Appendix I. Subscription Procedures and Sample Subscription Letter to the IMF

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
July 2007
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Appoint an SDDS Country Coordinator

1. A potential subscriber must first appoint a country coordinator to act as the main contact with the IMF on issues related to the SDDS and to coordinate country efforts to meet SDDS requirements. Naming an SDDS country coordinator is a prerequisite to subscribe to the SDDS.

2. The SDDS country coordinator’s main responsibility is to ensure that SDDS requirements are met for subscription (including the establishment of the national summary data page, NSDP) and that such requirements are consistently adhered to thereafter. This may require coordination with the relevant data-producing agencies, that may include the finance ministry, the central bank, and the statistics bureau. The country coordinator is also responsible for metadata certification and updates of metadata as appropriate, advance release calendars (ARCs) and any updates to the ARCs, and the data template on international reserves and foreign currency liquidity.

3. The country coordinator should have sufficient authority to be able to obtain the full collaboration of all agencies involved in the compilation and dissemination of the data prescribed by the SDDS. The coordinator should have sufficient resources to fulfill this role. Some subscribing countries may find it useful to nominate two coordinators: (a) a midlevel official (called “technical coordinator”), who is responsible for accomplishing most tasks associated with the SDDS; and (b) a high-ranking official (the country coordinator), who would intervene only when necessary to resolve, for example, coordination issues between data-producing agencies.

4. Experience has shown that the responsibilities of an SDDS country coordinator are better assumed by an officer who has no direct involvement in data compilation. Most data-producing agencies have organizational units devoted to the dissemination of data or to relations with other agencies and users and SDDS coordination activities are best assumed by individuals from these units. Given that data required for the NSDP are often produced by various agencies, the country coordinator might find it useful if each agency designates a contact person with whom the coordinator can collaborate. To ensure that SDDS information is communicated to and from the data-producing countries on a timely basis, the subscribing country may wish to establish internal procedures to facilitate such communications, especially to take account of circumstances in which the coordinator is absent.

Notify the IMF in Writing of Intention to Subscribe

5. Given that subscription to the SDDS is voluntary, members that wish to subscribe to the SDDS should formally communicate this intention to the Director of the IMF’s Statistics Department in writing and provide at the same time the name, position, and title of their country SDDS coordinator.1 The IMF staff will then advise the designated coordinator on how to work toward subscription.

Provide Draft NSDP, Metadata, and ARC for Review by IMF Staff

6. Once the Statistics Department has received this letter, it will assess whether the subscriber’s compilation and dissemination practices meet the SDDS requirements; in particular, it will verify whether the subscriber is already compiling all SDDS-prescribed data with the specified coverage, periodicity, and timeliness. To facilitate this assessment, the SDDS coordinator must provide information on data compilation and dissemination practices (that is, the metadata). The Statistics Department will review the metadata submitted by the member country to ensure this completeness and international comparability and will follow up on any areas needing clarification. In particular, any changes of data dissemination practices required to comply with SDDS requirements will be communicated to the coordinator. The Statistics Department will give the potential subscriber an opportunity to review the metadata before posting them on the DSBB.

7. Subscribers must provide ARCs to the IMF for public dissemination on an ARC webpage maintained by the IMF.2 The ARC provides release dates for the current month and the following three months. An SDDS subscriber must maintain a national website to display its NSDP, which is to be presented in tabular format, showing economic and financial data for categories (and components) prescribed under the SDDS.

Notification of the Secretary of the IMF

8. Once the necessary changes have been implemented, the metadata approved by the Statistics Department, and all SDDS requirements met, the Statistics Department will inform the member country that it may proceed to inform the Secretary of the IMF of its subscription to the SDDS. A draft version of the letter is provided in Box A1.1..

9. A copy of the letter should be transmitted to the Statistics Department so that the Statistics Department can start preparing the country metadata for posting on the DSBB. The country’s metadata are usually posted on the DSBB soon after the receipt of the letter by the Secretary of the IMF.

10. The letter to the Secretary of the IMF should be signed by the head (or deputy head) of the agency that employs the SDDS country coordinator. Alternatively, the letter may be signed by the Executive Director representing the country in the IMF’s Executive Board or by the country’s Governor of the IMF. A copy of the letter should be transmitted to the country’s Executive Director in the IMF.

11. A member country will have officially completed its subscription procedures once the IMF has posted the country’s metadata on the DSBB.

Establish a National Summary Data Page

12. A country intending to subscribe to the SDDS is required to establish an NSDP on a national website, which will be hyperlinked to the IMF’s DSBB. The NSDP is to contain, at a minimum, the most recent and previous observations for all prescribed data categories and related components. The NSDP could also contain hyperlinks to additional information, as deemed appropriate by the subscriber.

13. Responsibility for the data disseminated on the NSDP rests with individual subscribers. At a minimum, the NSDP is to be updated with each release of the corresponding data, in accordance with the release dates indicated in the ARC.

Provide ARC Information

14. Subscribers must send ARCs to the Statistics Department staff for public dissemination on an ARC webpage accessible by the public on the IMF’s DSBB.

15. SDDS subscribers must provide at a minimum a quarter-ahead ARC and any updates to this calendar to the Statistics Department’s Data Dissemination Standards Division. The ARC must show release dates not only for the current month but also for the following three months.

Data Template on International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity

16. Prospective subscribers must also submit a draft version of their Data Template on International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity for IMF staff review. For more information on the reserves template, see Chapter 6.

Procedure to Withdraw from the SDDS

17. A member may withdraw its subscription to the SDDS at any time by sending a notification to the Managing Director of the IMF. The relevant metadata will be removed promptly from the DSBB.

Box A1.1.Sample SDDS Subscription Letter

The Secretary

Secretary’s Department

International Monetary Fund

700 19th Street, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20431


Formal Subscription to the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS)

Dear Mr./Ms. Secretary:

On behalf of the government of [country name], I wish to formally notify you of [country name]’s subscription to the IMF Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS). In accordance with the policy governing new subscribers, [country name] meets all current SDDS requirements. [Country name]’s metadata have been reviewed by the IMF Statistics Department and submitted for posting on the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board.

Sincerely yours,


[Signature by the Head or Deputy Head of the Agency where the subscribing country’s SDDS coordinator works]

Written notification is usually sent to the Director of the IMF’s Statistics Department or could be addressed to the Chief of the Data Dissemination Standard Division of the IMF’s Statistics Department.

A detailed description is provided in Chapter 8.

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