangements are in use, the “as relevant” provision is not to be invoked. Where the coverage components, periodicity, or timeliness is designated as “encouraged” that feature would not be binding under the SDDS, but countries are encouraged to develop and disseminate such data categories in the indicated periodicity and timeliness.

Table 2.Data Template on International Reserves/Foreign Currency Liquidity

(Information to be disclosed by the monetary authorities and other central government, excluding social security) 1,2,3

I. Official reserve assets and other foreign currency assets (approximate market value)4
  • A. Official reserve assets

    • (1) Foreign currency reserves (in convertible foreign currencies)

      • (a) Securities

        • of which: issuer headquartered in reporting country but located abroad

      • (b) total currency and deposits with:

        • (i) other national central banks, BIS and IMF

        • (ii) banks headquartered in the reporting country

          • of which: located abroad

        • (iii) banks headquartered outside the reporting country

          • of which: located in the reporting country

    • (2) IMF reserve position

    • (3) SDRs

    • (4) Gold (including gold deposits and, if appropriate, gold swapped) 5

      • —volume in fine troy ounces

    • (5) Other reserve assets (specify)

      • —financial derivatives

      • —loans to nonbank nonresidents

      • —other

    • B. Other foreign currency assets (specify)

      • —securities not included in official reserve assets

      • —deposits not included in official reserve assets

      • —loans not included in official reserve assets

      • —financial derivatives not included in official reserve assets

      • —gold not included in official reserve assets

      • —other

II. Predetermined short-term net drains on foreign currency assets (nominal value)
TotalMaturity breakdown (residual maturity)
Up to 1 monthMore than 1 month and up to 3 monthsMore than 3 months and up to 1 year
1. Foreign currency loans, securities, and deposits 6
outflows (-)Principal Interest
inflows (+)Principal Interest
2. Aggregate short and long positions in forwards and futures in foreign currencies vis-à-vis the domestic currency (including the forward leg of currency swaps) 7
(a) Short positions (-)
(b) Long positions (+)
3. Other (specify)
outflows related to repos (-)
inflows related to reverse repos (+)
trade credit (-)
trade credit (+)
other accounts payable (-)
other accounts receivable (+)
III. Contingent short-term net drains on foreign currency assets (nominal value)
TotalMaturity breakdown (residual maturity, where applicable)
Up to 1 monthMore than 1 month and up to 3 monthsMore than 3 months and up to 1 year
1. Contingent liabilities in foreign currency
(a) Collateral guarantees on debt falling due within 1 year
(b) Other contingent liabilities
2. Foreign currency securities issued with embedded options (puttable bonds) 8
3. Undrawn, unconditional credit lines9 provided by:
(a) other national monetary authorities, BIS, IMF, and other international organizations
—other national monetary authorities (+)
—BIS (+)
—IMF (+)
—other international organizations (+)
(b) banks and other financial institutions headquartered in the reporting country (+)
(c) banks and other financial institutions headquartered outside the reporting country (+)
4. Undrawn, unconditional credit lines provided to:
(a) other national monetary authorities, BIS, IMF, and other international organizations
—other national monetary authorities (-)
—BIS (-)
—IMF (-)
—other international organizations (-)
(b) banks and other financial institutions headquartered in the reporting country (-)
(c) banks and other financial institutions headquartered outside the reporting country (-)
5. Aggregate short and long positions of options in foreign currencies vis-à-vis the domestic currency 10
(a) Short positions
(i) Bought puts
(ii) Written calls
(b) Long positions
(i) Boughtcalls
(ii) Written puts
PROMEMORIA: In-the-money options 11
(1) At current exchange rates
(a) Short position
(b) Long position
(2) + 5% (depreciation of 5%)
(a) Short position
(b) Long position
(3) - 5% (appreciation of 5%)
(a) Short position
(b) Long position
(4) + 10% (depreciation of 10%)
(a) Short position
(b) Long position
(5) - 10% (appreciation of 10%)
(a) Short position
(b) Long position
(6) Other (specify)
IV. Memo items
  • (1) To be reported with standard periodicity and timeliness: 12

    • (a) short-term domestic currency debt indexed to the exchange rate

    • (b) financial instruments denominated in foreign currency and settled by other means (for example, in domestic currency) 13

      • —derivatives (forwards, futures, or options contracts)

      • —short positions

      • —long positions

      • —other instruments

    • (c) pledged assets 14

      • —included in reserve assets

      • —included in other foreign currency assets

    • (d) securities lent and on repo 15

      • —lent or repoed and included in Section I

      • —lent or repoed but not included in Section I

      • —borrowed or acquired and included in Section I

      • —borrowed or acquired but not included in Section I

    • (e) financial derivative assets (net, marked to market) 16

      • —forwards

      • —futures

      • —swaps

      • —options

      • —other

    • (f) derivatives (forward, futures, or options contracts) that have a residual maturity of greater than one year.

      • —aggregate short and long positions in forwards and futures in foreign currencies vis-à-vis the domestic currency (including the forward leg of currency swaps)

    • (a) short positions (-)

    • (b) long positions (+)

      • —aggregate short and long positions of options in foreign currencies vis-à-vis the domestic currency

    • (a) short positions

      • (i) bought puts

      • (ii) written calls

    • (b) long positions

      • (i) bought calls

      • (ii) written puts

  • (2) To be disclosed less frequently:

    • (a) currency composition of reserves (by groups of currencies)

      • —currencies in SDR basket

      • —currencies not in SDR basket

      • —by individual currencies (optional)

Notes to Table 2 (subtables I-IV):
Table 3.Gross External Debt Position by Sector
Gross External Debt PositionEnd Period
General Government
Short-term
Money market instruments
Loans
Trade credits
Other debt liabilities*
Long-term
Bonds and notes
Loans
Trade credits
Other debt liabilities*
Monetary Authorities
Short-term
Money market instruments
Loans
Currency and deposits**
Other debt liabilities*
Long-term
Bonds and notes
Loans
Currency and deposits**
Other debt liabilities*
Banks
Short-term
Money market instruments
Loans
Currency and deposits**
Other debt liabilities*
Long-term
Bonds and notes
Loans
Currency and deposits**
Other debt liabilities*
Other Sectors
Short-term
Money market instruments
Loans
Currency and deposits**
Trade credits
Other debt liabilities*
Long-term
Bonds and notes
Loans
Currency and deposits**
Trade credits
Other debt liabilities*
Direct Investment: Intercompany Lending***
Debt liabilities to affiliated enterprises
Debt liabilities to direct investors
Gross External Debt
Notes to Table 3:
Table 4.Gross Outstanding External Debt: Principal and Interest Payments Due in One Year or Less(In millions of currency units)(In millions of currency units)
By Sector
General Government
Principal
Interest
Monetary authorities
Principal
Interest
Banks
Principal
Interest
Other Sectors
Principal
Interest
Direct investment – Intercompany len
Principal
Interest
Total
Principal
Interest

The prescribed comprehensive statistical framework for the real sector is the national accounts, consisting of nominal levels, real (price-adjusted) levels, and associated prices (deflators or price indices). The data category intended to track GDP on a more frequent basis is a single production index or a selection of production indices. For price statistics, consumer price indices and producer or wholesale price indices are prescribed.

For the fiscal sector, the prescribed comprehensive statistical framework covers the general (central plus state or provincial and local) government or the public sector, depending on which coverage is the focus of policy and analysis in a particular country. As more frequent and timely tracking indicators of fiscal stance, central government indicators are prescribed. Data for government debt are prescribed in terms of central government debt.

For the financial sector, the prescribed comprehensive statistical framework is the depository corporations survey (DCS). The DCS is to cover all depository corporations, which include the central bank and all other depository corporations (ODCs). The ODCs, in turn, are to cover resident financial corporations and quasi-corporations that mainly engage in financial intermediation and that issue liabilities included in the national definition of money. The data category prescribed to track banking system data on a more timely basis is the central bank survey. Interest rates should include rates on short- and long-term government securities as appropriate to the country. Data on financial soundness indicators with quarterly periodicity and timeliness are encouraged for dissemination, as shown in Table 1.

For the external sector, balance of payments data are the prescribed comprehensive statistical framework. On a more frequent and timely basis, official reserve assets, data on international reserves and foreign currency liquidity, and merchandise trade are called for a tracking categories. The dissemination of monthly official reserve assets (total and key components covering foreign currency reserves, IMF reserve position, SDRs, gold, and other reserve assets) within one week is prescribed. The dissemination of the data template on international reserves and foreign currency liquidity, as shown in the attached Table 2, is prescribed with monthly periodicity and timeliness; weekly periodicity and timeliness are encouraged. Countries that wish to have their data on international reserves and foreign currency liquidity included in the Fund’s database and re-disseminated over the Fund’s external web site should report such data in the format of Table 2. With respect to the international investment position (IIP), annual data (encompassing components consistent with internationally accepted statistical methodologies) are to be disseminated within three quarters after the end of the reference year; quarterly periodicity and timeliness are encouraged. However, quarterly IIP data with quarterly timeliness will be prescribed after a four-year transition period. Therefore, beginning with IIP data observations for the first and second quarters of 2014 (and subsequent periods), quarterly data are prescribed for dissemination starting at the end of September 2014. Exchange rates should be disseminated on a daily basis, as should forward exchange rates (three- and six-month rates) on an “as relevant” basis if a robust forward market exists. There is also a separate data category for external debt, with data covering four sectors: (1) the general government, (2) the monetary authorities, (3) the banking sector, and (4) all other sectors. These data are to be disseminated with quarterly periodicity and timeliness. Data should also be disaggregated by maturity—short and long term—on an original maturity basis and by instrument, as set out in the attached Table 3. In addition, a simplified set of data on gross outstanding external debt by remaining maturity (Table 4) is encouraged for dissemination containing principal and interest payments due in one year or less, disaggregated by sector, with quarterly periodicity and quarterly timeliness. Nevertheless, the SDDS still encourages the dissemination of more detailed supplementary information on future debt service payments on gross outstanding external debt, in which the principal and interest components are separately identified, twice yearly for the first four quarters and the following two semesters ahead, with a lag of one quarter. Finally, the dissemination of external debt data disaggregated by currency (domestic and foreign) with quarterly periodicity and timeliness is encouraged.

(C) Flexibility

Under the SDDS, a member that does not produce or disseminate data categories/components designated “as relevant” would nevertheless be deemed to be in observance of the coverage specifications of the specific data categories or components of the SDDS. However, the “as relevant” provision is not to be invoked when the conditions under which the provision was applied no longer exist. In addition, a member may take either or both of two flexibility options in respect of periodicity and timeliness. First, for the national accounts and balance of payments, although the quarterly specification for periodicity must be met, the specified data may be issued on a less timely basis than prescribed in the event that the data category or categories indicated as tracking the principal measures in these comprehensive statistical frameworks are disseminated with the periodicity and timeliness prescribed for the tracking categories. Second, for any other two prescribed data categories, except international reserves and external debt, periodicity may be less frequent and/or the specified data may be issued on a less timely basis than prescribed. The flexibility provided for periodicity and timeliness is not open-ended. The extra allowance for compilation or dissemination under the flexibility options, unless indicated separately for specific data categories or components, is usually not to exceed one reference period, and the data are to be disseminated no later than the next due date. (For example, for quarterly data to be disseminated within one quarter after the end of the reference period, if a timeliness flexibility option is taken, the data should be released to the public no later than two quarters after the end of the reference period.)

In addition, subscribers may exercise a targeted flexibility option for the timeliness of monthly central government operations that is available for subscribers disseminating, with a one-quarter lag, quarterly accrual-based general government operations (GGO) data in line with the Fund’s Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001 or an equivalent standard. This targeted flexibility option would be allowed for the last month of the fiscal year (up to three months lag) and the first month of the new fiscal year (up to two months lag). In order to make use of this flexibility option, a subscriber would need to begin disseminating quarterly GGO data for at least the last quarter of the fiscal year in which the option is exercised.

2. Access by the public

Dissemination of official statistics is an essential feature of statistics as a public good. Ready and equal access is a principal requirement for the public, including market participants. To support ready and equal access, the SDDS prescribes:

(a) Advance dissemination of release calendars, with flexibility for the distribution of the release dates for up to two data categories; and

(b) Simultaneous release to all interested parties.

3. Integrity

To fulfill the purpose of providing the public with information, official statistics must have the confidence of their users. In turn, confidence in the statistics ultimately becomes a matter of confidence in the objectivity and professionalism of the agency producing the statistics. Transparency of its practices and procedures is a key factor in creating this confidence. To assist users of the data disseminated under the SDDS in assessing their integrity, the SDDS prescribes:

(a) the dissemination of the terms and conditions under which official statistics are produced, including those relating to the confidentiality of individually identifiable information;

(b) the identification of internal government access to data before release;

(c) the identification of ministerial commentary on the occasion of statistical release; and (d) the provision of information about revision and advance notice of major changes in methodology.

4. Quality

A set of standards that deals with coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of data must also address the quality of statistics. Subscribers are encouraged to adopt and implement internationally accepted statistical methodologies for the data categories covered by the SDDS (a specified list of these methodologies is posted on the Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB, see Section III.2). Although quality is difficult to judge, monitorable proxies, designed to focus on information the user needs to judge quality, can be useful. To assist users of the data disseminated under the SDDS in assessing their quality, the SDDS prescribes:

(a) the dissemination of documentation on methodology and sources used in preparing statistics;

(b) the dissemination of component detail, reconciliations with related data, and statistical frameworks that support statistical cross-checks and provide assurance of reasonableness; and

(c) the dissemination of deviations from internationally accepted statistical methodologies in the metadata. The deviations should be specified in the relevant indicators of the metadata (i.e., information describing methodology) posted on the DSBB. In instances where a subscriber has not provided clear metadata on deviations from internationally accepted statistical methodologies, the SDDS nonobservance procedures would apply (see section III.4).

SDDS subscribers are also encouraged to undertake and publish a data quality assessment, using a recognized data quality assessment tool, such as the Fund’s Data Module of the Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes that uses the Data Quality Assessment Framework, or the Eurostat or ECB data quality monitoring frameworks. Reassessments should take place at no more than seven-to-ten-year intervals. Assessments (and reassessments) could be conducted by Fund staff, or alternatively, a subscriber could request another subscriber or external agency to conduct a peer review exercise.

III. Implementation of the SDDS

1. Subscription to the SDDS

Subscription to the SDDS by members of the Fund is on a voluntary basis. Members that wish to subscribe to the SDDS should first communicate this intention to the staff of the Fund, with an undertaking to provide to the staff metadata (other than the summary descriptions of methodology) as soon as possible.

Upon receipt of the necessary metadata from a member, the Fund staff would work with the member to determine where its practices stood with respect to the SDDS as well as to identify any changes in practices that would be needed. If no changes were needed, the member may proceed to inform the Secretary of the Fund of its subscription to the SDDS. If changes to a member’s practices are required, the member may, after the necessary changes have been discussed with the Fund staff and implemented, proceed to inform the Secretary of the Fund of its subscription to the SDDS. In this regard, a member may make known publicly its intent to improve its data and dissemination practices with the goal of subscribing to the SDDS.

In all cases, the Fund’s public identification of a member’s subscription to the SDDS will be made through the posting of the member’s metadata on the DSBB (see section III.2). Within three months of the posting of the member’s metadata on the DSBB, the member would need to provide to the Fund staff the summary descriptions of methodology called for under the SDDS.

2. Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board

As a cornerstone of the implementation of the SDDS, the Fund, as a service to its members, has established and maintained an electronic DSBB on the Internet. The DSBB identifies the members subscribing to the SDDS and provides wide and easy access to the members’ respective metadata. The responsibility for the accuracy of the metadata and of the economic and financial statistics underlying the metadata rests with member countries.

Subscribers to the SDDS are required to establish a national summary data page (NSDP) on the Internet, which is to be linked to the DSBB electronically through “hyperlinks” on the latter. The NSDP is to contain, at a minimum, the most recent observation for the prescribed data category and the next most recent observation, and can also contain additional information. Responsibility for the data on the NSDP rests with individual subscribers.

Subscribers are required to certify, on an annual basis, the accuracy of the metadata posted on the DSBB. Under this process, subscribers will notify the Fund staff, within one month after the end of each calendar year, that either: (1) all of the metadata posted on the DSBB are fully accurate; or (2) certain metadata are inaccurate. In the latter case, subscribers would need to provide the corrected metadata together with the annual certification. The DSBB will post the date on which the metadata were last certified by the subscriber.

There may be situations where a subscriber, during the period between certification dates for the metadata, makes changes to its practices that affect the accuracy of the metadata posted on the DSBB. In such situations, the subscriber should inform the Fund staff of these changes, and amend the affected metadata expeditiously (within the calendar quarter when those changes have occurred). Pending revision of the metadata on the DSBB, a note may be posted on the DSBB indicating that the metadata in question are in the process of being updated.

3. Automated Monitoring Arrangements

Subscribers are required to use standardized electronic reporting procedures established from time to time by the Fund staff in consultation with subscribers, which will allow the Fund staff to effectively monitor subscribers’ observance of the SDDS. Specifically, under these procedures, subscribers are required to (1) report advance release calendars to the Fund staff; (2) adopt the formats for the subscribers’ NSDPs that will allow the Fund staff to electronically capture information on such NSDPs, including the date of release and the reference period of the most recently disseminated data for each of the prescribed data categories; (3) certify on an annual basis the accuracy of the metadata posted on the DSBB as prescribed in section III.2 above; and (4) report updated metadata to the Fund staff.

4. Observance of the SDDS and Removal from the DSBB

Subscribers to the SDDS are expected to observe the elements of its four dimensions described in section II above, to maintain an NSDP, and observe the metadata certification requirement in section III.2 above and the monitoring requirements set forth in section III.3 above. Deviations of any kind from SDDS undertakings will be brought immediately to the attention of the subscriber. Subsequent steps for dealing with such deviations will follow a graduated approach that distinguishes between minor and serious deviations.

The Fund staff would monitor regularly the observance by subscribers of the requirements of the data dimension (section II.1 above), the advance release calendars element of the access dimension (section II.2.(a) above), the certification requirement (section III.2 above), and the automated monitoring requirements (section III.3 above). In cases of nonobservance of the practices prescribed for these items, the Fund staff would try to resolve the issue with the subscriber, at first directly, and then, if necessary, through the Executive Director representing the subscriber in the Fund. If these efforts fail to produce a satisfactory solution, the matter would be brought to the attention of the subscriber’s Governor for the Fund. At the same time, the Fund staff could post a note on the DSBB indicating that the Fund staff has determined that the subscriber is not in observance of its undertakings under the SDDS. The note would also describe the problem, the subscriber’s response to the problem and the efforts under way to remedy it. If the problem persisted thereafter without the subscriber taking satisfactory corrective measures, the matter would be referred to the Executive Board of the Fund, which could decide to delete the metadata of that subscriber from the DSBB.

Finally, an annual report that assesses each subscribing member’s observance of its undertakings under the SDDS will be posted on the DSBB.

5. Review, Revisions, and Withdrawal

Reviews of the SDDS will be conducted by the Fund at intervals determined by the Executive Board of the Fund. At the completion of these reviews, revisions of the SDDS may be adopted. A member may withdraw its subscription to the SDDS at any time by sending a notification to the Managing Director of the Fund. The relevant metadata would be removed promptly from the DSBB.

Summing Up by the Acting Chairman—General Data Dissemination System Executive Board Meeting 97/125, December 19, 1997

Executive Directors welcomed the report provided in SM/97/275 and the staff proposal for the establishment of the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS). They recognized that the establishment of the GDDS was an important step for all Fund members not only in providing guidance in the provision of data to the public, but also in encouraging improvements in the quality and accessibility of economic, financial, and socio-demographic data.

In light of the above considerations, the Executive Board approved today the establishment of the GDDS, whose scope, operational characteristics, and mode of implementation are set forth in the revised draft Annex V of SM/97/275, Correction 1.

Executive Directors generally agreed with the purposes and orientation of the GDDS. In particular, Directors supported a system that recognized that for many countries improvements in data quality were a necessary precursor to enhanced dissemination of data to the public. The GDDS was seen as a useful framework for development of a broad range of statistics, including major macroeconomic and financial data, as well as socio-demographic indicators.

Directors endorsed the staff’s proposals concerning implementation by countries of the General System. They agreed that participation in the GDDS should be voluntary, and they supported the three elements of participation: commitment to use the GDDS as a framework for statistical development; designation of a country coordinator to work with the Fund; and development of metadata. The metadata were considered important as a means for identifying strengths and weaknesses in existing data systems, developing plans for improving data, and providing users with a means for assessing countries’ practices and developmental plans against the objectives recommended by the General System. As the GDDS was recognized as a long-term exercise for many countries, the metadata were also seen as useful for tracking counties’ improvements over time. The recommendation in the GDDS to focus primarily on a set of core frameworks and indicators, supplemented by encouraged data systems and categories, was viewed as useful, as it made the General System relevant to a very broad range of countries and provided a clear set of links between the GDDS and the SDDS. These links would be particularly helpful to countries that wished to use participation in the GDDS as a step toward subscription to the SDDS.

A few Directors suggested a number of additions to the core data specifications of the GDDS, including in the areas of national accounts, and more fiscal data, including off-budget transactions, and the accounts of local and regional governments. The staff will explore these suggestions and report in the context of the next review of the GDDS.

Most Directors supported inclusion in the GDDS of a set of sock-demographic indicators because of the importance of these data in assessing economic developments in many of the likely participating countries. However, some Directors reiterated that the responsibility for development of social indicators should be left primarily to other international organizations, and some expressed doubts regarding the appropriateness of inclusion of these data in the GDDS. Directors agreed that there should be close cooperation with regional and other international organizations.

Directors acknowledged the importance of the access and integrity dimensions of the GDDS, as aspects of openness and transparency. The principles embodied in these dimensions were not yet standard practice in many countries, and it was therefore considered appropriate that the GDDS focus on the development of these dimensions in the practices of data compiling and disseminating agencies.

Most Directors supported a phased approach to the implementation of the GDDS that focused first on education and training through development of appropriate documentation and presentation of seminars and workshops. It was recognized that the GDDS was a very ambitious project, both for the Fund and for countries that might wish to participate, and many Directors agreed that a longer-term approach to implementation was appropriate in recognition of the substantial resource costs to the Fund and the resource costs to, and absorptive capacity of, participating countries.

Executive Directors agreed with the staff’s proposal to begin the compilation of metadata on participating countries’ statistical practices and plans for improvement. Most Directors endorsed the proposal that the Fund disseminate these metadata to the public through an electronic bulletin board, as the most efficient means. However, Directors agreed not to preclude other means of communication, given the different situations of members. Directors also pointed out the need to clearly distinguish between the bulletin boards for the GDDS and the SDDS.

ANNEX I1 The General Data Dissemination System

• Purposes and Framework

The purposes of the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) are (1) to encourage member countries to improve data quality; (2) to guide member countries in the provision to the public of comprehensive, timely, accessible, and reliable economic, financial, and socio-demographic statistics in a world of increasing economic and financial integration; and (3) to provide a framework for evaluating needs for data improvement and dissemination as well as setting priorities. The GDDS framework thus comprises four dimensions: (a) coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of data; (b) access by the public; (c) integrity of the disseminated data; and (d) quality of the disseminated data. For each of the four dimensions, the GDDS describes good practices to serve as objectives in the development of national systems of data production and dissemination. Box 1 provides an overview of the four dimensions of the GDDS.

Box 1.The Four Dimensions of the GDDS

1. Coverage, Periodicity, and Timeliness of Data: Dissemination of reliable, comprehensive, and timely economic, financial, and socio-demographic data is essential to the transparency of macroeconomic performance and policy. The GDDS therefore recommends dissemination of data as described in Table 1.

2. Access by the public: Dissemination of official statistics is an essential feature of statistics as a public good. Ready and equal access by the public are principal requirements. The GDDS recommends:

  • Dissemination of advance release calendars.

  • Simultaneous release to all interested parties.

  • Dissemination of data through a National Summary Data Page via the Internet.

3. Integrity: To fulfill the purpose of providing the public with information, official statistics must have the confidence of their users. In turn, confidence in the statistics ultimately becomes a matter of confidence in the objectivity and professionalism of the agency producing the statistics. Transparency of practices and procedures is a key factor in creating this confidence. The GDDS therefore recommends:

  • Dissemination of the terms and conditions under which official statistics are produced, including those relating to the confidentiality of individually identifiable information.

  • Identification of internal government access to data before release.

  • Identification of ministerial commentary on the occasion of statistical releases.

  • Provision of information about revisions and advance notice of major changes in methodology.

4. Quality: Data quality must have a high priority. Data users should be provided with information to assess quality and quality improvements. The GDDS recommends:

  • Dissemination of documentation on methodology and sources used in preparing statistics.

  • Dissemination of component detail, reconciliations with related data, and statistical frameworks that support statistical cross-checks and provide assurance of reasonableness.

• Dimensions of the GDDS

1. Coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of data

Dissemination of reliable, comprehensive, and timely economic, financial, and socio-demographic data is essential to the transparency of macroeconomic performance and policy. Thus, the GDDS recommends the dissemination of data as described in Table 1.

(A) Definitions and general considerations

(i) Coverage

The GDDS focuses on the data that are most important in evaluating performance and policy in four macroeconomic sectors—real, fiscal, financial, and external—as well as complementary socio-demographic data that shed light on economic development and structural change. The socio-demographic data specified under the GDDS are closely aligned with the majority of the indicators used to monitor progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).1 The GDDS also covers most of the indicators used to monitor progress on national poverty reduction strategies. Table 1 shows the GDDS recommended data categories, including comprehensive statistical frameworks, tracking categories, and other relevant data, as appropriate, as well as highlighting the main GDDS components and encouraged extensions.

Table 1.The General Data Dissemination System: Data, Coverage, Periodicity, and Timeliness—Macroeconomic and Financial Sectors and Sociodemographic Data
Data

Categories
ComponentsEncouraged extension(s)PeriodicityTimeliness
Real Sector
National accounts (GDP) *1• GDP in current prices and GDP volume by production approach, with disaggregated components; or



• GDP in current prices and GDP volume by expenditure category, with disaggregated components.
Gross national income, capital formation, saving.Annual (quarterly encouraged)6–9 months
Production index/indices **1Manufacturing or industrial, primary commodity, or sector coverage as relevantMonthly (as relevant)6–12 weeks
Labor marketEmployment, unemployment, wages/earnings, as relevantDisaggregation by age, sex, employment status, occupation and industry as appropriate.Annual6–9 months
Price indicesConsumer price indexProducer price indexMonthly1–2 months
Fiscal Sector
General government operationsGeneral government or public sector operations data,2 where subnational levels of government or public enterprise operation are of analytical or policy importance.Annual6–9 months
Fiscal Sector
Central government operations*1For participants using the GFSM 1986 framework:

• revenue;



• expenditure;



• balance (deficit/surplus);



• aggregate financing, disaggregated by:



º domestic financing (bank, nonbank);



º foreign financing;



If disaggregation by domestic (bank, nonbank) and foreign financing is not feasible, disaggregated by:



º maturity, and either



º instrument, or



º currency of issue



For participants using the GFSM 2001framework (see Tables 4.2 and 4.1 of the GFSM 2001):



• Statement of sources and uses of cash (for cash-based data);



º cash receipts from operating activities;



º cash payments for operating activities;



º net cash inflow from operating activities;



º net cash outflow from investments in nonfinancial assets;



º cash surplus (+)/deficit (-);



º net acquisition of financial assets, excluding cash; o net incurrence of liabilities;



º net cash inflow, financing activities;



º net change in stock of cash;



º statistical discrepancy;



º total cash expenditure (memorandum item); or
Interest payments, indicated separately as a component of expenditure.Quarterly (monthly encouraged)1 quarter (1 month encouraged)
Fiscal Sector
• Statement of government operations (for accrual-based data3)



º revenue; of which taxes;



º expense;



º gross operating balance;



º net operating balance;



º net acquisition of nonfinancial assets;



º net lending (+) / borrowing (-)



º net acquisition of financial assets:



(1) domestic;



(2) foreign;



º net incurrence of liabilities:



(1) domestic;



(2) foreign;



º statistical discrepancy



º total expenditure (memorandum item)
Central government debtDomestic and foreign debt, as relevant, with appropriate breakdowns (maturity, currency, sector of creditor, instrument), as relevant.Government guaranteed debtQuarterly1–2 quarters
Financial Sector
Depository corporations survey *1• Broad money (for example, M34)



• Domestic claims:



(1a) net claims on government; or



(1b) claims on nonfinancial public sector (if public sector operations represent the comprehensive framework for the fiscal sector); and



(2) claims on other resident sectors; and



• Net foreign assets.



Narrower (lower-ordered) monetary aggregates (such as M1 and M24).MonthlyMonthly 13 months
Financial Sector
Central bank survey**1Monetary baseMonthly1–2 months
Interest ratesShort and long-term government security rates, policy-oriented rateMoney market or interbank rates and a range of deposit and lending ratesMonthly
Stock marketShare price index, as relevantMonthly
External Sector
Balance of payments *• Current account:



(1) Goods;



(2) Services;



(3) Income;



(4) Current transfers



• Capital account



• Financial account:



(1) direct investment;



(2) portfolio investment,;



(3) other investment; and



(4) reserve assets



• Net errors and omissions
• Disaggregation according to the standard components of the IMF Balance of Payments Manual fifth edition5



• Under financial account, separately report data on financial derivatives; assets and liabilities
Annual (quarterly strongly encouraged)6 months
External debt and debt service schedule **1Public and publicly guaranteed external debt, broken down by maturityPublic and publicly guaranteed external debt by instrument breakdownQuarterly1–2 quarters
Public and publicly guaranteed external debt service schedulePublic and publicly guaranteed external debt service schedule disaggregated by:



• principal;



• interest
Semiannual: schedule covering the next 4 quarters and then 2 subsequent semesters3–6 months
External Sector
Private external debt not publicly guaranteedPrivate external debt service schedule.Annual6–9 months
Official reserve assets **Gross official reserve assetsReserve-related liabilities6Monthly1–4 weeks (1 Week encouraged)
Merchandise trade **Total exports and total importsMajor commodity breakdowns with longer time lapseMonthly8–12 weeks
International investment position (IIP) * only in assets).Assets and liabilities, disaggregated by:



• direct investment;



• portfolio investment: disaggregated by equity securities and debt securities;



• other investment; and



• reserve assets (included
• Disaggrega-tion of assets and liabilities according to the standard components of the IMF Balance of Payments Manual fifth edition5



• Under financial account, separately report data on financial derivatives; assets and liabilities
Annual6–9 months
Exchange ratesSpot ratesDaily
Socio-demographic Data
Data categoriesComponentsEncouraged extension(s)Related indicators of Millennium Development Goals8PeriodicityTimeliness
PopulationPopulation characteristics: size and composition of the population, derived from census, surveys, or vital registration systemDisaggregation of population and vital statistics data by age, sex, and region, as appropriateAnnual (Census every ten years)3–6 months for annual updates; 9–12 months for Census
Dynamics of growth: vital statistics: births, deaths, and migrationReporting of mortality rates, crude birth rate, fertility rate, and life expectancy-Under-five mortality rate-Infant mortality rate-Adolescent birth rate
EducationInputs: measures of current financial, human, and physical resources available to public and private (if significant) educational institutions, recorded by level of education or type of programDisaggregation of data by region is recommended for all data categories. Characteristics of teaching staff, including training, experience, and terms of employment (full or part time). Expenditures by households on education (including fees and other expenses for public or private education)Annual6–12 months following beginning of school year
Process: measures of student progress through school, such as enrollments, dropouts, and repetitions, recorded by level of education and sex of studentsCalculation of net enrollment rates (by grade and sex)- Net enrolment ratio in primary education



- Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 ho reach grade 5



- Ratio of girls to boys in primary, secondary, and tertiary education
Outcomes: educational attainment measured by progress through school, graduations, and completions by level; literacyDisaggregation by age and sex. Graduation and completion rates. Scores on standardized achievement exams- Literacy rate of 15–24-year olds



- Ratio of school attendance of orphans to school attendance of nonorphans ages 10-14 years
HealthInputs: measures of current financial, human, and physical resources available to public and private (if available) health system, including public expenditures on health services; capacity of health care facilities by location and type of facility, and the number of trained personnel by location and certificationPrivate (household) expenditures on health services. Disaggregation of data by regionAnnual (out-breaks of contagious diseases should be reported at higher frequency and with greater timeliness)3–6 months following end of reference period
Process (service delivery): Measures describing the number of clients served and type of care provided by public and private care providers, including inpatient, outpatient, and preventative care; population served by public health services such as immunizations, sanitation services, and improved water supplyMeasures of the responsiveness of the health system to non-health aspects of service delivery. Disaggregation of data by region.-Proportion of 1-year old children immunized against measles



- Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel



- Antenatal care coverare (at least one visit)



- Condom use (at last high-risk sex)



- Proportion of population ages 15–24 years with comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS



- Proportion of children under age 5 sleeping under insecticide-treated bednet



- Proportion of children under age five who are treated with appropriate anti-malarial drugs



- Proportion of tuberculosis cases detected and cured under directly observed treatment short course



- Proportion of population with avanced HIV infection with access to antiretroviral drugs



- Proportion of population using an improved water source, urban and rural



- Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility
Outcomes: statistics on mortality and morbidity, including mortality by cause and the incidence of disease by age, sex, region and other patient characteristics- Maternal mortality ratio



- Contraceptive prevalence Rate



- Unmet need for family Planning



- Prevalence of underweight children under 5 years of age



- HIV prevalence among population 15–24-years



-Prevalence and death rates associated with malaria



- Incidence, prevalence and death rates associated with tuberculosis
PovertyIncome poverty: number and proportion of people or households with less than minimum standard of income or consumption; valuation of minimum consumption bundleMeasures of the distribution of household or per capita income or consumption, and incidence of low consumption- Proportion of population below $1 (PPP) per day



- Poverty gap ratio (incidence x depth of poverty)



- Share of poorest quintile in national consumption
3–5 years6–12 months following the survey
Other poverty measures: measures of deprivation or insecurity used to identify the population living in poverty, such as evidence of malnutrition, endemic diseases, educational achievement, and lack of access to basic servicesSeparate poverty estimates for urban and rural populations or for major regions, states, or provinces. Disaggregation of data by region.

(ii) Periodicity and timeliness

The GDDS recognizes the importance of production and dissemination of data that are of appropriately high periodicity and timeliness. Periodicity refers to the frequency of compilation of the data (that is the relevant period covered by a data observation, i.e., annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily, etc.). The periodicity of a particular data category reflects several factors, including the ease of data collection and compilation, and the needs of analysis. The GDDS should be viewed as encouraging improvements over time in periodicity of data dissemination (that is higher frequency) that are consistent with improvements in data quality. Timeliness refers to the speed of dissemination of the data—i.e., the lapse of time between a reference date (or close of a reference period) and dissemination of the data. It reflects many factors, including institutional arrangements, such as the preparation of accompanying commentary. Dissemination of statistics takes several forms, including:

  • formal publications, such as news releases (perhaps presenting only summary statistics), periodicals such as monthly bulletins, or onetime volumes;

  • announcement of availability of statistics on request (but not necessarily without charge), including through electronic databases;

  • internet, diskettes, tapes, or CD-ROM of a formal publication or a database;

  • recorded brief telephone messages, e-mail and fax services, especially in the case of data categories justifying high-frequency distribution.

The objectives for timeliness that are presented in Table 1 are set out in terms of ranges of time in recognition of the diversity of relevant country practices and circumstances. The short end of the timeliness range corresponds to the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) timeliness requirements for a given indicator while the high end of the range relates to good practice across a broad group of countries. The GDDS should be viewed as encouraging improvements over time in the timeliness of data dissemination that are consistent with improvements in data quality.

(B) Specifications

The GDDS objectives for coverage, periodicity, and timeliness are summarized in Table 1. Recommended features of the GDDS are listed under the “Components” column. However, some data categories or components are designated “as relevant.” This designation recognizes that the relevance of a specific data category or component to an economy should be taken into account in the development of the statistical system. Where the coverage components, periodicity, or timeliness is designated as “encouraged”, countries are encouraged to develop and disseminate such data categories with the indicated periodicity and timeliness, but only after the main recommended components are regularly disseminated. The GDDS recommends the use of internationally accepted statistical methodologies (see http://dsbb.imf.org/Applications/web/getpage/?pagename=inter-nationallyacceptedstatisticalmethodologies) for the compilation and presentation of data. Countries are encouraged to indicate deviations from these internationally accepted statistical methodologies in their metadata.

Real sector

The comprehensive statistical framework for the real sector is the national accounts, consisting of nominal levels, real (price-adjusted) levels, and associated prices (deflators or price indices). For national accounts, the general objective is to produce and disseminate the full range of national accounts aggregates and balances. Thus, in addition to GDP, the GDDS recommends the development of measures of national and disposable income, consumption, saving, capital formation, and net lending/net borrowing. The GDDS recommends that either GDP by major expenditure category (in current prices and in volume terms) or GDP by production approach (in current prices and in volume terms) be disseminated annually (quarterly encouraged) and within 6–9 months after the end of the reference year.

The data category intended to track GDP on a more frequent basis is a single production index or a selection of production indices. The index or selection of indices that are relevant will depend on a country’s economic structure—manufacturing or industrial production in some countries, and primary commodity production (e.g., petroleum or rice) and/or agriculture production in other countries. To provide a guide to developments in GDP, a monthly measure is recommended for manufacturing or industrial production.

Labor market data are critically important statistics in industrial countries, but may be less meaningful in others, such as those with large informal or subsistence sectors. The “as relevant” notation recognizes that the coverage of the specified employment, unemployment, and wages/earnings components may, of necessity, be less than the total economy and that such concepts may not be meaningful. The annual periodicity and 6–9 months timeliness are recommended in consultation with the Bureau of Statistics of the International Labor Office. Disaggregation by age, sex, occupation, and industry are relevant to two MDG indicators namely the share of women in nonagricultural wage employment (MDG Indicator No. 11) and the unemployment rate among youths (MDG Indicator No. 45).

For price statistics, consumer price indices are recommended and producer price indices are encouraged. They are widely used in their own right; in addition, their underlying detail is needed for price-adjusted national accounts. Monthly periodicity is recommended with timeliness of 1–2 months after the end of the reference period.

Fiscal sector

For the fiscal sector, the comprehensive statistical framework is the central government operations. The GDDS recommends complete coverage of all central government units. The actual coverage of units of central government should be broad enough to closely reflect the country’s fiscal stance. For some countries, this may be limited to budgetary accounts, but for many countries, social security funds, extrabudgetary accounts, and decentralized agencies would need to be included. The production and dissemination of interest payments data is encouraged, particularly in heavily indebted countries. The GDDS recommends development of an appropriate analytical framework and classification schemes, but does not prescribe a particular framework or set of classification tables. The GDDS recommends that data on the operations of central government be disseminated quarterly (monthly encouraged) within 1 quarter (1 month encouraged). The GDDS also encourages the development of data on general government operations or public sector operations, as appropriate. When these data are of particular policy and analytical significance—for example, when the public sector borrowing requirement is a focus of policy—their development may be accorded a high priority.

The recommended data coverage for debt is the total debt of central government. Debt data should be classified as domestic and foreign, on an “as relevant” basis. Breakdowns may be provided, as relevant, by maturity (short- versus medium- and long-term, preferably by remaining maturity but on an original maturity basis if the former is not available), by currency, by sector of the creditor, and/or by debt instrument. Quarterly periodicity and timeliness of 1–2 quarters are recommended for central government debt. The dissemination of information on government guaranteed debt is encouraged.

Financial sector

The depository corporations survey (DCS) is the comprehensive framework for the financial sector. The coverage of this framework includes all depository corporations (banking institutions) that have liabilities included in broad money aggregates. The GDDS recommends an analytical framework that is based on a measure of broad money and factors that affect changes in money, especially domestic credit and external assets and liabilities. Narrower monetary aggregates (such as M1 and M21) are encouraged. In recognition of existing good practice across a broad range of countries, the GDDS recommends monthly data to be disseminated within 1–3 months of the end of the reference month.

The data category recommended to track DCS data on a more timely basis is the central bank survey. With regard to data for the central bank, the component specified is the monetary base. Monthly dissemination within one to two months is recommended.

Interest rates should include short- and long-term government securities rates as appropriate to the country (e.g., three-month Treasury bill rate and ten-year government bond rate) and a policy-oriented rate, such as the central bank lending rate. Dissemination of money market or interbank rates and a range of deposit and lending rates is encouraged. The GDDS recommends monthly data observations. Where rates are administratively determined, changes in rates should be disseminated as soon as possible after rate changes.

In countries where a stock market exists, the GDDS encourages the dissemination of share price indices.

External sector

For the external sector, balance of payments and international investment position (IIP) are the comprehensive frameworks. The general objective is the production and dissemination of complete balance of payments and IIP accounts. The GDDS recommends that disseminated data on the balance of payments identify the following components: current (imports and exports of goods and services, net income and net transfer transactions), capital, and financial (direct investment, portfolio investment, other investment, and reserves) account transactions; a range of analytical balances, such as the trade balance, current account balance, and the overall balance may also be compiled within this framework. Disaggregation of data according to the standard components of the IMF Balance of Payments Manual fifth edition (BPM5) and separately identifying data on financial derivatives (assets and liabilities) under financial account is encouraged. The GDDS recommends the dissemination of complete balance of payments data annually within 6 months of the end of the reference year. The compilation and dissemination of quarterly data are strongly encouraged.

For IIP, the GDDS recommends to disseminate the following components: direct investment; portfolio investment, including a breakdown into equity and debt; other investment; and (for assets), reserves. Disaggregation of assets and liabilities according to the standard components of the BPM5 and separately identifying data on financial derivatives (assets and liabilities) under the financial account is encouraged. The GDDS recommends the dissemination of IIP data annually within 6–9 months of the end of the reference year.

The GDDS recommends a separate data category for external debt, with the following data components: (1) public and publicly guaranteed external debt, broken down by maturity, (2) the associated debt service schedule, and (3) private external debt not publicly guaranteed. It is recommended that the stock data on public and publicly guaranteed external debt be disseminated with quarterly periodicity and timeliness of 1–2 quarters of the reference date, and the private external debt data be disseminated with annual periodicity and timeliness of 6–9 months. Similarly, public and publicly guaranteed external debt service schedule should be disseminated semi-annually, within 3–6 months of the reference date, and should cover estimates and projections for four quarters and then two subsequent half years.

For example, the debt service schedule with a reference date of end-December 2008 should be disseminated at end-March (but no later than end-June) 2009 and the estimates and projections should cover QI, QII, QIII and QIV for 2009, as well as January-June and July-December 2010. The dissemination of data on external debt service and the exports of goods and services in the balance of payments allows the calculation of the ratio of external debt service to exports of goods and services (MDG Indicator No. 44). The GDDS encourages disseminating instrument breakdown of public and publicly guaranteed external debt, the associated debt service schedule, disaggregated into principal and interest, and a private external debt service schedule.

The dissemination of monthly official reserve assets (total and key components covering foreign currency reserves, IMF reserve position, SDRs, gold, and other reserve assets) within 1–4 weeks is recommended (timeliness of 1 week is encouraged). The dissemination of the data Template on International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity (reserves template) is encouraged. Monthly dissemination of reserve-related liabilities is also encouraged as a first step towards the full reserves template.

The dissemination of monthly data on merchandise trade (at least total imports and exports) within 8–12 weeks is recommended. Dissemination of major commodity breakdowns of imports and exports is encouraged, with a slightly longer time lag.

The GDDS recommends that spot exchange rates be disseminated to the public on a daily basis. If these are readily available in the media or through on-line systems, public redissemination by official agencies may be limited to monthly, or preferably weekly, end period and period average rates.

Socio-demographic data

The GDDS provides for the coverage of socio-demographic data that may be useful in monitoring and evaluating long-term economic objectives to complement core macroeconomic data categories. The information is of great importance to the operation of governments, to the activities of non-governmental and international organizations, and to civil society in general. The GDDS includes four categories of socio-demographic data—population, education, health, and poverty. Table 1 also summarizes the main components recommended for compilation and dissemination for each category together with specified periodicity and timeliness. These do not represent the full range of statistics that are relevant for setting or monitoring social policies, nor do they reflect the full range of data gathering activities that official agencies may undertake. The GDDS does not, for example, include categories for housing, criminal justice, scientific and cultural activities, or environmental statistics. Nevertheless, the recommendations for socio-demographic data are subject to future elaboration and amendment.

The GDDS makes no specific recommendations concerning which social or demographic indicators should be compiled or reported by participating countries. Countries are encouraged to construct indicators to meet their own national needs based on good statistical practices. The main components for the socio-demographic data that are listed in Table 1 include information on inputs of resources (financial as well as human) into the social area, as it may provide a useful link to public expenditure policies. This feature is particularly appropriate for the GDDS as it is meant to provide a comprehensive framework spanning a broad range of interrelated policy areas, both in the social and economic spheres. As such, the GDDS is particularly appropriate for covering the broad range of indicators used to monitor progress within national poverty reduction strategies. Furthermore, each sociodemographic data category specifies related MDG indicators which could be used to gauge the effectiveness of poverty-reduction policies.

While there are no comprehensive frameworks for socio-demographic data (as there are for macroeconomic and financial statistics), there do exist guidelines for compilation, standard classification systems, and examples of “best practice” that are frequently cited and widely used by statisticians to organize the collection and presentation of social and demographic statistics. Detailed guidance, including references to relevant documents published by international agencies, is provided in the IMF’s Guide to the General Data Dissemination System.

2. Access by the public

Dissemination of official statistics is an essential feature of statistics as a public good. Ready and equal access are principal needs for the public, including market participants. To support ready and equal access, the GDDS recommends:

a. Advance dissemination of release calendars

Advance release calendars (ARC) highlight sound management and transparency of statistical compilation and provide data users with information needed to take a more active and organized approach to acquiring the inputs for their work. The objective may be met, for example, by the dissemination of calendars showing release dates for the current month and for the following three months. Agencies are recommended to make widely known the name and address of an office or a person who could provide the latest information about the ARC, including release of data for which periodicity and timeliness are irregular, and newly disseminated data.

b. Simultaneous release to all interested parties

To recognize that data are valuable commodities and in the interest of equity, the GDDS recommends the release of data to all interested parties at the same time. Release is not intended to refer to access by government agencies, including those other than the producing agency; pre-release access is governed by conditions set out in the description of integrity (see subsection 3.b below). The act of release may consist of providing summary data, to be accompanied perhaps later, by provision of detail. The objective may be met by providing at least one publicly identified and accessible location where data are available to all on an equal basis once they are released.

Therefore, given the ongoing global integration and increased reliance on the Internet and electronic data transmission, the GDDS recommends to release data simultaneously to the public through a National Summary Data Page (NSDP) that is published on the website of one of the statistics compiling agencies (see III. 2).

3 . Integrity

To fulfill the purpose of providing the public with information, official statistics must have the confidence of their users. In turn, confidence in the statistics ultimately becomes a matter of confidence in objectivity and professionalism of the agency producing the statistics. Transparency of its practices and procedures is a key factor in creating this confidence. To assist users of the data disseminated under the GDDS in assessing their integrity, the GDDS recommends:

a. Dissemination of the terms and conditions under which official statistics are produced, including those relating to the confidentiality of individually identifiable information

This practice, which was embodied in the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics adopted in 1994 by the United Nations Statistical Commission is indirect, but nevertheless fundamental to fostering confidence in the objectivity and professionalism of official statistics. The terms and conditions under which statistical agencies operate may take various forms, including statistics laws, charters, and codes of conduct. Accordingly, a first step toward this objective would be to put such laws, charters, and codes in place. The terms and conditions incorporated in them may refer to matters such as the relationship of the statistical unit to a larger department or ministry of which it is part (if relevant), the legal authority to collect data, the requirement to publish data it has collected, the terms of reference for the chief statistician/director, and procedures and processes related to confidentiality of individual responses. Dissemination of this information may take a variety of forms, including annual reports of the producer of statistics, abstracts in key publications, and statements of relevant passages referring to confidentiality of survey forms. Statistics producers may find it convenient to use logos and other insignia to remind users of the terms under which statistics carrying the logo are produced. These terms and conditions should be kept up-to-date.

b. Identification of internal government access to data before release

In the interest of transparency about possible undue influence on the data before release, the GDDS calls for listing the persons/positions within the government, but outside the agency producing the data, who have pre-release access. Such identification that is, statements of who knows what—may take a variety of forms, including brief notices to the public and annual reports of the producer of statistics. This practice is addressed mainly to situations in which the data are sensitive for policy or other reasons, and the objective may be met, at a minimum, by following this practice for the most sensitive data categories and indicators.

c. Identification of ministerial commentary on the occasion of statistical releases

Ministerial commentary is not necessarily expected to maintain the same degree of objectivity or freedom from political judgment as would be expected of good practice for a producer of official statistics. Therefore, a good practice is to identify such commentary so that its source will be transparent to the public. The identification of ministerial commentary on the occasion of statistical release may take several forms including separate statements by the minister (or other policy or political official) or, alternatively, identification of a statistical agency’s material in a release that contains both ministerial commentary and data.

The agency’s material may include data, explanatory text (e.g., of an unusual event affecting the data), and objective analysis; the identification of an agency’s material may be made in various ways, including the use of source lines in tables and of the producer’s logos or other insignia. This practice is addressed mainly to situations in which the data are sensitive for policy or other reasons, and the objective may be met, at a minimum, by following this practice for the most sensitive data categories and indicators.

d. Provision of information about revision and advance notice of major changes in methodology

In the interest of transparency about the data producers’ practices, the GDDS calls for the provision of information about past revisions and about one of the major prospective sources of revision. Relevant information about revisions in data may include statements about the policy followed (e.g., a policy of revising monthly data when an annual, more comprehensive survey becomes available or a policy of no revision) and data about the size of past revisions; both policies and data on revisions may have to be developed before they can be disseminated. Changes in methodology (e.g., changes in base year, major expansions of sample size, introduction of alternative data sources, reclassification of transactions or industries) are to be expected in developing statistical systems. The advance notices may take a variety of forms, including, at a minimum, a short statement in the last presentation of unrevised data or on a stand-alone basis. These statements would identify the kinds of changes to be made and give a source for additional information, such as a paper available on request or the name and address of a person able to explain the upcoming change. Members are encouraged, as well, to provide easy access to information explaining revisions after they are released (e.g., by access to a person able to answer questions about revisions).

4. Quality

Data quality must have a high priority. Data users should be provided with information to assess quality and quality improvements. GDDS participants are encouraged to adopt and implement internationally accepted statistical methodologies for the data categories covered by the GDDS and are encouraged to indicate where statistical practices deviate from these methodologies (a specified list of these methodologies is posted on the Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB, see Section III.2). Although quality is difficult to judge, monitorable proxies, designed to focus on information the user needs to judge quality, can be useful. To assist users of the data disseminated under the GDDS in assessing their quality, the GDDS recommends:

a. Dissemination of documentation on methodology and sources used in preparing statistics

The availability of documentation on methodology and sources underlying statistics is key to users’ awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of the data. In addition to information on the DSBB (see section III.2), the participant’s documentation may take several forms, including summary notes accompanying release of the data, separate publications, and papers available on request from the producers. Participants are encouraged to prepare and disseminate statements about important features of quality (e.g., the kinds of errors to which the data are subject, sources of noncomparability over time, measures of coverage for census data or sample error for survey data).1

b. Dissemination of component detail, reconciliations with related data, and statistical frameworks that support statistical cross-checks and provide assurance of reasonableness

To support and encourage users’ checks and verification of data, this element provides for dissemination of components underlying aggregate series, dissemination within a statistical framework, and/or dissemination of comparisons and reconciliations with related data. Component detail should be at a level that does not conflict with other desirable characteristics such as the confidentiality of individually identifiable information or statistical reliability. Statistical frameworks include accounting identities and statistical relationships (such as matching stocks with flows). Comparisons and reconciliations include those that cut across frameworks, such as exports and imports as part of the national accounts and as part of the balance of payments.

III. Implementation of the GDDS

1 . Participation in the GDDS

Members are encouraged to participate in the GDDS on a voluntary basis. Participants should make best efforts to disseminate the data as set out in Table 1. Participation involves (1) a commitment to use the GDDS as a framework for the development of their national systems for the production and dissemination of macroeconomic, financial, and socio-demographic data, (2) designation of a country coordinator to work with Fund staff, and (3) preparation of descriptions (“metadata”) of (a) current statistical production and dissemination practices and (b) plans for short- and longer-term improvements that would be disseminated by the Fund. Participants are also expected to describe recent improvements that have been implemented. The descriptions of current practices and plans would correspond to each of the objectives for the data, coverage, periodicity and timeliness, access, integrity, and quality dimensions (using the Fund’s Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF))1 The plans would identify the major shortcomings relative to the objectives set out in the GDDS; the steps by which the shortcomings would be addressed; the resources, including technical assistance, necessary to achieve the improvements; and the time frame during which the improvements would be achieved. In particular, the improvements to be undertaken within the next year and within 2 to 5 years would be identified.

Participation will depend upon the completion of the three actions set out above and will be publicly recognized by the Fund when the metadata are posted on the Fund’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB). At any time before the completion of such actions, members may indicate their intent to participate by sending an appropriate communication to the Fund. This communication will provide the basis for work with the member on the actions involved in participation.

A country could opt for participation from the outset, move gradually toward participation, or continue to work with the Fund on the improvement of national systems for the production and dissemination of statistics, as in the past, without participation. Member countries cannot participate in both the GDDS and the SDDS at the same time. Although, participation in the GDDS is not a prerequisite for subscribing to the SDDS, member countries may well find the GDDS framework useful as a stepping stone for subscribing to the SDDS. In this context, GDDS plans for improvement should be oriented towards meeting SDDS requirements, where relevant.

2. Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board

The Fund, as a service to its members, has established and maintains an electronic DSBB on the Internet, a system to store and disseminate the metadata provided by participants. The DSBB identifies the members participating in the GDDS and provides easy access to the members’ respective metadata. The responsibility for the accuracy of the metadata and of the economic, financial, and socio-demographic statistics underlying the metadata rests with the member countries. Although, participants are expected to review and update their metadata on either a “best-effort” or “when-merited” basis, participants are expected to update their plans for improvement on an annual basis.

It is recommended that GDDS participants establish a NSDP on the Internet, which could be linked to the DSBB electronically through “hyperlinks” on the latter. It is recommended that a participant’s NSDP should contain the most recent observation for data categories included in the GDDS that are available as well as the previous observation. Where possible these data categories should be linked through “hyperlinks” to additional information available on other websites. Responsibility for the data on an NSDP rests with the participant. Furthermore, it is recommended that participants disseminate on the Internet an ARC showing the release dates of these data for the current month and for the following three months (see Section II.2.a).

3. Reviews and Withdrawal

Reviews of the GDDS content and implementation procedures will be conducted by the Fund at intervals determined by the Executive Board of the Fund. The views of both producers and users of data will be sought. At the completion of these reviews, revisions of the GDDS framework may be adopted. Reviews of the Fund’s Data Standards’ Initiatives are available on the DSBB (http://www.imf.org/external/np/sta/dsbb/list.htm).

Members may withdraw their participation at any time. They may do so by sending an appropriate communication to the Fund. The relevant metadata would be removed promptly from the DSBB.

Ed. Note: Pursuant to Decision No. 13814-(06/98), November 15, 2006, future reviews will be conducted on an “as needed” basis. The expectation going forward is that “as needed” would generally mean a lag of at least five years between any such reviews.

The general government consists of the central government (budgetary funds, extra-budgetary funds, and social security funds) and state and local governments.

Gross external debt is the outstanding amount of those actual current, and not contingent, liabilities that require payment(s) of principal and/or interest by the debtor at some point(s) in the future and that are owed to nonresidents by residents of an economy. (SM/03/386, Sup. 1, 1/23/04).

Ed. Note: As amended by Decision No. 14728-(10/85), September 1, 2010.

The Data Template for International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity has been revised to cover exchange-traded futures, settled in domestic currency, and the revision took effect on July 31, 2009.

This Annex incorporates amendments adopted by Decision No. 14391-(09/70), July 7, 2009.

See United Nations Statistical Division, Millennium Indicators Database. (http://millenniumindicators.un.org)

The measures of broad and narrow money vary from country to country. M2 is broad money for countries that do not have M3. However, M2 is a narrower measure of money for countries that have M3 or a broader measure of money.

The size of past revisions, which is an important aspect of quality, is included under integrity, drawing on its role as an indicator of the transparency of conditions under which data are produced, (see II.3.d).

    Other Resources Citing This Publication