This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes data module provides a review of Namibia’s data dissemination practices against the IMF’s General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), complemented by an in-depth assessment of the quality of the national accounts, consumer price index, government finance, monetary, and balance-of-payments statistics. The assessment reveals that Namibia meets the GDDS recommendations for the core comprehensive frameworks and indicators, except for the dissemination of the production index/indices, wages and earnings indicators, disaggregated data on government financing and debt, and data on public and publicly guaranteed external debt.


This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes data module provides a review of Namibia’s data dissemination practices against the IMF’s General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), complemented by an in-depth assessment of the quality of the national accounts, consumer price index, government finance, monetary, and balance-of-payments statistics. The assessment reveals that Namibia meets the GDDS recommendations for the core comprehensive frameworks and indicators, except for the dissemination of the production index/indices, wages and earnings indicators, disaggregated data on government financing and debt, and data on public and publicly guaranteed external debt.

I. Introduction

1. This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) data module provides a review of Namibia’s data dissemination practices against the IMF’s General Data Dissemination System (GDDS). It is complemented by an in-depth assessment of the quality of the national accounts, consumer price index (CPI), government finance (GFS), monetary, and balance of payments (BOP) statistics, using the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF) developed by the IMF’s Statistics Department (STA). Socio-demographic statistics are not covered in this assessment. This report was prepared by a mission from STA that visited Windhoek during January 15–30, 2002.1 The assessment is based on information gathered during the mission and that publicly available from hard copy publications and on Internet websites.

2. Section II includes an assessment of Namibia’s current data dissemination practices against the GDDS and a review of its practices vis-à-vis the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS). Section III presents a summary assessment of five macroeconomic datasets, following dataset-specific DQAFs. Finally, Section IV provides a set of recommendations to improve Namibia’s macroeconomic statistics. Table 1, which follows Section IV, contains a summary presentation of results for all datasets in the DQAF framework.



Key to symbols: NA=Not Applicable; O=Practice Observed; LO=Practice Largely Observed; LNO=Practice Largely Not Observed; NO=Practice No Observed; SDDS=Complies with SDDS Criteria

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II. Data Dissemination Practices and the General Data Dissemination System: Current Dissemination Practices

3. Following its earlier commitment to participation in the GDDS, Namibia has designated a country coordinator and initiated the preparation of documentation summarizing practices used in compiling statistics (i.e., metadata). After the finalization of metadata, Namibia’s participation in GDDS will be publicly recognized through the dissemination of the country’s metadata, including plans for improvement, on the Fund’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB).

4. The main agencies producing official statistics in Namibia are the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) within the National Planning Commission (NPC), the Ministry of Finance (MOF), and the Bank of Namibia (BON). The CBS is responsible for statistics related to the national accounts and prices. The MOF is responsible for the compilation of statistics on budgetary central government operations. The dissemination of statistics on central government operations is carried out by the MOF, CBS, and the BON. The BON is responsible for the compilation of monetary, financial, and BOP statistics. Namibia provides access to these data through a number of publications and on the BON website

5. In general, Namibia meets the GDDS recommendations for the core comprehensive frameworks and recommended indicators, with the following exceptions2:

  • In the real sector, production index/indices and a producer price index are not compiled. In addition, periodicity and timeliness of employment and unemployment indicators do not meet the GDDS recommendations, and no wages/earnings indicators are produced.

  • Annual data on central government operations—a comprehensive framework of the fiscal sector—are disseminated with a lag of 12 months compared to GDDS recommendations of six to nine months and cover only the budgetary accounts. No comprehensive data on central government debt are disseminated.

  • In the external sector, no data are available on public and publicly guaranteed external debt and its service schedule, and the timeliness of the merchandise trade data does not meet the GDDS recommendations.

6. As Namibia has shown interest in subscribing to the SDDS, the current dissemination practices were also reviewed against SDDS requirements. The following points about the coverage, periodicity, and timeliness prescriptions of the data dimension serve to highlight some significant steps that would need to be taken prior to Namibia’s subscription to the SDDS.

  • Data on the industrial production index/indices, quarterly GDP at current prices, producer or wholesale price index, wages and earnings, general government operations, central government debt, international investment position (IIP), external debt, and the template on international reserves and foreign currency liquidity are not currently available.

  • In the real sector, only quarterly GDP at constant prices is compiled, but it does not meet the SDDS standard for timeliness. Data on employment and unemployment are disseminated with a periodicity and timeliness that do not meet the SDDS requirements.

  • The data categories included in the financial sector meet the coverage and periodicity, but not the timeliness prescribed by the SDDS. However, with intended short-term improvements to data collection practices, the timeliness of financial sector data can be brought within the SDDS requirements.

  • In the external sector, the timeliness for the merchandise trade and international reserves is not in accord with SDDS requirements. The BON intends to resume dissemination of data on the IIP.3

III. Summary Assessment of Data Quality

7. Interest in assessing the quality of data derives from the objectives of complementing the SDDS and GDDS with a consideration of the quality of the data being disseminated and of focusing more closely on the quality of the data that underpin surveillance of countries’ economic policies. Against this background, the IMF’s Statistics Department has developed a tool to provide a structure and a common language to assess data quality.4 The DQAF comprises a generic framework and a set of dataset-specific frameworks. The frameworks cover five dimensions of data quality—integrity, methodological soundness, accuracy and reliability, serviceability, and accessibility—and a set of prerequisites5.

8. Namibia’s macroeconomic statistics are generally adequate to support economic analysis. Nevertheless, IMF staff identified shortcomings in some statistical practices that could hinder the accurate and timely analysis of economic and financial developments and the formulation of appropriate policies. The main findings are set up below.

Prerequisites of quality

This category in the DQAF identifies conditions within the agency in charge of producing statistics that have an impact on data quality. The elements within the category refer to the legal and institutional environment, resources, and quality awareness.

9. The CBS is authorized, under the Statistics Act of 1976, to collect data relating to economic, financial, demographic, and social matters. Responsibility for compiling national accounts and price statistics is not separately specified. The CBS compiles national accounts and a consumer price index along with other real sector and socio-demographic statistics. A producer price index is not compiled in Namibia. A Statistical Committee was created in 2001 to advise on statistical policies and programs. The Act assigns the responsibility for coordination among data producers to the CBS, but due to the vague nature of the Act, conflicts have sometimes arisen with regard to responsibilities and coordination issues. Confidentiality of respondents’ information is protected by the Act, but the lack of clarity in legal provisions has, in some instances, put the credibility of the confidentiality guarantee in question. These deficiencies affect in particular the compilation of national accounts statistics. A new Statistics Act is now being drafted and should address the above issues.

10. Budgetary and computing resources for national accounts and CPI are broadly adequate. However, any additional activities, including those planned for the short-term and those already initiated, would require additional resources. High turnover of professional staff and reliance on temporary staff adversely affect human resource development and quality of statistical products. Only a few staff have specialized training in national accounts and price statistics. Occasional workshops of data producers and users are held to identify statistical priorities. Internal processes to review operational procedures and external review of data quality issues could be institutionalized to achieve efficiency in the use of resources as well as to improve the quality of statistics.

11. The Ministry of Finance (MOF) collects, processes, and disseminates budgetary central government statistics in accordance with the State Finance Act (No. 31) of 1991. Cooperation between agencies that report government finance statistics is good, and the BON disseminates monthly statistics on budgetary central government in a format consistent with the IMF’s A Manual on Government Finance Statistics, 1986 (GFSM 1986). Consolidated central and general government data are not compiled, although other government agencies compile separate data for social security accounts and several extrabudgetary accounts that are audited by the Auditor General and submitted to the Parliament for final approval.

12. The staff resources dedicated to compiling GFS are inadequate, mainly due to a large number of unfilled vacancies. The accounting system is computerized. Processes are not fully in place to improve the compilation and dissemination of GFS, as staff shortages make it difficult to undertake long-term planning.

13. The statistical work of the BON is governed by the Bank of Namibia Act, 1997 (BON Act) and the Banking Act, 1998. Although these acts provide the BON with sufficient authority to gather necessary information for monetary statistics, the BON’s responsibility for compiling and disseminating these statistics is not sufficiently clearly specified. Regarding balance of payments statistics, the BON Act requires the BON to maintain balance of payments statistics and permits – but does not require – these to be published. Data sharing and coordination among data producing agencies appear to be adequate to ensure smooth flow of information. Adequate arrangements are in place to ensure confidentiality of respondents’ data.

14. Staff and computer resources assigned to the compilation of monetary statistics are commensurate with current needs, but will need to be strengthened with the prospective expansion of BON’s statistical and analytical responsibilities. For balance of payments, staff resources are not always sufficient in peak work periods, and will need to be strengthened to enable further development and improvement to the balance of payments statistics. Efforts are being made to retain experienced staff by providing training and promotion opportunities. Measures are implemented by the BON management to ensure efficient use of resources in its statistical activities.

15. Processes are in place in the BON to monitor the quality of the collection, processing, and dissemination of statistics. A Statistical Committee has been set up within the Research Department to review quality of data produced by the BON. Surveys have been initiated to obtain feedback from users on the BON’s Quarterly Bulletin; however, data quality issues are not covered adequately. There is no external body authorized to provide guidance on data quality issues and to guide planning for current and emerging needs.


Integrity identifies features that support firm adherence to objectivity in the collection, compilation, and dissemination of statistics so as to maintain users’ confidence. Elements refer to the professionalism and ethical standards that should guide policies and practices, which should be reinforced by their transparency.

16. Professional independence of the CBS is not clearly determined by the Act and the limited information available on the CBS’s operations does not ensure satisfactory transparency. Although the Act defines the role of the Minister (now: the Director General of the NPC) in terms of statistical policy and allows independence of the Government Statistician in data collection and compilation, it is generally vague and appears ineffective on issues of data processing and dissemination. All statistical publications are to be cleared by the NPC Secretariat without any transparent process, and they carry a preface by the NPC rather than the CBS. Advance notice of planned major changes in national accounts methodology is usually given at users’ workshops organized by the CBS. The new Statistics Act and the development of the CBS’s own website will be crucial to improve the professional independence of the CBS and transparency of its work practices.

17. The CBS generally scrutinizes media comments on their statistics and follows up on any misinterpretation. The ethical rules for CBS staff are the same as those applying generally to civil servants. The Act further defines roles and responsibilities of CBS staff. Internal training provides briefings about staff behavior. Formalizing and disseminating ethical guidelines in the form of a code of conduct would enhance the integrity of the statistical services.

18. The State Finance Act, in conjunction with the regulations and established procedures of the MOF, provide a sound professional and ethical framework for the compilation of GFS. Transparency could be improved by better documentation of methodological changes and publicizing information on internal governmental access prior to data release.

19. Statutory provisions under which the BON compiles statistics are adequate to support its independence in conducting these functions. Professional competency plays a key role in recruitment and promotion policy. Professionalism of the staff is promoted through participation in seminars and training courses, and through encouraging the staff to produce research papers, which are published on the website. The selection of sources and statistical techniques is based solely on statistical considerations, with due regard to the cost of data collection and the reporting burden to reporting units.

20. The transparency of statistical policies and practices of the BON is supported through public availability of legal acts, including their posting on the BON’s website. Ethical guidelines for the BON’s staff are provided in the BON Act and in the Code of Conduct, and they are well known to the staff. An induction course for new employees includes ethical guidelines, and new staff are required to sign an oath of confidentiality. There were no changes in the methodology of the monetary and balance of payments statistics that would require providing an advance notice to users. Information on internal government access to data prior to their release is not publicized.

Methodological soundness

Methodological soundness refers to the application of international standards, guidelines, and agreed practices. Application of such standards, which are specific to the dataset, is indicative of the soundness of the data and fosters international comparability. Elements refer to the basic building blocks of concepts and definitions, scope, classification and sectorization, and basis for recording.

21. Namibia’s annual national accounts follow the concepts and definitions of the 1993 SNA. The delimitation of the economy, the coverage of the production and asset boundaries, and the use of classifications are in accordance with the 1993 SNA. Namibia compiles and disseminates tables and accounts viewed as a minimum for the 1993 SNA implementation. The quarterly GDP estimates are available only by activity in constant prices. Government expenditures are recorded on a cash basis. In the absence of a producer price index, output and inventory data for several animal products and diamonds are valued by using either the export unit prices derived from foreign trade statistics or the relevant production prices or indexes from the Republic of South Africa.

22. The CPI concepts and definitions broadly conform to international recommendations. The scope of the Interim Consumer Price Index (ICPI) is limited to Windhoek, the capital city. It uses the classification of household consumer goods and services recommended by the 1968 SNA. The consumption expenditures used to derive weights are valued in accordance with the 1993 SNA. Prices are recorded in the period the purchases are made using detailed product specifications. The CBS is developing a Namibia Consumer Price Index (NCPI), which will represent consumption expenditures of all households in the country and will use the classification of individual consumption by purpose (COICOP) as recommended by the 1993 SNA.

23. The concepts, definitions, scope, and sectorization in the GFS are broadly consistent with the GFSM 1986, but there are some departures. The institutional scope of data produced by the MOF includes the 21 government ministries, but excludes social security accounts and several extrabudgetary accounts, including a fund for road construction. Data cover the full range of budgetary revenues and expenditures, but detailed data on financing flows and debt stocks are not provided. Financing sources are only identified as changes in cash balances and “other.” Some lending/repayment operations are included in revenue or expenditure. Consistent with the GFSM 1986, all transactions are valued at current market prices and recorded on a cash basis. Transactions in foreign currency are converted to national currency using the exchange rate for the day on which transactions take place. Debt stocks are valued at face value, and those denominated in foreign currency are converted to national currency using the midpoint market exchange rate at the end of the reporting period.

24. The analytical framework used for compiling monetary statistics reflects concepts and definitions that are, in general, based on the IMF’s draft Guide to Money and Banking Statistics in International Financial Statistics of December 1984. A monetary survey is compiled on a monthly basis as a consolidation of the accounts of the BON and five commercial banks, and a banking survey, which also is compiled monthly, consolidates the monetary survey and the accounts of four other banking institutions. The national definition of broad money is somewhat confusing, as broad money is at present derived both in the monetary survey and the banking survey, resulting in different values of this aggregate depending on the source. Following the publication in September 2000 of the Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual (MFSM), the BON intends to revise its procedures and formats for the collection, compilation, and dissemination of monetary statistics to ensure their consistency with the MFSM.

25. The institutional scope of the banking survey compiled by the BON covers all depository corporations operating in Namibia and, therefore, conforms to the coverage of the depository corporations survey, which is the major analytical format recommended by the MFSM. The principles underlying the sectorization of institutional units and classification of financial instruments are broadly consistent with the recommendations of the MFSM.

26. The accounting and valuation rules applied in the monetary statistics conform to the recommendations of the MFSM. Recording is done on an accrual basis and interest accruals are incorporated in the value of underlying assets or liabilities. Securities are valued at market prices or fair value equivalents. Loans are recorded at book value comprising principal and accrued interest. Contrary to the recommendations of the MFSM, however, some commercial banks report loans net of provisions for loan losses. Instruments denominated in foreign currencies are converted into national currency equivalents using end-of period mid-point market exchange rates. The only departure from the valuation rules recommended in the MFSM appears to be the use of the IMF SDRs holding rate – rather than the end-of-period market exchange rate – for converting positions with the IMF into national currency equivalents. In addition, commercial banks’ accounts are presented on a consolidated, rather than an aggregated, basis.

27. Balance of payments statistics are compiled in conformity with the conceptual framework of the fifth edition of the IMF’s Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5). The definitions used conform to BPM5 concepts of economic territory, residence, and center of economic interest. Transactions are recorded in accordance with BPM5 principles of classification and sectorization, and no transactions between residents and nonresidents of Namibia are systematically excluded; however, there are some gaps in coverage. Current account transactions and capital transfers are generally compiled, but not necessarily published, on a gross basis, while financial account transactions are compiled on a net basis separately for the individual asset and liability components. As a general principle, transactions are valued at market prices; however, where transactions are derived from stock data, no adjustments are made for exchange rate, price, and other changes.

Accuracy and reliability

Accuracy and reliability identifies features that contribute to the goal that data portray reality. Elements refer to identified features of the source data, statistical techniques, and supporting assessments and validation.

28. The source data for the annual national accounts are derived from administrative records and a narrow range of surveys, and are supplemented by statistical outputs from within and outside the CBS. A comprehensive census of business establishments has never been conducted, and the census of manufacturing and the households survey are more than 5 years old. Therefore, the reliance on outdated benchmark data and fixed ratios for the compilation of national accounts is too large. The plausibility assessment and validation of source data is carried out on receipt of source data. The assessment and validation of intermediate and output data are carried out when discrepancies, inconsistencies, or substantial revisions of earlier published data are detected. The magnitude of revisions is monitored, and studies and analysis are carried out.

29. Differences in accounting periods and in the timing of recording between the national accounts and records of government and some parastatal organizations are handled through prorating of data. Even though separate estimates of GDP by expenditures are prepared, the bulk of information is derived through a commodity flow approach from the GDP calculations by activity. The size of the statistical discrepancy is small, but this is a result of using similar sources for both production and expenditure estimates, and thus is not a valid indicator of accuracy.

30. The sources of data for CPI weights are irregular. The ICPI weights are based on the 1985 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES). A nationwide HIES was conducted in 1993/94 and will be used to derive weights for the NCPI. As an up-to-date statistical business register does not exist, outlets for price collection are selected on a judgmental basis. The frequency of price collection is satisfactory except for consumer durables and some services, for which prices are collected on a quarterly basis. The price collection survey is sufficiently timely for meeting the ICPI deadline. The commodity detail at which the ICPI is compiled is adequate. Weight (1985) and price reference (December 1992) periods for the ICPI are outdated. Although these reference periods differ, no adjustment is made to the weights to align them with the price reference period. The treatment of missing prices, quality change, and seasonal items also needs improvements. Validation of data is minimal as the scope for validation is limited. Revision studies are not required, as ICPI data are final when first released. The CBS would like to introduce improved statistical techniques when developing the NCPI, but would require assistance in their implementation.

31. In GFS, the fiscal and financial information disseminated by the MOF is compiled from the Budget Management and Accounting System. Data on development expenditure financed by external grants are derived from submissions from individual line ministries and reconciled with BON data collected through a survey of donor agencies. The MOF also compiles monthly data on budgetary central government operations that are disseminated by the BON through its website and publications. The monthly data are not reconciled with the annual data disseminated by the MOF, and there are at times large discrepancies between the two series. Owing to the lack of detailed financing data, comparisons with monetary statistics and BOP statistics cannot be made.

32. The accuracy and reliability of the monetary statistics are adversely affected by the insufficient detail of source data used to compile the BON accounts. The aggregated BON balance sheet does not permit a reliable classification of accounts in monetary statistics, and the definitions used do not approximate reasonably those recommended by the MFSM. No statistical adjustments are made to accounting data, and the accounting practices are not verified for consistency with the methodological requirements set out in the MFSM. Assessment and validation of source data and statistical outputs is insufficient, as demonstrated by the inconsistencies of the data on interbank positions between the BON and the commercial banks. As a result, major monetary aggregates of the monetary and banking surveys compiled at present by the BON cannot be treated with the necessary degree of confidence.

33. Balance of payments compilation is based on various sources, including Customs data on imports of goods, quarterly surveys of the private and government sectors, direct collection from specific government ministries, and the BON monetary statistics. There is an annual update of the balance of payments business register. However, there is no timely method of adding new enterprises to the register; these are included in the annual update, so that it is possible that an enterprise may be operating for several quarters before being incorporated in the quarterly surveys. Verification procedures include checking questionnaires for internal consistency. Follow-up procedures with respondents, including telephone calls and visits, have led to substantial increases in response rates over the last two to three years. Estimates are made for non-response, but not for the small enterprises that are not covered in the survey. The net errors and omissions component is variable and often large.

34. Customs data on imports are available only with a long delay (8-12 months); the BON makes its own estimates for the most current quarters. Customs-based exports are not used; the BON makes direct enquiries to estimate exports. There are a number of gaps in the data collection, including transportation, travel, telecommunications, and government services n.i.e. The c.i.f./f.o.b. factors used for adjusting imports and the factors used for estimating transportation services have remained constant since the early 1990s. Investment income data are not consistent with the corresponding components of financial account. Contributions to international organizations are excluded from current transfers, as are workers’ remittances (these latter are not thought to be large). There is some undercoverage in direct investment, particularly for new operations in Namibia and for Namibian direct investment abroad. In portfolio investment, there is undercoverage relating to the nonresident acquisition of Treasury bills, and there is no information on nonresident purchase and sale of shares in Namibian companies listed on the Namibian stock exchange. Data on financial derivative transactions are not collected; it is not known how large this activity is. No systematic study of revisions has been conducted.


Serviceability focuses on practical aspects of how well a dataset meets users’ needs. Elements refer to the extent to which data are relevant, produced and disseminated in a timely fashion with appropriate periodicity, are consistent internally and with other datasets, and follow a predictable revisions policy.

35. The annual national accounts publication effectively addresses the statistical needs of government and the BON, while the needs of private sector, until the end of 1999, were monitored on an ad hoc basis only through user/producer workshops carried out in 1993 and 1997. Since the beginning of 2001, the widely representative Statistics Committee has met regularly to deliberate on the legal and institutional framework and statistical programs and priorities. Periodicity and timeliness of the annual GDP estimates follow GDDS recommendations, and the CBS has commenced the compilation and dissemination of quarterly GDP by economic activity in constant prices, with an eight-months lag. Consistent time series data are available for eight years, and efforts are made to adjust back data to account for methodological developments and the availability of new data sources. Efforts to reconcile national accounts data with other data sets within the macroeconomic framework, despite some differences in accounting periods and the basis of recording, are made and the discrepancies are noted and explained in the annual National Accounts publication. Revisions usually follow a publicized schedule, and preliminary and revised data are clearly identified.

36. Occasional workshops of data producers and users provide fora for assessing the users’ needs for the CPI. The CPI is monthly and published before the 15th day of the month after the reference month, meeting the SDDS requirements for timeliness and periodicity. The time series is consistent over time. The 1993/94 HIES results have not yet been used to update base year/weights for the CPI. Data are final when first released, but this practice is not publicized.

37. In GFS, the analytical relevance of data is greatly diminished by the fact that no consolidated data on central government and general government are produced. The annual detailed budgetary central government data are disseminated by the MOF in the context of the budget speech for the following year (thus with a 12 month lag). Data on government debt are disseminated only in aggregate form, total domestic and foreign, with a lag of three months. As budgetary financing flows are also not available in disaggregated form, it is not possible to reconcile financing flows with changes in debt stocks. Insufficient detail of financing data does not permit reconciliation of fiscal and monetary data. Monthly data on central government budgetary operations are usually available within two weeks of the end of the reference period.

38. The relevance of monetary statistics is monitored through a users’ survey published in the BON’s Quarterly Bulletin. The statistics meet the periodicity and the timeliness recommendations of the GDDS. To meet the timeliness requirements of the SDDS, the compilation and dissemination of the BON accounts would have to be expedited. Internal consistency of monetary statistics, in particular regarding reciprocal asset/liability positions between the BON and the commercial banks, needs improvement. Consistency with the government finance data cannot be verified owing to insufficient detail of fiscal data. Data are considered final when published, but this policy is not announced to the public.

39. Annual balance of payments statistics are available for Namibia from 1990, with quarterly statistics introduced from the first quarter of 1999. Annual and quarterly BOP data are completely consistent and appear to satisfy user requirements, although there is no established procedure to obtain user views on the quality or presentation of the published data. Namibia compiles and disseminates quarterly balance of payments data three months after the end of the reference period, thus exceeding GDDS recommendations. Data are generally consistent with the monetary data and the national accounts, but not with merchandise trade statistics. Preliminary data are clearly identified. Revisions do not follow a publicized procedure; new and more complete source data are incorporated as soon as they become available. Users are not informed of the reasons for revisions.


Accessibility deals with the availability of information to users. Elements refer to the extent to which data and metadata are clear and easily available and to which assistance to the user is adequate to help them find and use the data.

40. The annual national accounts are published in hard copy at the CBS and are posted on the BON’s website (the CBS does not have its own website). Preliminary estimates are released in March simultaneously in the Minister of Finance’s Budget speech and the CBS’s Preliminary National Accounts publication. The revised annual estimates are released in the annual National Accounts publication in July or August. The announcement of the date of the Budget speech and the scheduled revisions usually approximate the publicized schedule for the national accounts, but no formal advance release calendar exits. Documentation on sources and methods is available as a volume of the Namibia’s National Accounts Manual. Comprehensive and up-to-date metadata are not available on any website. A catalogue of CBS’s statistical publications is not available either in hard copy or on any website, but it will be included in all CBS’s publications beginning in 2002. The publications on national accounts provide specific contact points at the CBS.

41. The CPI is published in Monthly Releases, which is suitable for most users. It is also published in the BON’s Quarterly Bulletin and on the Bank’s website (the inclusion of these data in the NPC/CBS future website is planned). More detailed data or explanations are available on request, but this service is not publicized. There is no preannounced release schedule, and CPI data are published as soon as they become available before the 15th day of the next month. Data are released to all interested users simultaneously, but not all would know the exact timing of release. Documentation on sources and methods is not available. The catalogue of statistical publications will be reintroduced in all CBS’s publications beginning in 2002. Each Monthly Releases provides specific contacts for the ICPI at the CBS.

42. The MOF does not make extensive use of media contacts, and the Budget Speech and supporting documents are its principal means of disseminating GFS, as supplemented by the BON and CBS publications. The MOF does not have a formal data release schedule, but follows a regular schedule that users can rely on, and statistics are released to all users at the same time. Documentation that explains GFS concepts, classifications, and other technical information is not available, and contact persons for users’ inquiries are not publicized.

43. Monetary statistics are presented in a clear and understandable manner, although several improvements in the layout of tables and descriptors are planned for the immediate future. Forms of dissemination are adequate, and statistics are made available to all users at the same time; however, this policy is not publicly announced. An advance release calendar has been introduced recently. Unpublished data are available on request; however, their availability is not publicized. Basic concepts and definitions underlying monetary statistics are published in the BON’s Quarterly Bulletin, but comprehensive documentation of methodology is not available. A contact point for user inquiries is provided in the BON publications.

44. Balance of payments data are disseminated through the BON Quarterly Bulletin and Annual Report. Capital and financial account data are also made available, on a less timely basis, through the BON website; however current account data are not made available through the website. An advance release calendar has recently been made available through the BON website; this needs to be publicized. Data are released to all users at the same time in the Quarterly Bulletin. The presentation of the data is broadly in accordance with BPM5; however some current account components and the capital account are disseminated on a net basis. Additional detail on grants received by Namibia is disseminated. Documentation of data sources and methods is available internally; however, this was produced in 1993 and should be updated. No sources and methods publications are available outside BON. Unpublished but nonconfidential data are available on request, but this policy is not announced to the public. The publications clearly identify a contact point for queries relating to the data.

IV. Fund Staff’s Recommendations

Based on the results of the data quality assessments, subsequent technical discussions with the authorities in Namibia, and responses to the data users’ survey, the following measures are proposed to enhance the organizational structure of the statistical system, bring Namibia’s statistical system in line with international standards, and improve the usefulness of the data. These recommendations, which are subdivided into short- (less than a year) and medium-term (one to three years), build on the authorities’ plans as shown in Table 1.

General Recommendations


  • Expedite the enactment of the new Statistics Act to provide for, among other things, the autonomy and professional independence of the CBS.

  • Proceed with further development of comprehensive and informative GDDS metadata on (a) current statistical production and dissemination practices and (b) plans for short- and long-term improvements for all sectors.

  • Develop and make available documentation of methodology for all sectors, including ensuring access to GDDS metadata by re-posting of metadata on national websites or, as a minimum, providing links to the IMF’s DSBB.

  • Develop, implement, and publicize advance release calendars for all datasets where these are not already in place.

  • Enhance transparency of statistical policies and practices by, e.g., publicizing practices relating to internal government access to data prior to release and providing advance notice of major changes in source data and compilation methods.

  • Institutionalize formal mechanisms for obtaining feedback from data users.


  • Promote training in statistical methodologies, including through participation in courses and training of staff.

  • Regarding survey-based collection systems, strengthen the sampling frames and the monitoring of sampling design, pilot testing, data collection, tabulations, and dissemination of data to improve timeliness of results.

  • Ensure that staff resources are available to undertake improvements and developmental work.

National Accounts


  • Advance the work program to strengthen the compilation of annual and quarterly national accounts by making use of the newly emerged data sources, such as the 2001 population census and bi-annual labor force data, and developing new and timely data sources to reduce dependence on outdated ratios, proxies, and unreliable estimates.

  • Advance the work program to improve the timeliness of the quarterly GDP estimates and expand them to cover GDP by activity at current prices and expenditure estimates.


  • Conduct a census of business establishments, so that benchmark data and updated benchmarks for national accounts can be derived.

  • Use the results of the proposed census of business establishments to design an industrial (manufacturing or mining) production index and a periodic survey of business enterprises.

  • Expand the work program for implementing the 1993 SNA to include supply and use tables and the current, accumulation, and other accounts for institutional sectors.

Consumer Price Index


  • Expedite the development of the NCPI and implement improved statistical techniques for its compilation, in particular concerning appropriate weights at the sub-national and national levels, calculation of elementary indices, appropriate formula for aggregation of items and sub-national indices, and treatment of missing prices, quality changes, and seasonal products.

  • Collect information on rents for the NCPI from all sub-national areas.


  • Implement monthly price collections for consumer durables and private services.

  • Introduce new products and review outlet representation on a regular basis.

  • Update the base year and weights of the NCPI using the planned 2002/03 household budget survey. Thereafter, to update weights regularly at least at five-year intervals.

Government Finance Statistics


  • Increase resources available for data collection and compilation.

  • Disseminate more detailed information on financing and debt data.

  • Utilize available crosschecks of data with other government agencies.

  • Reduce the period of time before data are disseminated.


  • Improve consistency between monthly and annual fiscal data.

  • Compile and disseminate data on consolidated central government that include the budgetary, extrabudgetary, and social security accounts.

  • Develop a migration path for the implementation of the GFSM 2001, including accrual basis of accounting.

  • Start work on compiling and disseminating general government statistics.

Monetary Statistics


  • Develop a migration path for the implementation of the MFSM.

  • Initiate work on re-designing the procedure and sources for compiling the BON accounts, using the detailed BON trial balance sheet as a primary data source.

  • Build in routine consistency checks to verify interbank positions and to investigate and eliminate sources of discrepancies.


  • Implement the compilation and presentation framework recommended in the MFSM.

Balance of Payments


  • Change the presentation of disseminated data to show all current account components and capital transfers on a gross basis.

  • Introduce a method of deriving transactions from stock data that takes account of at least exchange rate changes.

  • Review the system for inclusion of new enterprises into the surveys, with the aim of including new activity from the first period in which it occurs.

  • Ensure consistency of the BOP and IIP classifications.


  • Develop a method for estimating the contribution of small enterprises.

  • Investigate methods of improved data collection for portfolio investment.

  • Through the Trade Statistics Committee, encourage more timely production of monthly/quarterly merchandise imports data.


The mission team was led by Mr. Roman Skarzynski and comprised Ms. Margaret Fitzgibbon and Messrs. Manik Shrestha, Charles Sisson (all STA), and Chandrakant Patel (Expert). Ms. Petra Costolanski (STA) provided secretarial assistance.


An assessment of the encouraged data categories under the GDDS is also found in Appendix 1 of the accompanying Detailed Assessments Using the Data Quality Assessment Framework volume.


The compilation of the 1998–2000 data is complete and data for 1999 and 2000 will be published in March 2002. Thereafter, it is expected that annual IIP data will be published with a lag of 15 months.


Information on data quality may be found in the “Data Quality Reference Site” on the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (


See also the Generic Framework set out in Appendix III of the accompanying Detailed Assessments Using the Data Quality Assessment Framework volume.