This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) data module provides a review of Kazakhstan’s data dissemination practices against the IMF’s General Data Dissemination System. The quality of Kazakhstan’s macroeconomic statistics has improved significantly in the last few years. The authorities have established a good track record of implementing recommendations of past technical assistance missions in the area of statistics, and have demonstrated commitment to pursue plans and programs to further improve their statistics.

Abstract

This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) data module provides a review of Kazakhstan’s data dissemination practices against the IMF’s General Data Dissemination System. The quality of Kazakhstan’s macroeconomic statistics has improved significantly in the last few years. The authorities have established a good track record of implementing recommendations of past technical assistance missions in the area of statistics, and have demonstrated commitment to pursue plans and programs to further improve their statistics.

I. Introduction

1. The data dissemination module of this Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) provides a summary of Kazakhstan’s practices on the coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of the data categories. It is complemented by an assessment of the quality of national accounts, consumer and producer price indexes, and government finance, monetary, and balance of payments statistics using the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF) developed by the IMF’s Statistics Department (STA). This report is based on information provided prior to and during a staff mission from April 16–May 3, 2002,1 as well as publicly available information.

2. Section II includes an assessment of Kazakhstan’s data dissemination practices against the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS). At the request of the authorities, their current data dissemination practices were also reviewed against the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) requirements, focusing on the coverage, periodicity, and timeliness prescriptions of the data dimension. The key issues that need to be dealt with prior to Kazakhstan’s subscription to the SDDS are identified. Section III presents a summary assessment of the quality of the principal macroeconomic datasets according to the dataset-specific assessment frameworks. Finally, Section IV sets out recommendations to achieve further improvements in Kazakhstan’s macroeconomic statistics.

II. Data Dissemination Practices and General Data Dissemination System

3. Kazakhstan’s data dissemination practices are assessed against the GDDS.2 Kazakhstan was one of the pilot countries to participate in the GDDS. The GDDS metadata were first posted on the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB)3 on May 22, 2000. The authorities provided updates in August 2001 reflecting changes in the compilation and dissemination practices as well as in plans for improvement in macroeconomic statistics.

4. Macroeconomic statistics reviewed in this report are compiled and disseminated by three agencies, as follows: (i) the Statistics Agency for the Republic of Kazakhstan (SARK) is responsible for national accounts and price statistics; (ii) the Ministry of Finance (MOF) is responsible for government finance statistics (GFS); and (iii) the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) is responsible for monetary and balance of payments (BOP) statistics. Access to macroeconomic statistics is provided through official publications and at the following Internet websites:

5. Regarding the data dimension (coverage, periodicity, and timeliness), Kazakhstan exceeds the GDDS recommendations for the core comprehensive frameworks and recommended indicators (Table 1). Kazakhstan also meets all the data extensions encouraged by the GDDS.

Table 1.

Kazakhstan: Overview of Current Practices Regarding Coverage, Periodicity, and Timeliness of Data Compared to the General Data Dissemination System

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Italics indicate encouraged categories

6. The quality, integrity, and access dimensions of the GDDS are addressed through the DQAF in section IV.

7. Plans for improvement are an integral part of the GDDS. Updates to the GDDS plans for improvement which are currently posted on the DSBB are shown in Table 2.

Table 2.

Kazakhstan Data Quality Assessment Framework: Summary Presentation of Results

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Aside from reserve template.

Paragraph numbers refer to Section IV, Summary Assessment of Data Quality, of this document.

Authorities’ plans as of May 3, 2002.

Key to symbols: O Practice Observed

LO Practice Largely Observed

LNO Practice Largely Not Observed

NO Practice Not Observed

SDDS Complies with SDDS

III. Data Dissemination Practices and Special Data Dissemination Standard

8. The IMF’s SDDS is a “best practice” disclosure standard that focuses on encouraging the authorities to provide information to users, including information that will enable users to assess the data.4

9. A review of Kazakhstan’s data dissemination practices against the SDDS requirements for the data dimension, and the advance release calendar of the access dimension, shows that Kazakhstan meets most of the requirements. Exceptions are the following, which point to the areas that need to be addressed to enable subscription to the SDDS:

  • Compilation and dissemination of the IMF’s reserve template

  • Timeliness of the analytical accounts of the central bank and the banking system with breakdown of data on claims on public and private sectors, as well as data on the external position (current lag of six weeks does not meet SDDS requirement of two weeks for the accounts of the central bank and four weeks for the accounts of the banking system)

  • Coverage of general government operations (should include all extrabudgetary funds)

  • Timeliness of data on foreign and domestic financing of the central government (current lag of seven weeks does not meet SDDS requirement of one month)

  • Dissemination of an advance release calendar by the NBK

10. By vigorously pursuing an action plan to address the above mentioned gaps, Kazakhstan will be in a position to subscribe to the SDDS within one year.

IV. Summary Assessment of Data Quality

11. Since mid-2001, the IMF complements the GDDS and SDDS elements of the ROSC data module with an assessment of data quality based on the IMF’s DQAF. The DQAF comprises a generic framework, and a set of dataset-specific frameworks.5 The frameworks cover a set of prerequisites and five dimensions of data quality—integrity, methodological soundness, accuracy and reliability, serviceability, and accessibility.6

12. An assessment of six macroeconomic datasets (national accounts, consumer price index, producer price index, and government finance, monetary, and the balance of payments statistics) was conducted, using the frames of reference provided by the dataset-specific DQAFs. The information resulting from the application of this framework to Kazakhstan’s statistical system is presented below, following the structure of the DQAF. Conclusions are also presented in the form of standardized summary tables in which the assessment of data practices is made on a qualitative basis, using a four-part scale (Table 2).

13. Kazakhstan’s macroeconomic statistics and statistical base are adequate for effective surveillance. Nevertheless, IMF staff identified shortcomings in some statistical practices that have the potential for detracting from the accurate and timely analysis of economic and financial developments and the formulation of appropriate policies. The recent public disclosure of the existence of a large off-budget fund, the operations of which may not be fully recorded, indicates an urgent area for improving transparency.

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.

14. The main statistics producing agencies in Kazakhstan—the SARK, the MOF, and the NBK—have an adequate legal and institutional framework that supports data quality. There are normative legal acts regulating the distribution of statistical functions among government authorities. SARK has responsibility for the compilation and dissemination of national accounts and price statistics; the MOF for government finance statistics; and the NBK for balance of payments and monetary statistics. There is a high-level Inter-Agency Council for Improving Government Statistics, chaired by the Vice Prime Minister, for resolving methodological, organizational, and coordination issues. Other formal and informal mechanisms for inter- and intra- institutional cooperation also exist. However, there is scope for taking fuller advantage of these coordinating bodies to resolve outstanding statistical issues that cut across sectoral areas. Confidentiality of respondents’ data is protected by law and safeguarded by data compilers in the performance of statistical activities. Statistical reporting is ensured in the three agencies through legal mandate and measures to encourage response.

15. Staff, financial, and computing resources are adequate to carry out the agencies’ current statistical plans and programs. There are no problems in recruiting and retaining qualified staff who are directly responsible for statistical work in all agencies. Various measures are in place for fostering efficiency in the use of resources, including the mid-term review of resources and work programs in the context of budgetary planning. Training for staff is provided on an ongoing basis, although more training is needed for national accounts and GFS compilers.

16. In the past years, all three agencies have made significant progress in implementing work programs that are supportive of data compilation in accordance with international statistical standards. Quality awareness is indicated by statistical priorities, work programs, and aspects of data quality discussed within the Inter-Agency Council for Improving Government Statistics, as well as by the methodological councils within the SARK and MOF and statistical working groups at the NBK. All three agencies make efforts to foster greater statistical awareness among data users.

Integrity

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.

17. Various laws covering the statistical activities of the SARK, MOF, and NBK provide measures to ensure professionalism. The adoption of international standards and choice of sources and statistical techniques are based solely on statistical considerations. Confidentiality for respondents is guaranteed by Article 13 of the Law on State Statistics (No. 98-1, approved on May 7, 1997 with amendments and additions thereafter) and safeguarded by the various agencies involved in the process of data compilation. The Law on Civil Service (Second Edition, approved on July 23, 1999) and the Civil Service Ethics Rules provide clear ground rules for ethical standards and conduct of civil servants, who are required to undergo an accreditation process every three years. The accreditation process evaluates the civil servant’s professional knowledge and assesses conflict of interest and other ethical issues. Specifically, Article 10 of the Law on Civil Service prohibits civil servants from using any information or material obtained as a result of their position for personal benefit. Under the law, civil servants also cannot hold a paid or unpaid position in a business or commercial enterprise where the nature of their duties could come into conflict with their official responsibilities. The Anti-Corruption Law specifies the penalties associated with violations of the Law on Civil Service. As a result of the enabling legal environment, the Chairman of the SARK was recently able to defend the professional integrity and competence underlying GDP estimates before a budget commision that examined allegations made by some government agencies about the reliability of those estimates. In other instances of erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics, all three agencies have provided clarifications through press releases, briefings, and press conferences.

18. As to transparency, the laws and codes governing the collection, compilation, and dissemination of statistics as applicable to each of the three agencies are posted on their websites, although limited information is available on an off-budget fund of the government that was recently revealed by the Prime Minister. Users are notified of major changes in methodology, source data, and statistical techniques when they occur; however, no advance notice of such changes is provided to users. Outside officials do not have access to the data of the SARK and MOF before their release. Prior government access to the data released by the NBK is identified in Kazakhstan’s GDDS metadata.

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.

19. The SARK compiles annual and quarterly national accounts statistics based on the concepts and definitions recommended by the 1993 SNA. The minimum requirements for the scope of national accounts tables and accounts, established by the Intersecretariat Working Group on National Accounts, are met. In addition, quarterly GDP estimates by production and expenditure approach at current and constant prices are compiled. The delimitation of the constituent units of the economy, and the production and assets boundary, are generally in accordance with the 1993 SNA. However, there is a deviation in the definition of residence—local branches of foreign construction and drilling companies are currently considered nonresidents in the BOP statistics, which are used as inputs to national accounts compilation. The classifications used generally conform to international standards; the basis for recording is in accordance with the 1993 SNA with the exception of general government transactions that are recorded on a cash basis.

20. The concepts and definitions as well as the basis for recording of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) are in conformity with international guidelines. The scope of the CPI derives from the sample of households surveyed through the Household Income and Expenditures Survey (HIES), which has been steadily increasing every year and covers all types of households at the Republic level. Although housing rent is included, there is a need for CPI weights to include imputations of rentals for owner-occupied dwellings, particularly in view of the likely growth in this market. Household expenditures follow the COICOP classification. Both geographic and income level coverage is comprehensive. The level of detail for commodities and services is sufficient for analysis of price movements—the market basket includes 435 headings of representative goods and services.

21. The concepts, definitions, and classifications used to compile the Producer Price Index (PPI) are in broad conformity with the guidelines contained in the 1993 SNA and the PPI Manual. The scope of the PPI covers all types of economic activities, accounting for more than 80 percent of all products. The producer price concept is used as the basis for recording. The PPI is based on the general classification of types of economic activities (OKED), which is similar to NACE, and the classification of producers by type of economic activity used by the European Union. Data compilation procedures, including those for missing prices and for quality adjustments, follow sound statistical techniques.

22. The concepts and definitions used by the MOF to compile budgetary GFS are consistent with A Manual of Government Finance Statistics 1986 (GFSM 1986). The MOF has taken initial steps to migrate to the GFSM 2001; for instance, receipts from privatization have been reclassified as a financing item beginning with fiscal year 2002. The implementation of a treasury modernization project is expected to facilitate the MOF’s transition to the new framework. However, the scope of fiscal data as disseminated to the public is strictly based on the legal budgetary concept that is narrower in scope than that recommended by the GFSM 1986. The scope excludes the operations of the National Fund of the Republic of Kazakhstan (NFRK) and external grants and corresponding expenditure funded by grants. In addition, the operations of a recently disclosed off-budget fund may not be officially recorded. Classification and sectorization largely follow the GFSM 1986, except that the NBK’s holdings of government securities are misclassified as part of financing by the nonbank sector, and repayments of government lending are misclassified as nontax revenue. Debt by type of holder is classified on the basis of initial placement of the debt instrument and is not updated to reflect subsequent changes in the holder when the instrument is sold in the secondary market. Data are valued based on market prices. As regards the basis for recording, flows and stocks are recorded on a cash basis, except for expenditures of some investment projects incurred during the “complementary period,”7 which are included in the final data for the previous year.

23. The analytical framework used for compiling monetary statistics reflects concepts and definitions that are in general conformity with guidelines outlined in the Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual (MFSM). The scope of the monetary statistics is also in general accordance with MFSM guidelines. There are depository corporations issuing broad money liabilities in Kazakhstan that are excluded from the monetary statistics, but these are at present insignificant for the compilation of monetary aggregates. Following recent enhancements to the classification of instruments and the sectorization of institutional units, the monetary statistics largely conform to MFSM guidelines. The main exception is that the deposit liabilities of the NBK to the NFRK are not identified as part of the general government sector. The basis for recording flows and stocks is largely consistent with the MFSM. The general valuation principle for financial assets and liabilities is based on current market prices. However, commercial banks’ holdings of securities for investment are not valued at current market prices, and official rather than market exchange rates are used by commercial banks to convert foreign currency denominated accounts into tenge equivalents. In line with MFSM guidelines, financial transactions are recorded on a full accrual basis. Transactions are recorded on a gross basis, except for transactions in financial derivatives and those that have a legal right of set-off.

24. The concepts and definitions used in compiling BOP statistics conform to the fifth edition of the IMF’s Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5). While in principle the scope of the data covers all resident-nonresident transactions, commercial banks by statute define nonresident accounts according to a legal rather than an economic criterion, which affects bank reporting. Further, local branches of foreign construction and drilling enterprises are considered nonresidents. The classification and sectorization of transactions are in accordance with BPM5. The basis for recording transactions is on an accrual basis. Transactions are valued at market prices; adjustments associated with transfer prices are made based on results of large taxpayer monitoring provided by the Ministry of State Revenue. Grossing and netting procedures are consistent with BPM5.

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.

25. The SARK has a comprehensive annual and quarterly survey program for collecting source data for national accounts, using the statistics register of enterprises as a framework. As an economic census has not been conducted in Kazakhstan, the coverage of the register is not considered exhaustive. The survey data and the administrative source data are sufficiently detailed to derive all key national accounts aggregates. The compilation techniques for the current price GDP estimates are generally sound. The estimates of output and intermediate consumption are compiled at a sufficiently detailed level. The GDP estimates by expenditure components are derived independently. However, the double deflation method is used only for the volume measures of the value added of industrial activities. Informal and hidden activities are estimated and included in the coverage of the national accounts data. Assessment and validation of source data, intermediate data, and statistical outputs need improvement. Discrepancies in data across sectors indicate a need for further validation of data. Revision studies are carried out on a regular basis.

26. The compilation of the CPI is generally based on sound source data and statistical techniques. The HIES sample size covers 12,000 households and the price collection program is comprehensive. Source data are not only consistent with the definitions, scope, and classification of CPI estimates, but also with the time of recording, reference periods, and valuation of CPI estimates. Weights are revised every year and the CPI series is based on a chain-linked Laspeyres index. The oblasts8 report electronically prices for a comprehensive list of items and follow a well-defined schedule to ensure timely submissions. As to assessment and validation, appropriate measures are taken to validate the source data, including checks to ensure consistency with other related data sources such as the PPI. Revision studies are carried out when the index is re-weighted.

27. The statistics register of enterprises forms the basis for sample surveys for the PPI. Source data are consistent with the definitions, scope, and classifications of the PPI, and also with the time of recording, reference periods, and valuation of PPI estimates. The SARK implements a system of price collection that ensures the information is transmitted to headquarters in a timely manner. Statistical techniques in calculating the index are sound. Industry surveys are carried out every year and the PPI series is chain-linked using the Laspeyres formula. International guidelines are followed to impute prices for products that are temporarily unavailable and discontinued items are replaced with products having similar characteristics. Both sampling and non-sampling errors are analyzed on a regular basis and high-value transactions are confirmed with respondents. As regards assessment and validation, PPI changes are compared with changes in other relevant indicators and unusual changes are investigated. Internal SARK revision studies also investigate the sources of errors, omissions, and unusual fluctuations in the PPI input data.

28. GFS are compiled from largely complete and timely source data from the Treasury Committee of the MOF. The unified chart of accounts for central and provincial government operations enhances the accuracy of GFS compilation. The close coordination between the Treasury Committee and the State Borrowing Department of the MOF, which is responsible for monitoring external credit financing, facilitates debt reporting. Assessment and validation of the source data in terms of their accuracy and appropriateness are undertaken by the MOF’s Methodology Board. However, material differences between GFS and other sectoral statistics especially monetary statistics need further investigation. Revision studies are not routinely undertaken.

29. The source data for the compilation of monetary statistics are derived from the NBK and commercial banks’ charts of accounts, which have been augmented to provide details enabling the classification of financial instruments and economic sectors largely in accordance with the MFSM. The main exceptions are the use of a legal rather than an economic criterion for identifying nonresident institutional units, and the recording of syndicated lending which can distort the measurement of credit and net foreign assets. Statistical techniques employed conform to sound statistical procedures. Electronic reporting, data processing procedures, and documentation of data compilation practices enable the production of accurate and timely monetary statistics. Automated and manual assessments and validations of source data and intermediate data, as well as statistical outputs, support reliable monetary statistics. The consistency of individual banks’ balance sheets is reviewed, and temporal consistency and cross-checks with other data sources are undertaken each reporting cycle. Moreover, any proposals by the NBK’s accounting methodology department for changes to the accounting rules that underlie the NBK’s and commercial banks’ charts of accounts are coordinated with the statistics division. Revision studies are undertaken by examining banks’ explanations of reclassifications in the source data to highlight reporting issues that may warrant clarification.

30. The source data for the BOP are (i) foreign trade data collected by the Customs Committee and transmitted via the SARK, (ii) services, income, and investment information received from reporters listed in the NBK BOP Division’s statistical register, (iii) banking data, and (iv) registration of foreign exchange transactions. Prices used to determine import valuation in customs documents are monitored by an international consulting firm engaged for this purpose. The coverage of exports and imports is incomplete due in part to the understatement of registered trade operations and smuggling. Import coverage is adjusted for shuttle trade. This adjustment, as well as the c.i.f. to f.o.b. adjustment, are based on recent surveys and sound statistical techniques. Assessment and validation procedures include the reconciliation of flow with stock data within report forms, built-in computerized checks of data input, reconciliation with bank supervision data, comparison with an electronically generated standard classification of banking transactions, and use of trade data from major trading partners. Data revisions are introduced semi-annually. Revision studies, encompassing analysis of revisions as well as of errors and omissions, prompted the NBK to initiate in 2001 the formation of an interagency commission to improve BOP statistics, the recommendations of which have been implemented.

Serviceability

Serviceability focuses on practical aspects of how well a dataset meet 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.

31. The SARK undertakes an internal assessment to determine whether the national accounts data adequately respond to government needs. The relevance of national accounts data are discussed within the framework of the Inter-Agency Council for Improving Government Statistics. Periodicity and timeliness of the GDP estimates meet the SDDS requirements. Consistent time series for annual and quarterly estimates are only available, respectively from 1998 and from 1994. There are discrepancies between national accounts data and BOP statistics. The revision cycle of the national accounts estimates is published; preliminary and revised data are clearly identified; revisions are measured and explained.

32. To enhance the relevance of both the CPI and the PPI, the SARK solicits users to provide feedback either through its website, when the catalog of forthcoming publications is circulated, or during an annual open door meeting. The SARK’s revision cycle with regard to these indexes is predetermined; users are aware of the revision schedule. There are clear policies to include new source data as soon as practicable. The CPI and PPI indexes are internally consistent. The timeliness and periodicity of both price indexes meet the SDDS requirements.

33. Budgetary fiscal data are compiled within the same timeframe as budget preparation and monitoring. However, the lack of data to compile the full scope of government operations hamper the relevance of GFS. The regular monthly press conferences can serve to provide opportunity to obtain feedback from users, but no explicit user survey is conducted by the MOF to monitor the practical utility of GFS in meeting users’ needs. The timeliness and periodicity of GFS meet the SDDS requirements, except for the timeliness of data for central government operations. As to consistency with other data sets, there are discrepancies between GFS, monetary, and BOP statistics. Revisions follow a regular and well established schedule, but such a schedule is not pre-announced to users. Preliminary and final data are clearly identified, and major changes in methodology are explained.

34. The relevance and practical utility of monetary statistics in meeting users’ needs were recently enhanced by the NBK through the publication of data on banks’ transactions with central government and with nonfinancial public enterprises. Further enhancements would include disaggregation of the components of M1 and M2 in the monetary survey. Data timeliness and periodicity are consistent with the recommendations of the GDDS, but the timeliness of the analytical accounts of the central bank and the banking system with breakdown of data on claims on public and private sectors, as well as data on the external position do not meet the SDDS requirements. Statistics are reasonably consistent within the dataset, but consistency of time series data is affected by limited dissemination of information on breaks in data series arising from asset write-offs, changes in the reporting population, and reclassification of accounts in the source data. Inconsistencies exist between monetary statistics for commercial banks, and the International Investment Position (IIP) and BOP statistics. Inconsistencies also exist between monetary statistics and government borrowing/financing from the banking system. The revisions policy and practice for monetary statistics are not made public and are not synchronized with those for the IIP and BOP statistics. Moreover, preliminary end-December monetary statistics are not identified as such in the NBK’s publications.

35. The NBK compiles and disseminates quarterly BOP statistics within 90 days after the end of each quarter, meeting the timeliness and periodicity of the SDDS. The data are disseminated on the NBK website and through the press, in the Statistical Bulletin (analytical presentation) and in NBK News (standard presentation). Revisions are semi-annual, and up to two years of historical data are subject to revision. The Annual Report and the quarterly Economic Review regularly include BOP analysis and commentary on issues. As regards consistency, differences exist between (i) the IIP and monetary statistics for the commercial banks, (ii) net external financing to the government in the BOP and in GFS, and (iii) the BOP current and capital accounts and net lending in the national accounts. Regarding revisions policy and practice, revisions are explained at the time of publication, and the reasons for the need to revise are regularly investigated. Hence, data sources and compilation procedures are occasionally modified, and consistent time series are available as from the first quarter of 2000. The relevance of BOP statistics is addressed in discussions of the Inter-Agency Council for Improving Government Statistics, in meetings with other central banks, and in seminars including regional reporters, compilers, and the financial press. However, no regular monitoring of users’ needs is undertaken.

Accessibility

Accessibility deals with the availability of information to users. Elements refers 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.

36. National accounts estimates, growth rates, and shares are published in a clear manner, with charts and tables together with a short analytical commentary. The national accounts data are released simultaneously to users following an advance release calendar. The GDDS metadata page on national accounts is posted on the SARK webpage. There are no detailed descriptions of concepts, definitions, classifications, data sources, or statistical techniques used for the compilation of the national accounts estimates. Assistance to users is provided through a contact person and a catalog of publications.

37. Regarding data accessibility, the CPI and the PPI are disseminated simultaneously to users based on a pre-announced schedule. A wide range of publications of the SARK include data on the CPI and the PPI in various levels of detail. Recent and historical data on the CPI and the PPI can be also accessed electronically. Although metadata in the form of short methodological notes on the price indexes are placed on the first page of every publication and on the IMF’s DSBB, there is a need to disseminate the complete methodology for compiling these indexes. Assistance to users is provided through contact persons for the CPI and PPI, who are clearly identified in the SARK’s statistical publications.

38. As regards data accessibility, GFS for budgetary government operations are presented in a way that allows major aggregates and balancing items to be identified and related to detailed underlying data. Dissemination media and formats are adequate for the current dissemination practices. However, details of the NFRK operations are limited to quarterly portfolio asset allocation data. The government plans to provide more detailed annual data to the public. The MOF has recently posted an advance release calendar for GFS; GFS are released to the public simultaneously; and nonpublished (but nonconfidential) sub-aggregates are made available to users upon request. Metadata, including a brief description of compilation methodology, are published in all issues of the MOF Statistical Bulletin and on the SARK’s website. Metadata are also disseminated through the IMF’s DSBB. Assistance to users is provided through the identification of a contact person at the MOF in all issues of the MOF Statistical Bulletin.

39. Data accessibility to the monetary statistics is mainly through paper publications, such as the NBK’s Statistical Bulletin and press releases. Key monetary and credit aggregates are available from the NBK website. Plans to improve the website will enable simultaneous private sector and government access to the monetary statistics. The NBK does not disseminate an advance release calendar, but adherence to an internal production schedule provides predictable release dates for the Statistical Bulletin. Kazakhstan’s GDDS web page and the Statistical Bulletin provide metadata describing the broad scope and concepts used in compiling the monetary accounts. More detailed metadata on the definition and scope of line items in the monetary accounts could be developed and made available to the public. Key deviations from international standards are highlighted in the GDDS metadata. Assistance to users is facilitated by the identification in Kazakhstan’s GDDS metadata of a contact person for queries on monetary statistics. NBK publications do not identify such a contact person.

40. Accessibility of BOP statistics is achieved through the dissemination of the data electronically, through press releases, and through paper publications such as the Statistical Bulletin, NBK News (Vestnik), Economic Review, and Annual Report. The official release schedule is not pre-announced to users, although an internal schedule is closely adhered to so that regular users are aware of release dates. Metadata are available via the SARK website and the IMF’s DSBB; sources and additional methodological detail are published in the NBK News. Assistance to users is provided through the contact person listed on the website. In addition, publications list the NBK External Relations Department as the contact point for the public, which refers inquiries to the appropriate specialist. However, a full list of publications is not on the NBK website.

V. Staff Recommendations

The authorities have made significant progress in improving the quality of their macroeconomic statistics. They continue to implement plans and programs to further enhance Kazakhstan’s adherence to international statistical standards. Based on the results of the data quality assessment, discussions with the SARK, MOF, and NBK, and responses from data users, the following measures are proposed:

General Recommendations

High priority

  • Pursue vigorously an action plan to enable subscription to the SDDS, particularly the dissemination of the IMF’s reserve template

  • Utilize fully the existing formal and informal interagency coordinating mechanisms to resolve statistical issues that cut across sectoral areas, particularly the reconciliation of macroeconomic data

  • Harmonize the definition of resident institutional units between national accounts, monetary, and BOP statistics in accordance with 1993 SNA and BPM5

  • Publish reconciliation of data sets (e.g., BOP and IIP data with monetary, GFS, and national accounts)

  • Further develop, upgrade, and use the institutions’ websites to facilitate more timely and complete dissemination of statistics and metadata

  • Establish an independent group of public and private sector representatives, meeting on a regular schedule, to provide advice to the SARK, MOF, and NBK on all aspects of data quality

  • Establish a regular schedule of consultation with users, perhaps by coordinating between the three agencies to each host one meeting with users per year (e.g., two in Almaty and one in Astana).

Other

  • Provide advance notice to users of major changes in methodology and data sources

National Accounts

High priority

  • Investigate the discrepancy with the BOP data, and implement procedures to reconcile the data sets on an ongoing basis

  • Make historical data series consistent for changes in the methodology

  • Strengthen the statistical techniques used in the compilation of national accounts volume estimates

  • Make use of the supply and use tables to reconcile the GDP estimates by production and expenditure approach

Consumer Price Index

Other

  • Include imputed rents of owner-occupied housing in the CPI

Government Finance Statistics

High priority

  • Disseminate data on consolidated general government that include all extrabudgetary funds and grants

  • Disseminate financing data on central (Republican) government operations with detailed components (e.g., foreign and domestic financing, domestic bank and non-bank financing) within one month of the reference period, as required by the SDDS

  • Improve the classification of financing items in accordance with the GFSM 1986, especially with respect to the classification of securities by type of holder

  • Investigate data inconsistencies between GFS and BOP and monetary statistics in coordination with NBK’s BOP and statistics divisions, and implement procedures to reconcile data on an ongoing basis

Other

  • Publish data revisions policy

  • Continue implementation of migration plans to GFSM 2001

Monetary Statistics

High priority

  • Harmonize revisions practice with BOP/IIP and provide information on breaks in data series to the public

  • Investigate data inconsistencies with IIP and GFS in coordination with NBK BOP division and the MOF, and implement procedures to reconcile data on an ongoing basis

  • Release data simultaneously to users according to a preannounced schedule

Other

  • Coordinate with the SARK to obtain relevant information from the business register to enable the sectoral classification of resident institutional units by banks

  • Disaggregate data shown in the monetary survey

  • Require commercial banks to translate foreign currency denominated accounts into tenge equivalents using market exchange rates

Balance of Payments and External Sector Statistics

High priority

  • Begin reporting international reserves data based on the IMF’s reserves template

  • Investigate the discrepancy with the national accounts statistics (e.g., the current account balance plus the capital account balance differs from the total net lending/borrowing in the national accounts), and implement procedures to reconcile the data sets on an ongoing basis

  • Release data simultaneously to users according to a preannounced schedule

1

The mission team was headed by Armida San Jose and included Dev Kar, John Karlik, Maria Mantcheva, Graham Slack, Wipada Soonthornsima, and Melrose Saunders (administrative assistant), all from STA. Charles Enoch joined the team during the latter part of the mission.

2

Sociodemographic statistics were not covered in the assessment.

4

A detailed description of the SDDS can be found on the Internet at http://dsbb.imf.org.

5

The Generic Framework is set out in Appendix I of the accompanying Detailed Assessments volume to this report.

6

Information on data quality can be found at the IMF website on the “Data Quality Reference Site” (http://dsbb.imf.org/dqrsindex.htm).

7

A complementary period exists in Kazakhstan from January 1 until March 15 of the following year.

8

An administrative division corresponding to an autonomous province.