Abstract

3.1 This chapter elaborates on the data coverage, periodicity, and timeliness for the two additional Special Data Dissemination Standard Plus (SDDS Plus) data categories under the fiscal sector: general government operations (GGO) and general government total gross debt (GGD). Data for quarterly GGO provide an internationally comparable picture of the full range of government activities. Reliable and timely statistics on general government debt is a critical element in properly assessing countries’ fiscal and external sustainability.

3.1 This chapter elaborates on the data coverage, periodicity, and timeliness for the two additional Special Data Dissemination Standard Plus (SDDS Plus) data categories under the fiscal sector: general government operations (GGO) and general government total gross debt (GGD). Data for quarterly GGO provide an internationally comparable picture of the full range of government activities. Reliable and timely statistics on general government debt is a critical element in properly assessing countries’ fiscal and external sustainability.

General Government Operations: Coverage

3.2 The coverage of GGO in the SDDS Plus is the same as that under the SDDS, and the SDDS Guide is relevant in this regard. GGO covers operations of all governmental units (including social security funds) whether operating at the central level, state/provincial/ regional level, or local level. The SDDS Plus metadata describe the institutional units and government operations covered by the data disseminated via the NSDP.

3.3 Data on GGO should be released using the GFSM 2001 framework or its successor (see Table 3.1). While the full implementation of GFSM 2001 or its successor requires accrual recording, other bases of recording, such as cash recording, are accepted in the SDDS Plus, provided that the basis of recording is clearly identified in the metadata. Full adoption of the GFSM 2001 methodology is not required to adhere to the SDDS Plus, but dissemination in its framework is. In this context, SDDS Plus adherents are required to disseminate GGO data according to the following breakdown, including components:

Table 3.1

GFSM 2001 Framework: Statement of Government Operations

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Source: Table 4.1 of GFSM 2001. Please note that an updated version of the GFSM is under preparation (i.e., GFSM 2013).

The net operating balance equals revenue minus expense. The gross operating balance equals revenue minus expense other than consumption of fixed capital.

Acquisitions minus disposals minus consumption of fixed capital.

Net lending/borrowing equals the net operating balance minus the net acquisition of nonfinancial assets. It is also equal to the net acquisition of financial assets minus the net incurrence of liabilities.

  • Transactions affecting net worth: Revenue and expenses

  • Net/gross operating balance

  • Transactions in nonfinancial assets: Net acquisition of nonfinancial assets

  • Net lending/borrowing

  • Transactions in financial assets and liabilities (financing): Net acquisition of financial assets and net incurrence of liabilities.

3.4 Data with less detail than the minimum requirements will not meet the SDDS Plus requirements. In other words, quarterly data should be compiled and disseminated for at least the categories shown in Table 3.1. Any missing components can be estimated to meet the minimum requirements. To achieve this, various approaches could be considered, such as developing quarterly surveys or deriving quarterly data using available indicators of variability of government operations, such as partial indicators or ratios from previous years.

3.5 The preferred method for compiling general government data is through the timely reporting of data by each government unit. If this is not fully achievable, such reports can be complemented with other administrative data or macroeconomic statistics that are available on a quarterly basis, and with estimation techniques (see Quarterly Government Finance Statistics Guide). If state or local government sub-sectors are composed of a significant number of small units, the use of surveys and/or other statistical techniques to compile quarterly data is encouraged. To the extent possible, such surveys should use a stratified sample using an indicator—for example, population or the size of central government transfers—with the relative importance of those units in the subsector.

3.6 If government data are audited on an annual basis, the unaudited, quarterly information can be reported as preliminary data. Although there is a trade-off between accuracy and usefulness of data, international experience shows that differences between audited and unaudited data are becoming generally small in relation to major aggregates.

3.7 The disseminated data should be actual or preliminary actual data. 1 The metadata should specify the concepts, definitions, and classifications used in the data compilation and highlight any differences between national practices and international or regional guidelines.

Periodicity and Timeliness

3.8 Periodicity. The SDDS Plus requires quarterly data.

3.9 Timeliness. The SDDS Plus requires data to be disseminated within 12 months after the end of the reference period (see Box 3.1).

General Government Total Gross Debt: Coverage

3.10 The data on GGD should reflect all the debt liabilities of the general government, appropriately disaggregated (see Table 3.2). The SDDS Plus metadata should indicate whether the institutional and instrument coverage is identical to that of GGO or, if applicable, how the coverage differs in each case. In this context, SDDS Plus adherents are required to disseminate GGD data disaggregated by:

GGO Requirements under the SDDS and SDDS Plus

General government operations (GGO) is the only data category that is required under both the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) and the Special Data Dissemination Standard Plus (SDDS Plus). The SDDS requires subscribers to disseminate annual data on GGO within six months after the end of the reference period, while the SDDS Plus requires SDDS Plus adherents to disseminate quarterly data within 12 months after the end of the reference period. Therefore, if an SDDS Plus adherent compiles the required quarterly GGO data using the GFSM 2001 framework and disseminates these data under the SDDS Plus within six months, the adherent also satisfies the SDDS requirement to disseminate annual GGO data within six months.

If an SDDS Plus adherent cannot disseminate the quarterly GGO data using the Government Finance Statistics Manual, 2001 (GFSM 2001) framework within six months after the end of the reference period, the adherent will still be required to disseminate annual data within six months after the end of the reference period in order to be in full compliance with its SDDS requirements.

Table 3.2

General Government Total Gross Debt in Nominal Values

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Source: Public Sector Debt Statistics Guide 2011.

To be reported consistent with the coverage in the sectoral balance sheets and the general government operations (GGO) data.

Memorandum items should be provided on a best-effort basis.

  • Debt instrument: The debt instruments are SDRs; currency and deposits; debt securities; loans; insurance, pensions, and standardized guarantee schemes; and other accounts payable.

  • Currency of denomination (domestic and foreign currency): The currency of denomination is determined by the currency in which the value of stock positions is fixed as specified in the contract between the parties.

  • By residence of creditors (domestic and external creditors): The residence of each institutional unit is the economic territory with which it has the strongest connection (i.e., its center of predominant economic interest). Nonresidents are units that are resident in any other economic territory.

3.11 The memorandum items, which should be provided on a best-effort basis, include total debt securities at market value and a classification by remaining maturity of general government debt securities and loans. These items are a subset of the public sector debt statistics template adopted by the Task Force on Finance Statistics (TFFS)2 and the World Bank–IMF–OECD public sector debt statistics database.3 These data include some common elements with the sectoral balance sheets and external debt data.

3.12 Adherents are encouraged to use the international guidelines provided in the GFSM 2001 and the Public Sector Debt Statistics Guide 2011 (PSDSG) for the compilation of GGD.

3.13 Total gross debt consists of all liabilities that are debt instruments. A debt instrument is defined as a financial claim that requires payment(s) of interest and/or principal by the debtor to the creditor at a date, or dates, in the future.

3.14 The GGD data should be valued at nominal value, which is the amount that the debtor owes the creditor at any moment in time. While not encouraged, face value may be used as a proxy for nominal value. If the valuation differs from nominal value, this should be indicated in the metadata. In addition, debt securities should be valued at market value on a best-effort basis.

3.15 Adherents that fully implement the World Bank–IMF–OECD public sector debt statistics templates for the database for general government will have met the GGD coverage requirements of the SDDS Plus, as those templates have more stringent requirements.

3.16 The SDDS Plus metadata should specify the concepts, definitions, and classifications used in data compilation and note any differences between national practices and international or regional guidelines. It should also describe any debt liabilities of general government units that are excluded from the debt data and any other deviations from international standards.

Periodicity and Timeliness

3.17 Periodicity. The SDDS Plus prescribes the dissemination of quarterly data.

3.18 Timeliness. The SDDS Plus requires data to be disseminated within four months after the end of the reference quarter.

1

Any missing components can be estimated through various approaches to meet the minimum requirements (see paragraph 3.4).

2

The TFFS includes representatives from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Commonwealth Secretariat, European Central Bank (ECB), Eurostat, IMF (chair), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Paris Club, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and World Bank.