Republic of Poland: Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC)—Data Module

This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) Data Module provides a review of Poland's data dissemination practices against the IMF's Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), complemented by an in-depth assessment of the quality of Poland's national accounts, consumer price index (CPI), producer price index (PPI), government finance, monetary, and balance-of-payments statistics. It also provides a detailed assessment using the data quality assessment framework (DQAF).

Abstract

This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) Data Module provides a review of Poland's data dissemination practices against the IMF's Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), complemented by an in-depth assessment of the quality of Poland's national accounts, consumer price index (CPI), producer price index (PPI), government finance, monetary, and balance-of-payments statistics. It also provides a detailed assessment using the data quality assessment framework (DQAF).

I. Introduction

1. The data module of this Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) provides a summary of Poland’s practices relative to the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS). It is complemented by a detailed assessment of the quality of national accounts, consumer and producer price indices, and government finance, monetary, and balance of payments statistics using the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF) developed by the IMF. This report is based on information provided prior to and during a staff mission during January 8-22, 2003,1 as well as publicly available information. The mission also conducted a survey of selected users.2

2. Section II includes an overview of the assessment of Poland’s data dissemination practices against the SDDS. Section III presents a summary assessment of the quality of the principal macroeconomic datasets. Finally, Section IV sets out recommendations to achieve further improvements in Poland’s statistics.

II. Data Dissemination Practices and the Special Data Dissemination Standard

3. Poland subscribed to the SDDS on April 17, 1996 and on October 2, 1996 started posting its metadata on the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) (http://dsbb.imf.org/country/polcats.htm). Poland is in observance of the SDDS, having met the specifications for data coverage, periodicity and timeliness, and for the dissemination of advance release calendars on March 2, 2000. The Data Template on International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity was hyperlinked to the DSBB on May 31, 2000. The National Summary Data Page was hyperlinked to the DSBB on April 6, 2001.

4. Three official institutions are responsible for the compilation and dissemination of the SDDS prescribed data categories. The Central Statistical Office (CSO) compiles and disseminates data on the national accounts, production index, labor market, price indices, merchandise trade, and population. The Ministry of Finance (MoF) is responsible for data on general government operations, central government operations, and central government debt. The National Bank of Poland (NBP) has responsibility for the analytical accounts of the banking sector, the analytical accounts of the central bank, interest rates, balance of payments, international investment position, external debt, and the data template on international reserves and foreign currency liquidity. The NBP redisseminates data on the share price index. These data can be accessed in a variety of publications and on the following websites:

The CSO’s website (http://www.stat.gov.pl)

The MoF’s website (http://www.mf.gov.pl)

The NBP’s website (http://www.nbp.pl)

Data dimension: coverage, periodicity, and timeliness

5. Poland meets the SDDS specifications for the data dimension for all data categories, using flexibility options for the timeliness of the data on general government operations and central government operations (Table 1). Periodicity and timeliness exceed the requirements of the standard for several data categories.

Table 1.

Poland: Overview of Current Practices Regarding Coverage, Periodicity, and Timeliness of Data Compared to the SDDS

article image
Periodicity and timeliness: (D) daily; (W) weekly or with a lag of no more than one week from the reference date or the closing of the reference week; (M) monthly or with a lag of no more than one month; (Q) quarterly or with a lag of no more than one quarter; (A) annually; and (…) not applicable.

Given that the data are broadly disseminated by private means, the timeliness with which official data are disseminated is not critical.

Access dimension

6. Poland meets the requirements of the SDDS in terms of access to data by the public. Advance release calendars that meet the SDDS requirements are disseminated both in hard copy format as well as on the websites of the CSO and the NBP, including the data categories for which the MoF is responsible. These advance release calendars are supplemented by a quarter-ahead presentation of release dates on the DSBB.

7. Data are released simultaneously to all interested parties, generally on the websites of the relevant agencies and on Poland’s National Summary Data Page, which is maintained by the CSO.

Integrity dimension

8. The SDDS-required disclosure of information on the terms and conditions that govern the collection, compilation, and dissemination of data, including the confidentiality of the data collected, is available to the public in English and Polish.

9. Procedures on internal government access to the data prior to public release are disseminated on the DSBB for the data categories to which they apply. According to Poland’s SDDS metadata, there is no internal government access to the data prior to public release. For foreign government debt, the NBP is the agent for the government in servicing part of the debt, and has access to all data on foreign debt prior to their release to the public.

10. Data released by the Polish statistical agencies are not accompanied by ministerial commentary.

Quality dimension

11. Summary methodology statements for most data categories have been provided to the IMF and posted on the IMF’s DSBB. Statements have not been provided for the international investment position and external debt. Some methodological information is disseminated by the CSO, the MoF, and the NBP. Polish statistical agencies also disseminate component detail and additional data series that make possible cross-checks and checks of reasonableness for all data categories.

Monitoring of data dissemination practices

12. In accordance with the IMF Executive Board’s Third Review of the SDDS, the IMF staff began monitoring subscribers’ performance under the SDDS in July 2000. Monitoring is carried out against the release dates stated in the advance release calendars and the metadata, i.e., to verify not only that the data are released according to the calendar, but also that the data disseminated correspond to the metadata posted on the DSBB. Throughout the period of monitoring, Poland’s dissemination practices were seen to be in observance of the SDDS.

III. Summary Assessment of Data Quality

13. An assessment of six macroeconomic datasets—national accounts, consumer price index, producer price index, government finance, monetary, and the balance of payments statistics—was conducted using the frame of reference provided by the DQAF.3 The information resulting from the application of this framework to the 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 (Tables 2).

Table 2.

Poland: Data Quality Assessment Framework—Summary Presentation of Results

article image
Key to symbols: NA = Not Applicable; O = Practice Observed; LO = Practice Largely Observed; LNO =Practice Largely Not Observed; NO = Practice Not Observed.

14. Poland’s recent statistical development has been largely framed within the context of Poland’s program to prepare for accession to the European Union (EU). The EU’s 2002 Regular Report on Poland’s Progress Towards Accession noted that “almost all major classifications, which are relevant for acquis implementation, are in force in Poland,” and that “Poland has achieved a high degree of alignment and developed strong administrative capacity.” The statistics chapter of the pre-accession program has been provisionally closed.

15. The pre-accession program has largely focused on, and contributed to, achieving progress in statistical methodologies and compilation practices. This forms a sound basis from which further improvements, in particular, in accessibility and usefulness of statistics for both domestic and international users can be fashioned.

16. In summary, Poland’s macroeconomic statistics are of generally good quality. They are adequate to conduct effective surveillance, even though the mission identified some shortcomings that may detract from the accurate and timely analysis of economic and financial developments and the formulation of appropriate policies.

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.

17. The CSO is responsible for the national accounts, and the consumer and producer price indexes, among other datasets. The Law on Official Statistics of June 29, 1995 (the “Statistics Law”) sets the CSO at the center of the Polish statistical system. It provides a legal and institutional environment that clearly establishes responsibility for the relevant work, provides that the President of the CSO submit an annual program for statistical surveys to be undertaken by the CSO (where appropriate, together with other agencies), provides for the sharing of data in such surveys, as well as the protection of the confidentiality of individual responses, and makes participation in approved surveys mandatory. There are no formal interagency committees and no formal agreements for the exchange of data with other compiling agencies, but CSO staff consider existing informal arrangements to work satisfactorily. Staff and computer resources are generally adequate, although stiff competition for trained staff means that staff retention is an issue. Each headquarters staff member has a computer workstation. Quality awareness is evidenced by references to quality in the annual statistical programs, as well as the priority accorded by management to achieving compliance with the statistical requirements for EU accession. The Statistical Council, established in the Statistics Law, provides a monitoring function of the quality of the CSO’s statistical processes, and is considered to meet the users’ needs. There are no formal meetings with users.

18. Responsibility for collecting, processing, and disseminating government finance statistics rests with the MoF. The legal and institutional environment is set out in the Public Finance Act of November 26, 1998, supplemented by implementing regulations, although these refer to budget reporting rather than specifically to government finance statistics. The MoF cooperates with the CSO and NBP in compiling government finance statistics. There are no formal committees on statistical issues, but MoF staff consider that existing informal arrangements work satisfactorily. Staff and computer resources are adequate for ongoing work, but staff are insufficient for work in conjunction with EU accession and implementation of the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001 (GFSM 2001). Computer resources are adequate, with each staff member having access to a workstation. Quality awareness is evidenced by the priority attached to achieving compliance with EU requirements and by plans to move forward toward fully adopting best practice methodologies. Insofar as the data are those used for the budget, there is an explicit requirement to ensure quality: under the Regulation on Budgetary Reporting, all budget data have to be signed off by the producing unit’s budget accountant. However, there are no formal meetings with users.

19. The NBP is responsible for compiling and disseminating the monetary and balance of payments statistics. The legal and institutional environment is largely set out in the Act on the National Bank of Poland of August 29, 1997 (the “NBP Act”), which provides the NBP with the authority to collect data from banks. The Act on the Foreign Exchange Law of June 27, 2002 provides authority to collect data from nonbanks. There is no explicit reference to data sharing and no formal arrangements, although NBP staff consider that existing informal arrangements are satisfactory. Reporting is mandatory under these Acts. There is no explicit requirement for dissemination of monetary and balance of payments data, although the prohibition on dissemination of data that could reveal individual responses contained in the Amendment to the NBP Act issued on July 27, 2002 may be interpreted as requiring dissemination of all other data. Staff resources are adequate for work on monetary and balance of payments statistics. Computer resources too are adequate, with each staff member having access to a computer workstation. Quality awareness has in recent years been demonstrated by particular focus on achieving the requirements of the European Central Bank (ECB). There are no formal meetings with 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.

20. The CSO maintains a high degree of professionalism. Statistics are compiled on an impartial basis, in line with the CSO’s mandate. Choices of sources and statistical techniques are informed by statistical considerations at the national and European levels. Recruitment methods promote professionalism. Staff participate in several Eurostat task forces and also prepare methodological papers for international meetings. The CSO comments on erroneous interpretations of its statistics. Transparency of statistical policies and practices is promoted, inter alia, by the wide availability of the Statistics Law and the annual statistical program, as well as the clear identification of the CSO’s products, and advance notice of major changes in methodology. Ethical standards are promoted by a code of conduct, updated in October 2002, that applies to all civil servants and is attractively presented and widely available. CSO staff also take an oath to observe practices of good conduct.

21. Staff at the MoF maintain a high degree of professionalism. In line with requirements of the Public Finance Act, statistics are compiled on an impartial basis, with techniques based on statistical considerations. Recruitment methods also foster professionalism. Government finance statistics compilers have the authority to respond in the event of erroneous interpretations of its statistics, although this has so far not happened. Transparency of statistical policies and practices is promoted, inter alia, by the publication of the laws under which the work is undertaken. All products of the MoF are identified as such. The government finance statistics compilers argue that there have been no major changes in methodology so far, but that advance notice will be given when major changes are introduced. Ethical standards are promoted by a code of conduct, updated in October 2002, that applies to all civil servants and is attractively packaged and widely available.

22. Staff at the NBP maintain a high degree of professionalism. The provisions of the NBP Act support the independence of the NBP, enhancing the ability of the staff to compile statistics on an impartial basis, with techniques based on statistical considerations. The recruitment and training process also further professionalism. Staff participate in international working groups, such as those of the ECB and the Eurostat, and prepare internal working papers on methodological issues. The NBP monitors media reports and responds to erroneous interpretations of statistics, although this is not common. Transparency is fostered by the public availability of the NBP Act and the Act on the Foreign Exchange Law. Products of the NBP are identified as such, although the NBP does not explicitly request attribution when its statistics are used or reproduced. Advance notice is given of major changes in methodology in monetary statistics; changes in the balance of payments statistics are reported at the time they are made. Ethical standards are set out in a Regulation of the NBP Management Board, updated in October 2002, which is widely available and is signed by all staff.

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.

23. The national accounts follow the concepts and definitions of the European System of Accounts 1995 (ESA 95). The scope of the national accounts includes, in addition to the minimum and recommended sets of annual and quarterly national accounts and supply and use tables, also input/output tables with a five-year frequency, annual financial accounts, and regional accounts. The delimitation of the constituent units of the economy is generally in line with international practices, except that construction activities of resident enterprises abroad are included in domestic output. The production boundary is generally in line with the System of National Accounts 1993 (1993 SNA), but illegal activities are not included. The classification/sectorization and basis for recording follow international standards.

24. The concepts and definitions of the consumer price index are generally in line with Eurostat’s requirements for the Harmonized Consumer Price Index, follow the ESA 95 standards. The scope of the index covers all resident households, except for institutional and foreign households. Expenditures follow the classification of the national Household Budget Survey (HBS), which is based on the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP). The consumer price index (CPI) contains 1,800 items; prices are recorded in 309 price-survey regions from around 28,000 outlets. The basis for recording follows the ESA 95.

25. The producer price index is based on the 1993 SNA concepts and definitions for recording and valuation of product prices and weights. Its scope includes mining and quarrying, manufacturing, electricity, gas, and water supply. Output price indices are also calculated for agriculture, construction, and business services such as transport, storage, and communication. The producer price index (PPI) includes about 19,000 price observations each month from the entire country. Classification is on the basis of the Polish Classification of Activities based on the Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Communities, first revision (NACE, Rev.1), the Polish Classification of Goods and Services based on the Classification of Products by Activity, and the List of Products of the European Communities. The basis for recording is prices excluding the value-added tax and excise tax but including subsidies (so-called basic prices).

26. For the government finance statistics, the concepts and definitions and classification are in line with the guidelines of A Manual of Government Finance Statistics 1986 (GFSM 1986), and there are some informal plans to migrate to the GFSM 2001. In the context of the pre-accession program, Poland derived some aggregates, in particular on the government deficit and debt, and some projections, using an accrual basis of recording in accordance with the guidelines of ESA 95. The scope of the annual government finance statistics data covers all institutional components of the general government sector. The monthly data covers the operations of the “core” central government, and include the state budget and three major social security funds; it is estimated that this covers 90 percent of total central government expenditure. The basis for recording is cash, in line with GFSM 1986 (but not with GFSM2001 or ESA 95).

27. The concepts and definitions of monetary statistics are in broad conformity with the guidelines of the Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual (MFSM). In compliance with the ECB requirements on pre-accession countries, the NBP generally follows guidelines as set by ECB regulations in sectorizing the economy, as well as valuing and classifying the financial instruments. The scope of the monetary statistics is broadly in line with the guidelines of the MFSM, except that only banks are included—thus leaving out cooperative savings and credit institutions and—of greater quantitative importance—money market funds. Classification and sectorization are in line with MFSM guidelines; however, classification of financial instruments follows ECB guidelines, which in some cases (for example, recording of financial derivatives, loan-loss provisions, as well as claims on and liabilities to public nonfinancial corporations) differ from those of the MFSM. The basis for recording follows the recommendations of the ECB,4 with the exception that some equity assets are valued at historic costs, and the other MFIs do not yet provide financial information on flows for monetary statistics purposes.

28. The balance of payments statistics follow broadly the concepts and definitions set out in the fifth edition of the Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5). The scope is in line with that in the BPM5. Data are compiled on two bases: monthly data are only on a cash basis using a closed system of bank reporting; transactions-based data are collected only annually, with the banking data supplemented with a survey of nonbanks. Classification and sectorization are broadly in line with BPM5, although merchandise trade is not broken down into the recommended subcomponents, and the f.o.b./c.i.f. adjustment allocates all freight and insurance charges to transportation, rather than including also an amount for insurance. Market prices form the basis for recording in the balance of payments; however, interest payments are currently measured on a cash or due for payment rather than accrual basis.

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.

29. For national accounts, source data are collected from a comprehensive data collection program based on annual, quarterly, and monthly surveys of enterprises, household surveys, a recent Population Census and Agricultural Census, and administrative data sources. The enterprise surveys have good coverage. However, subannual data are still collected on a cumulative rather than on a discrete basis. Statistical techniques are basically sound, with production approach estimates made in sufficient detail covering 60 groups of activities, and expenditure estimates made independently, including independent estimates of household final consumption expenditure and gross fixed capital formation. However, plans to introduce seasonal adjustment and proper benchmarking techniques have been delayed. Constant price estimates are compiled in average prices of the previous year, following sound deflation techniques. The only exception is the deflation of trade margins, which are deflated by the CPI for goods. Assessment and validation of data and statistical outputs are sound. Although differences between preliminary and final data are tracked and taken into account in compiling estimates for subsequent periods, formal revisions studies are not conducted.

30. For the CPI, the source data are broadly sufficient to be able to compile and collect about 500,000 prices each month. Weights are derived from the HBS, based on a sample of about 32,000 households per year, using monthly rotation with a quarterly cycle; weights are updated each January. Detailed product specifications are used in the price surveys. Statistical techniques are sound, as are the assessment and validation of data and statistical outputs. Revision studies are undertaken as part of the annual reweighting exercise.

31. The source data for the PPI are compiled using sound procedures and methods. The sample frame is the National Economy Units Register. The sample size is of about 3,200 units, about 9.6 percent of enterprises with more than nine employees, with total sales value of over 60 percent of total sold production. There are, however, a number of deviations from best practice regarding statistical techniques. There is no imputation for missing prices, no adjustment for changes in quality, and no seasonal adjustment. Assessment and validation of data and statistical outputs are sound. Revisions studies are undertaken as part of the five-yearly reweighting exercise.

32. Detailed annual budget reports prepared by the MoF are the principal data source for compiling the government finance statistics. For those components of general government not covered by budget data, compilers obtain reports from relevant departments of the MoF or from the CSO. Monthly government finance statistics data are based on budget reports and additional reports submitted by the Social Insurance Institution, the Board for Social Insurance of Farmers, and the Ministry of Economy, Labor and Social Policy. There are substantial lags in the timeliness of some of these data. Given that the data largely come from administrative records, there is little need to use statistical techniques. There is only limited assessment and validation of data and statistical outputs, with material differences remaining unresolved, for instance, between government finance statistics financing data and corresponding monetary data. Both monthly and annual data are considered final when published. Sporadic revisions from occasional misclassifications of source data are investigated but there are no formal revisions studies.

33. The source data for monetary statistics are the daily balance sheet of the NBP and the individual monthly returns of the other monetary and financial institutions (MFIs). No supplementary data sources are used. The data capture the full range of financial instruments and economic sectors. Statistical techniques are sound, with electronic compilation procedures minimizing compilation errors. For those banks in liquidation that report on a quarterly basis, the NBP uses the latest quarter numbers for the next two months. Assessment and validation of data and statistical outputs are generally sound. A revisions study compared data submitted in the NBP’s Preliminary Information and those from the monthly returns, and differences were found to be negligible.

34. The source data are broadly sufficient to be able to compile the balance of payments in line with BPM5. The cash-based system is a closed system that covers all transactions conducted through the banking system. For the transactions-based system, these sources are supplemented by customs data for merchandise trade and additional information supplied by the CSO, by information collected by the NBP from nonbank institutions on their transactions with nonresidents, and separate information on travel, government services, as well as on investment income and capital flows. The design of the survey forms reflects international accounting standards. These sources appear to be comprehensive. In general, the statistical techniques are sound. Bank reports are submitted and compiled electronically. Nonbank reports are processed manually, but inputs are checked in the processing stage. Survey forms are generally tested through pilot studies. Adjustments are made to cash-based estimates of travel and workers’ remittances. The f.o.b./c.i.f. adjustment rests on the results of a 1998 survey. Assessment and validation of data and statistical outputs are generally sound. The size of errors and omissions is closely monitored. The NBP monitors revisions between preliminary and revised data, but there are no formal revisions studies.

Serviceability

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 relevance of national accounts is considered mainly in the context of EU accession. The CSO does not conduct regular user surveys. Timeliness and periodicity meet the requirements of the SDDS. National accounts are consistent within the dataset and with estimates obtained through other sources. However, a recent major change in methodology was accompanied by the dissemination of data on the new basis only back to 2000, with earlier data only to be available in December 2003, thus leaving users unable to analyze time series adequately for the time being. Revisions follow a regular cycle. However, publications do not always alert users that initially published data are preliminary and subject to revision. Studies of revisions are made public.

36. Feedback on the relevance of the consumer price index is sought through a monthly press meeting, as well as through meetings with ministers, the NBP, commercial banks, and trade unions. The timeliness of the CPI exceeds the requirements of the SDDS; periodicity meets SDDS requirements. The CPI is consistent within the dataset and with other datasets. CPI data are considered final when first published, so there are no revisions to the current data; this policy is known to the public.

37. The relevance of the producer price index is set largely within the context of EU accession. The timeliness of the PPI exceeds the requirements of the SDDS; the periodicity meets SDDS requirements. The PPI is consistent within the dataset and with other datasets. Consistent time series are available back to 1995. Revisions follow a regular cycle, which is known to the public. Preliminary data are clearly identified.

38. The relevance of government finance statistics comes from their role in providing an analytic framework for fiscal policies and developments. They were recently used by the authorities in preparing the National Development Plan. There are no regular meetings of any user advisory group, and the MoF does not conduct regular user surveys. However, user queries are analyzed with a view to improving the relevance of government finance statistics. Government finance statistics are not timely, and Poland takes its entitled flexibility options under the SDDS for general government and central government operations. Periodicity meets SDDS requirements. Government finance statistics are internally consistent and consistent over time. However, there are inconsistencies with other datasets, such as between data on bank financing and monetary data on net claims on government. While these may be due to legitimate methodological differences in the statistics, no reconciliation of the two datasets has been carried out by the MoF and the NBP. Data are considered final when published, so there are no revisions. This policy is known to the public.

39. The relevance of monetary statistics is largely assessed in the context of the requirements of the ECB. There is no formal user advisory group, no regular meetings with users, and no questionnaires or other means for soliciting feedback. The timeliness and periodicity of monetary statistics are in line with the requirements of the SDDS. Monetary statistics are consistent within the dataset. With series available on the same basis back to 1996, they are also consistent over time. Although monetary statistics are consistent with those of the balance of payments, there are significant differences with those compiled by the MoF; in particular the data on net claims on government are not consistent with the MoF’s figures on bank financing. Revisions to monetary statistics are rare and generally small, except for December of each year. Although December data are subject to revision, and this is reportedly well known to the public, their preliminary nature is not clearly indicated in the publications.

40. The NBP seeks to improve the relevance of the balance of payments. For example, a recent conference, at which informal discussions were held with users, was instrumental in prompting the NBP to publish Poland’s balance of payments also in euros. There are, however, no regular meetings of any user advisory group, and no regular survey is conducted to solicit users’ views. The timeliness and periodicity of the balance of payments meet the requirements of the SDDS. The balance of payments is consistent within the dataset, with other datasets (bearing in mind the inherent shortcomings of a cash-based international transactions reporting system), and over time since 1993; for instance, the NBP and the CSO undertake a reconciliation of the international merchandise trade data every quarter; the external debt data for general government are consistent with those published by the MoF. The revision schedule for the balance of payments has followed the same pattern for several years and is well known. Preliminary data are clearly marked.

Accessibility

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 users is adequate to help them find and use the data.

41. The data accessibility of the national accounts could be improved. The annual and quarterly national accounts publications have tables, charts, and analysis of current period developments. However, no time series are published that contain recent quarterly data. The CSO publishes a calendar giving the time and date of release of the national accounts data; however, these dates are sometimes changed at relatively short notice if a scheduled press conference around that date provides an alternative release opportunity. National accounts are released simultaneously to all users. Nonpublished nonconfidential data are available on request, but this is not publicized. Extensive metadata are available in hard copy and on the website. Information on data biases and response rates to surveys is not published, but is available. Although there is a catalogue of publications that is updated annually, assistance to users is impeded by the absence of identification of contact persons.

42. The CSO disseminates extensive information about the consumer price index and the producer price index, but there is room for enhancing data accessibility. Nonpublished nonconfidential information is available on request for both CPI and PPI. There is a preannounced release schedule; data are made available simultaneously to all users. Metadata are available on the DSBB, hyperlinked to the CSO’s website, which are reviewed and updated regularly. Although there is a catalogue of publications that is updated annually, assistance to users is impeded by the absence of identification of contact persons.

43. Major aggregates of the government finance statistics are published by the CSO and on the MoF’s website. However, data accessibility is somewhat hampered by the lack of time series presentations for annual data. Government finance statistics are released according to a preannounced calendar. They are made available to all users simultaneously. Nonpublished nonconfidential information is available to users on request. Also, all detailed data are included in the MoF publication, which is available on request. Its availability is publicized to users in the annual statistical program. Metadata are available in a variety of sources. Regarding assistance to users, information on contact person is available on the MoF website through its hyperlink to the DSBB, but is not publicized in any national publication. A list of statistical publications is included in the annual statistical program.

44. The NBP publishes an extensive range of monetary statistics, including seasonally adjusted series and components of various aggregates. However, overall data accessibility is reduced by the absence of certain data, such as the interbank positions between the NBP and other MFIs, and by difficulties in readily identifying gross and net positions of central and general government. Data are released simultaneously to all users on a preannounced schedule. Nonpublished nonconfidential data are available to users, but this is not publicized. Metadata are available in a variety of sources. Assistance to users is facilitated by the identification of a contact person on the DSBB, although not in any national publication. The NBP publishes a list of publications.

45. Balance of payments data are accessible through a range of NBP publications; the quarterly publication provides more detail than the monthly release. The text of the publication reviews developments on a cumulative basis as the year advances. The monthly data are released according to a preannounced schedule. There is no such advance schedule for the release of the quarterly or annual data. Data are released to all users simultaneously. Nonpublished nonconfidential data are available upon release, although this is not publicized. Metadata are provided both in NBP publications and on the DSBB. Assistance to users is facilitated by the identification of a contact person on the DSBB, although not in any national publication. A list of the NBP’s statistical products is available in some of its publications and on its website.

IV. Staff’s Recommendations

46. Based on the results of the data quality assessment, discussions with the authorities in the statistics-compiling agencies, and responses from data users, the following measures are proposed to increase further Poland’s adherence to international statistical standards.

General Recommendations

High priority

  • Establish an independent group of users of statistics (representative of both public and private institutions) to provide feedback on all aspects of data quality in macroeconomic statistics.

  • Consider where formalization of interagency committees would help address statistical discrepancies, improve cooperation in statistical compilation, enhance understanding of statistical issues of mutual interest, or respond to concerns raised by users.

  • Raise awareness among users of work program for increasing convergence with EU statistical practices, and provide further guidance on how users should make use of these developments.

Other

  • Improve assistance to users by identifying contact persons in national publications and websites.

National Accounts

High priority

  • Prepare historical series reflecting recent changes in methodology.

  • Disseminate detailed metadata on revisions.

  • Improve quarterly compilation techniques, including benchmarking and seasonal adjustment.

  • Collect subannual source data from enterprises on a discrete basis.

Other

  • Disseminate longer time series electronically.

  • Improve the scope in accordance with the ESA 95, in particular as regards the construction activities of resident units abroad.

Consumer Price Index

High priority

  • Redevelop the website to highlight the CPI series. Post all time series on this website. Distinguish clearly between the CPI and the PPI.

Other

  • Post all time series in this website to facilitate better analysis for data users.

Producer Price Index

High priority

  • Use a Laspeyres formula at the first stage of aggregation.

  • Redevelop surveys to monitor the price change for a specific product instead of enterprise surveys that provide a price list for different products. With the use of the Laspeyres formula at the first stage, impute missing prices.

  • Conduct quality adjustments of the specific products.

  • Redevelop the website to highlight the PPI series.

Other

  • Post all time series on this website to facilitate better analysis for data users.

Government Finance statistics

High priority

  • Review the provision of source data by units with larger reporting lags, with a view to improving the timeliness of monthly and annual government finance statistics.

  • Develop and document a comprehensive action plan for the migration to compile integrated stock and flow data in accordance with the GFSM 2001, including the needs for additional resources and technical assistance.

  • In cooperation with the NBP, reconcile government finance and monetary statistics and carry out the reconciliation exercise on a regular basis.

  • Disseminate—on the MoF website and possibly in a hard copy publication—detailed annual government finance statistics in a time series format.

Monetary statistics

High priority

  • In cooperation with the MoF, reconcile monetary statistics and government finance statistics, and carry out the reconciliation exercise on a regular basis.

  • Improve the presentation of tables to facilitate easy derivation of net claims of central and general government, and interbank positions.

Other

  • Continue to monitor developments in investment funds with a view to reclassifying those qualified into money market funds, and incorporate these, in compiling monetary aggregates.

  • Indicate that December data may be subject to revision following the conclusion of the external audit of annual balance sheets.

  • Identify as memorandum items data on financial derivatives and accrued interest, as well as claims on and liabilities to public nonfinancial corporations.

Balance of Payments Statistics

High priority

  • Move to a transaction-based monthly balance of payments.

  • Include interest on an accrued basis.

Other

  • Make explicit the legal requirement that the NBP disseminate balance of payments statistics.

  • Separate insurance from transportation when making the c.i.f./f.o.b. adjustment.

  • Publish on a regular basis a reconciliation table between international merchandise trade statistics and “goods” in the balance of payments.

  • Undertake periodic revision studies.

1

The mission team was headed by Mr. Charles Enoch and included Mr. John Joisce, Ms. Maria Mantcheva, Messrs. Roman Skarzynski and Subramanian Sriram, Ms. Shelley Winston, and Ms. Elia Cadena, Administrative Assistant (all STA).

2

Details of this survey are shown in Appendix III of the accompanying Detailed Assessment.

3

The DQAF provides a dataset-specific generic framework underlining the dataset-specific framework shown in Appendix II of the accompanying Detailed Assessments document. Further information on data quality can be found at the IMF website on the Data Quality Reference Site (http://dsbb.imf.org/dqrsindex.htm).

4

In some cases (for example, recording of interest arrears and accrued interest on securities other than shares held by the monetary financial institutions), the NBP instead follows the MFS.