|Prerequisites of quality1||Albania’s legal framework is generally supportive of statistics.|
|0.1 Legal and|
–The legal framework is supportive of statistics.
|0.1.1 A Council of Statistics is responsible for formulating statistical policy and for generally ensuring coordination among all statistical agencies. The Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), the national statistics agency of Albania, collects, processes, and publishes statistical results in compliance with the National Statistical Program. The Ministry of Finance (MOF) is responsible for compiling and disseminating data for central government operations and central government external debt. The Bank of Albania (BOA) is responsible for producing and disseminating data on the financial sector, balance of payments, international reserves, and exchange rates.|
|0.1.3 By law, all statistical information collected by INSTAT is confidential and can only be used or published in aggregated form. BOA administrators, employees, and agents are prohibited from disclosing, or transferring to a third party, any information obtained during the performance of their BOA duties, or using or allowing the use of such information for personal gain.|
|0.1.4 The Law of Statistics, dated March 16, 1993, requires INSTAT to use statistical methodologies that are in accordance with international standards. It requires all public sector institutions and private enterprises with 10 or more employees to report statistical information to INSTAT. The law, “On the Bank of Albania,” No. 8269 of 1997, requires all banks, institutions, juridical, and physical persons to deliver statistical data in accordance with the reporting system approved by the BOA.|
|0.2 Resources -|
commensurate with needs
of statistical programs.
|0.2.1 Resources are currently not sufficient. However, the Albanian|
authorities have committed themselves to strengthening the staffing
of INSTAT. The 2001 budget will allocate 20 additional permanent positions to
|0.3 Quality awareness|
–Quality is recognized as a
cornerstone of statistical
|0.3.1 The authorities are committed to improving the quality and coverage of|
economic statistics through strengthening of INSTAT.
|Dimensions of Quality|
|1. Integrity –Firm|
adherence to the principle
of objectivity in the
and dissemination of
statistical policies and
practices is a guiding
|1.1.1 The authorities plan to introduce a new law on statistics in line with the precepts of the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics as set out by the United Nations (UN).|
|1.2 Transparency –|
Statistical policies and
practices are transparent.
|1.2.2 No outside agencies have access to the data before they are released and there are no ministerial commentaries on the data released by INSTAT and the BOA at the time of release. However, in the BOA’s capacity as advisor to the government, some data may be made available to government. Any information provided to government is deemed confidential by law.|
|1.3 Ethical standards–|
Statistical processes are
guided by ethical
|1.3.1 By law, staff of INSTAT and other statistical agencies are subject to|
legal and administrative penalties if confidential data are revealed.
for the statistics follows
guidelines, and agreed
|2.1 Concepts and|
definitions –Concepts and
definitions used are in
accord with standard
|2.1.1 The Law of Statistics requires INSTAT to collect, process, and publish|
statistical results in accordance with international standards.
GDP estimates do not follow international standards.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) follows international standards.
Unemployment is defined according to the recommendations of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
|Government finance: The compilation methodology of government budgetary aggregates is broadly consistent with the analytical framework in the IMF’s A manual an finance statistics (GESM) 1986 (but|
|Dimensions of Quality and|
|differs in presentation and classification).|
|Monetary sector: The monetary survey is compiled in accordance with the|
analytical framework in the IMF’s Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual
The compilation of balance of payments conforms with the basic principles of the fifth edition of the IMF’s Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5).
Monthly external trade statistics are produced and disseminated by INSTAT and are compiled in accordance with the recommendations of the UN.
The definition of international reserve assets follows the methodology of BPM5.
|2.2 Scope –The scope|
is in accord with
|Gaps in the coverage of macro statistics exist, most notably in national|
accounts and in balance of payments, both of which are affected by poor
|2.2.1 Dataset-specific commentary.|
|• There are no official national accounts. Unpublished preliminary estimates of GDP suffer from poor coverage, especially of the private sector. A work program is underway to strengthen the INSTAT’s ability to compile national accounts based on the 1993 System of National Accounts (SNA93). New basic data sources (censuses and surveys) and improved statistical techniques are being developed.|
|• Coverage of the Industrial Production Index (IPI) is limited to public enterprises in mining, manufacturing (excluding foodstuffs), and electricity industries.|
The CPI covers price changes of goods and services consumed by households in 11 cities; the base period of the index is 1993. The basket items and weights will be updated based on the new Household Budget Survey conducted during December 1999–November 2000.
Annual employment data cover the public and private formal sectors.
Average monthly wage data cover only the public sector.
|Fiscal sector: Data cover the general government sector.|
Data for the banking system cover the BOA and the commercial banks.
Accounts of credit institutions and of savings and loan associations are not
|Dimensions of Quality and|
|yet included in the monetary survey.|
|External sector: Coverage of balance of payments is deficient as illegal|
activities lie outside the net of source data.
sectorization systems are
in accord with
|2.3.1 Dataset-specific commentary.|
Fiscal sector: The MOF is developing a new and more detailed classification of revenue and expenditure by economic and functional category in accordance with the GFSM. for the preparation of the budget for 2001.
The IPI compilation uses the Nomenclature Générale des Activités Economiques dans les Communautés Européennes (NACE), Rev. 1 classification. In addition, the Classification of Products by Activities (CPA) is used from 1998.
Classification of goods and services in the CP1 follows the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP).
Classification of employment data is based on International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO-88) and NACE, Rev.l.
|2.4 Basis for recording –|
Flows and stocks are
valued and recorded
|With few exceptions, accounting and valuation practices comply with|
|2.4.1 Dataset-specific commentary.|
Operations on budget are recorded on a cash basis.
Transactions in financial instruments are valued at market prices.
Outstanding foreign debt is revalued daily into U.S. dollars at the prevailing market exchange rate. Transactions are recorded using the exchange rate prevailing on the day in which the transactions take place.
Domestic debt is denominated in domestic currency. Treasury bills and bonds are recorded at nominal (face) value.
Monetary data are compiled on an accrual basis.
Valuation of financial instruments: Loans and deposits are recorded at the nominal value of contracts. Treasury bills held in the portfolio of the BOA are valued at a nominal (face) value. The amounts recorded for off-balance sheet commitments correspond to the guaranteed amount or to the commitment amount stipulated in the contract.
Valuation of foreign-currency denominated instruments: Positions denominated in foreign currencies are revalued at official exchange rates,
|Dimensions of Quality and|
|which are based on market rates.|
|External sector: Exports of goods are valued f.o.b. The f.o.b. values of|
imports of goods are estimated on the basis of the c.i.f. values; other
transactions are valued at market prices.
|3. Accuracy and|
Source data and
compilation techniques are
sound, and disseminated
data sufficiently portray
|3.1 Source data –Source|
data available provide an
adequate basis to compile
|3.1.1 Data collection programs are not comprehensive. Due to incompleteness|
or weaknesses in source data, compilation of real and external sector statistics
relies on estimation methods. Source data are also not available in a timely
|3.1.2 Sector-specific practices.|
|• Estimates are based on partial data on gross agricultural output, state industrial production, and limited information on private activity.|
Employment data are based on declaration forms required of civil service employees and forms filed in tax offices for the private sector.
Unemployment data are based on administrative records of Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
Data for government operations, both central and local governments, are compiled from administrative records of the Ministry of Finance and returns from Social and Health Care Insurance Institutes, while data for government debt are compiled from administrative records of the Ministry of Finance and BOA.
Data for monetary aggregates are based on monthly balance sheets and other accounting records of the BOA and commercial banks.
For the balance of payments, due to incomplete source data, the BOA adjusts exports and imports to make allowance for re-exports, smuggling, etc.
Data for components of the balance of payments are compiled from customs statistics (for merchandise trade); the foreign exchange record derived from commercial bank reports, and report forms completed by government agencies, including BOA and the MOF (for services, income, transfers, and financial account).
|Dimensions of Quality and|
|3.2 Statistical techniques|
— Statistical techniques
with sound statistical
|3.2.1 Due to weaknesses in source data, a variety of statistical techniques is|
employed in making estimates of GDP and balance of payments.
Estimates for agricultural private sector employment are based on indicators such as production and area cultivated.
The IPI and the CPI are not seasonally adjusted.
No statistical or seasonal adjustments are made for fiscal data.
The monetary survey is based on actual accounting records of the BOA and the commercial banks. No sampling or estimations are applied. No statistical or seasonal adjustments are made.
Many components of services, income, and transfers in the balance of payments are estimated by applying a fixed percentage to exports (to derive freight credits); travel credits are based on number of visitors, average length of stay, and per capita spending.
|3.3 Assessment and|
validation –Source data
are regularly assessed and
|3.3.1 Currently, well-articulated procedures do not exist to assess source data and validate results regularly. However, to address deficiencies in the coverage of GDP, especially of the private sector and informal activity, as well as deficiencies in the coverage of several components of the balance of payments, work plans have been articulated under the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) to strengthen basic source data, including through the use of surveys.|
|4. Serviceability —|
Statistics are relevant,
timely, consistent, and
follow a predictable
|4.1 Relevance – Statistics|
cover relevant information
on the subject field.
|4.1.1 The statistical system is progressing toward meeting die needs of both official and private users of statistics. In many instances, official data exceed the recommendations of the GDDS. Albania’s first National Statistics Conference held in November 2000 provided a forum for a dialogue between users and compilers of Albanian statistics from the public and private sectors.|
|4.2 Timeliness and|
and periodicity follow
|4.2.1 No official national accounts are compiled.
Other real sector data such as the IPI, the CPI, and data on employment/unemployment and wages, data on central government budgetary aggregates and central government debt, broad money and credit, and central bank aggregates, balance of payments aggregates, as well as exchange rate data are in accordance with the periodicity and timeliness recommended under the GDDS.
|Dimensions of Quality and|
|4.3 Consistency —|
Statistics are consistent
over time, internally, and
with major data systems.
|4.3.1 Macroeconomic data produced by the INSTAT, MOF, and BOA are|
checked for inter-sectoral consistency.
The BOA uses the same balance sheet data from the commercial banks in compiling balance of payments and monetary statistics, thus ensuring identical instrument and institutional coverage.
The BOA reconciles its balance sheet data with corresponding data in the commercial banks’ and MOF’s records.
Fiscal financing data are reconciled with financial sector claims on and liabilities to the government.
Government debt and official flows data are reconciled with the balance of payments.
The balance of payments data on reserves are checked for consistency with the foreign asset position of the banking system.
Data on grants received by official sector are not consistent with grants received by general government.
To further strengthen data consistency through the use of common data sources and regular reconciliation of data both within and among agencies, the MOF and BOA have plans to improve the database for foreign loans, develop a database for private sector external debt, and establish an electronic link between the BOA and MOF to facilitate information sharing. The BOA plans to use the INSTAT’s Business Register and results of the Structural Survey and Household Budget Survey to improve estimates of some components of the balance of payments.
|4,4 Revision policy and|
practice —Data revisions
follow a regular and
|4.4.1 Data revisions and changes in methodology for industrial production index are identified in notes in INSTAT’s publications.|
Data revisions to monetary statistics and changes in data compilation practices are noted in footnotes to the tables published in the Monthly Statistical Report. The BOA issues a circular to banks when forms for financial and statistical reporting are revised.
There is no official or formal policy governing revisions to fiscal data. There is no advance notice of major changes in methodology, but technical descriptions of changes appear as footnotes in Fiscal Statistics of Government (FSG). However, beginning in 2000, advance notice will be made regarding availability of new data series and major changes in methodology.
|Dimensions of Quality and|
|5. Accessibility –Clear|
data and metadata are
easily available, and
assistance to users is
|5.1 Data accessibility –|
Statistics are presented in
a clear and
forms of dissemination are
adequate, and statistics are
made available on an
|5.1.1 With the exception of national accounts (for which there are no official compiled data), the data disseminated by statistical agencies are presented in component detail and time series to permit users to assess the reasonableness of data.|
|5.1.2 With the exception of national accounts, macroeconomic data are widely disseminated.|
The IPI and the CPI are published.
Data on the consolidated budget, on the financial, and external sectors are published.
Data on exchange rates and on treasury bill rates are available on Reuters’ online service.
|5.1.3 INSTAT publishes an advance release calendar at the beginning of each year. The calendar covers real sector indicators, socio-demographic data, and external trade statistics. The calendar is disseminated in the publication Calendar of Publications and is usually updated in June.|
The BOA and MOF are currently developing advance release calendars for their publications. The BOA plans to post its advance release calendar on its website.
|5.1.4 All statistical agencies release statistical data simultaneously to all users through press releases and periodicals.|
No outside agencies have access to data before they are released. However, in the BOA’s capacity as advisor to the government, some data may be made available to government. Any information provided to the government is deemed confidential by law.
and pertinent metadata are
|5.2.1 INSTAT has published summaries of compilation methodologies for most of the indicators that it publishes. For the fiscal, financial, and external sectors, public dissemination of compilation methodologies is limited in scope.|
The methodology of IPI is described in an internal document Methodology of the Industrial Production Index prepared in 1994, and it is available from INSTAT on request.
The methodology of the CPI was published in the Quarterly Statistical
|Dimensions of Quality and|
|Bulletin, No. 4, 1994. Short methodological notes are also published in the quarterly publication Conjuncture.|
The methodology for employment, unemployment, and wages was published in the 1994 issue of Albania Labour Market.
For central government budgetary aggregates, no methodology is presently published, but an internal document defining the detailed series within revenue and expenditure is available on request.
For domestic and foreign debt by currency, maturity, debt holder, and instrument, no methodology is presently published. However, explanatory notes on the data appear as footnotes in the statistical tables.
The MOF has plans to issue descriptions of the methodology in its forthcoming release of fiscal data.
With respect to broad money and credit aggregates, the methodology is not published in national sources, but is based on the IMF’s MFSM.
Specific interest rates are described in the footnotes to the tables published in the Monthly Statistical Report of the BOA.
A methodological description of the balance of payments is available on request from the BOA.
Methodological notes on external trade statistics are published together with the figures in Situation of Foreign Trade and Conjuncture.
BOA provides notes to the monetary and balance of payments tables as part of its Quarterly Statistics Bulletin.
|5.3 Assistance to users —|
Prompt and knowledgeable
support service is available.
|5.3.1 The metadata for Albania under the GDDS, available on the Fund’s GDDS website, provides information on the contact person for each subject field.|