Russian Federation: Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC)—Data Module Volume III

The report covers national accounts, prices (consumer and producer prices), government finance, monetary, financial and international accounts (balance-of-payments and international investment position) statistics. Assessment of macroeconomic datasets was conducted using data quality assessment framework (DQAF). With the assistance of the Central Bank of Russian Federation (CBR), users’ survey was conducted. Users are satisfied with the methodological soundness, coverage, timeliness, and accessibility of official statistics, especially monetary and financial and balance of payments statistics. Based on the review, the mission has developed a set of recommendations.

Abstract

The report covers national accounts, prices (consumer and producer prices), government finance, monetary, financial and international accounts (balance-of-payments and international investment position) statistics. Assessment of macroeconomic datasets was conducted using data quality assessment framework (DQAF). With the assistance of the Central Bank of Russian Federation (CBR), users’ survey was conducted. Users are satisfied with the methodological soundness, coverage, timeliness, and accessibility of official statistics, especially monetary and financial and balance of payments statistics. Based on the review, the mission has developed a set of recommendations.

Detailed Assessment Using the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF)

The following detailed information on indicators of statistical practices in the areas of the national accounts, prices, government finance, monetary, and balance of payments statistics was gathered from publicly available documents and information provided by the Adjective officials. This information, which is organized along the lines of the generic DQAF (see Appendix II), was used to prepare the summary assessment of data quality elements, based on a four-part scale of observance, shown in Russia’s Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC)—Data Module.

I. National Accounts

0. Prerequisites of quality

0.1 Legal and institutional environment

0.1.1 The responsibility for collecting, processing, and disseminating the statistics is clearly specified

The Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) is the official body entrusted by law for coordinating and overseeing the production and dissemination of the official statistics of the country. The organizational structure of the Rosstat reflects the administrative structure of the country, which now includes 83 Federal Subjects (region-oblasts, republics) with their own administrative structure but with each institution subordinated to the corresponding central institution in the capital city. The Rosstat has offices in the capital cities of each of these regions.

Significant and important changes in the legal framework of the Russian Federation Statistical System have taken place since the 2003 ROSC mission. Currently, the most significant legal documents regulating and providing support for the statistical activity are the resolution No. 399 of the government of the Russian Federation “Provisions on the Federal State Statistics Service” issued on July 30, 2004, (whose latest update is Resolution No. 420, issued on June 2, 2008), and the Federal Law No. 282 F3 “On Official Statistical Accounting and State Statistics System in the Russian Federation” (herein after referred to as the Statistical Law) issued on November 29, 2007, signed by the Russian President. The latter document is in compliance with recommended legal frameworks for the regulation of countries’ statistical systems as advised by Eurostat, the United Nations, and the World Bank.

The first of these two documents mentioned above states in Article 1 that “the Federal State Statistics Service is an authorized executive agency that carries out functions related to the approval of regulatory and legal acts in the area of state statistical activity, functions related to preparation of official statistical information on the social, economic, demographic and environmental situation in the country, as well as functions related to oversight in the area of state statistical activity.” The purpose of the above mentioned federal law is to provide the “legal basis for the implementation of the unified governmental policy in the field of official statistical accounting aimed to satisfy information needs of the state and the society.”

Article 2 of the Statistical Law defines official statistical information as “summarized aggregated documented information on the quantitative component of social, economic, demographic, ecological, and other social processes in the Russian Federation, compiled by the subjects of the official statistical accounting in compliance with official statistical methodology.” The subjects of official statistical accounting information are the federal authorities and other federal state bodies compiling official statistical information. Article 5 of this law says that official statistical accounting shall be exercised in compliance with the Federal Plans of Statistical Operations to be prepared by the Federal Executive Authority.

The Federal Plan of Statistical Operations is drafted by the Rosstat in consultation with all other government institutions responsible for compiling official statistics. The plan and any of its subsequent updating should be approved by the Russian government. The plan is formulated taking into account the rational use of resources, avoiding duplication of activities, and reducing the respondents’ burden. It assigns the responsibility for compiling and disseminating the official statistics among all government bodies subject to the Law, and it includes detailed information describing the statistics to be compiled, their periodicity, and the dissemination deadlines. The compilation of the national accounts and the price indices statistics are clearly defined in the Federal Plan of Statistical Operations as the responsibilities of the Rosstat.

The Rosstat also prepares a separate document containing its own annual plan, where the activities undertaken by the institution are provided at a more detailed level than in the Federal Plan of Statistical Operations, including inter alia, the type of form to be used to collect information, the technology to be used to process the information, level of aggregation of the data, dissemination formats, etc.

The Rosstat has the authority to issue official orders establishing the methodology and classifications to be used in the compilation of the official statistics by all compiling entities. It also monitors the compliance of the production of the official statistics in accordance with the federal plan.

The legal framework for the compilation of the statistics assures that there are no conflicts or potential conflicts between the legal authority to produce statistics and other laws or provisions. Thus, Article 5, Section 9 of the Law No. 282-F3 states that the official entities producing statistics can obtain information from administrative sources and from respondents without limitations at the same time that they should provide for the confidentiality of the information acquired in compliance with the legislation of Russia.

0.1.2 Data sharing and coordination among data-producing agencies are adequate

As noted above, the Law attributes to the Rosstat the role of coordinating the official statistical accounting activities through the development of the Federal Plan of Statistical Operations. The Rosstat monitors the compliance with the established deadlines for the compilation and dissemination of the statistics. The plan constitutes, in fact, an effective tool for assuring a timely and smooth flow of source data, whether these are information based on administrative records or statistics compiled by other agencies.

Moreover, there are many bilateral agreements between the Rosstat and other government entities for the provision of data. Agreements are in place with institutions such as the Federal Customs Service, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the Federal Tax Service, the Ministry of Communications, Pension Funds, etc. Additionally, working meetings with other compiling agencies are conducted to discuss data requirements, as needed.

0.1.3 Individual reporters’ data are to be kept confidential and used for statistical purposes only

Two primary pieces of legislation guarantee and protect the confidentiality of individual reports’ data. The first, The Law on Personal Data (FZ-152), stipulates that all data are confidential and to be used solely for statistical purposes. The second, The Law on Information, Information Technology, and Data Collection (FZ-149), provides for the protection and safe storage of all collected data. In addition to these pieces of legislation, other decrees related to specific data collection activities (e.g. the decennial census) contain specific language ensuring data confidentiality.

Survey questionnaires state clearly on the front page that all information collected by the agency will be kept confidential and used for statistical purposes only. However, the confidentiality statement does not make references to the relevant laws providing the safeguarding of the data. Making an explicit reference to the relevant laws could increase the confidence of the respondents that their data will be safeguarded. An additional box on the survey questionnaires makes references to the articles of Russia’s Administrative Code and the Law of the Russian Federation No. 2761-1, which states the obligation of respondents to provide reliable information.

Any Rosstat staff responsible for releasing confidential data may be subject to prosecution. The statutes do not define penalties for breeches of confidentiality. It is up to the court to decide an appropriate penalty based on the circumstances surrounding the release of confidential data.

The Rosstat has implemented numerous internal safeguards to ensure the confidentiality of the data. Access to confidential documents is limited to persons who may need to refer to them during the course of the statistical compilation process. The documents are stored in secured premises with limited, monitored access. Computer programs with information on individual units are password protected. Procedures have been developed for the secure storing and destroying of confidential data.

Regular meetings are conducted in the various regional offices to impress upon staff the critical importance of protecting confidentiality and upholding procedures to safeguard data. Prior to release, the head of the unit studies the data to ensure that no data of a confidential nature are inadvertently released and signs-off on the release attesting to this fact.

The Rosstat has developed procedures for the aggregation of individual responses to prevent the disclosure of individual data, including those that could be identified by a process of elimination; however, the agency is not prohibited from disseminating data in the form of indexes from which information on individual units can be derived. No policies have been developed requiring the permission of the respondent before dissemination. For example, in the national accounts, a minimum of three respondents is required for aggregation within a specific activity; otherwise, aggregation is done at the next highest level to avoid respondent identification. This special aggregation policy does not apply to the price programs as they are producing data in the form of indexes.

The Rosstat releases micro-data upon request, but only after all personally identifiable data are removed. The authorities have drafted specific instructions guiding staff on how to make all records anonymous by removing all personally identifiable data.

Recommendation: Make explicit references to the Law providing for the confidentiality of the data in the questionnaires of statistical surveys.

0.1.4 Statistical reporting is ensured through legal mandate and/or measures to encourage response

The Rosstat has the legal authority to collect data required to compile the statistics and enforces mandatory reporting provisions as necessary. The authority to collect information by Rosstat is provided by the Federal Law No. 282-Φ2 which in its Article 5 establishes that “to compile official statistics the subjects of official statistical accounting shall obtain primary statistical data and administrative data from respondents.” The federal law covers all legal entities as well as individuals. However, Article 8 of the law states that individuals residing in Russia not conducting business should provide information on a voluntary basis, unless otherwise stipulated by the federal laws. In the case of population censuses, individuals are obliged to respond.

Lack of compliance with the reporting obligation is subject to administrative sanctions and penalties. Monetary fines are imposed by the regional offices of the Rosstat, and the proceeds from these fines are transferred to the Treasury. Fines are not particularly high and in the past they have not served as a deterrent for non-compliance by private enterprises, which were more concerned with the confidentiality of their operations. This situation has improved as respondents are now more confident of the protection of the data supplied to the statistical agencies.

The Rosstat also tries to encourage reporting by considering the reporting burden, avoiding duplication of reporting requests to the same respondents through the coordination of the activities of the statistical entities. Forms for collecting information include detailed instructions. The telephone numbers of contact persons are provided in case assistance is needed. In fact, this is a requirement for data collection imposed on the Rosstat in the Statistical Law. Before collecting data for the first time, letters explaining the purposes of data collection are sent to respondents of the surveys conducted by the Rosstat. Cooperation of respondents is also sought by means of seminars conducted in the regions, where the purposes of data collection are explained to respondents.

0.2 Resources

0.2.1 Staff, facilities, computing resources, and financing are commensurate with statistical programs

The numbers of staff available for compiling the national accounts statistics are inadequate to implement the regular work program, thus implying a serious constraint for undertaking developmental work, including the introduction of revised methodologies and expanding the scope of the national accounts. At present, the staff need to do overtime work, including on weekends, to be able to accomplish their tasks. Additional staff is needed to develop the methodology for the compilation of the financial accounts and the balance sheets, as well as to develop and implement improvements to the methodologies for the calculations of GDP by production and expenditure.

The National Accounts Department currently employs 55 persons. Approximately one third of the staff have been working with the department for more than 20 years, while another third have been working between 10 and 20 years. During normal times, the turnover among young professionals has been very high, and it has been difficult to recruit good candidates. Starting with the economic crisis in 2008, the situation has improved as many new graduates have limited job opportunities in the private sector.

All the national accounts staff have university degrees, mainly in economics or statistics. This is a requirement by law for employment in the Federal Government Service. Nevertheless, knowledge of national accounts concepts and methodology is not acquired in college, and a long and intensive period of on-the-job training and participation in courses and seminars are required until the new staff can make significant contributions to the work of the department. Recruiting and retaining good young professionals during normal economic times is challenging because the government pays salaries that are significantly lower than those in the private sector. This may become a serious problem when experienced Rosstat staff reach retirement age.

The number of staff assigned to work on national accounts in the regions depends on the resources available in each region. Thus, in some regions there are dedicated staff to work exclusively on the compilation of the regional national accounts (GDP by economic activity, estimates of household consumption expenditure, and estimates of capital formation), while in other regions the staff work on national account only part of the time.

Computing resources are adequate for the work in national accounts. There are actually more computers available than filled positions. The hardware and software are updated with adequate frequency. All staff have access to the Internet and computers are interconnected by a local network.

The physical facilities are currently under extensive renovation. Staff have been displaced as a result of ongoing construction activity and current working space is limited with many employees sharing rooms. Air conditioners are outdated and in many cases are not in working condition. Physical office space will be improved once renovations have been completed.

Recommendation: Implement measures to retain young professionals with good potential. Incentives may include measures to promote their professional development, such as providing them the opportunity to participate in international meetings on methodology and training courses abroad. Administrative measures can be put in place to commit staff to work for the agency for a minimum period after participating in some selected training programs.

0.2.2 Measures to ensure efficient use of resources are implemented

Staff performance is reviewed continuously by the relevant managers. A system of monthly bonuses is based on performance achievements during the period. All staff are also required to participate in a mandatory refresher training program every three years.

Efficiency in the use of resources is also sought during the planning process of the statistical activities. Unified methodologies and classifications are prescribed by the Rosstat for the compilation of all official statistics, thus averting the need for constant reviews and adjustments of the data.

The Finance Department of Rosstat reviews all resources to ensure that efficient allocation and spending practices are followed. Budgeting procedures are used to allocate resources.

0.3 Relevance

0.3.1 The relevance and practical utility of existing statistics in meeting users’ needs are monitored

The Scientific Methodological Council of the Rosstat provides a structured venue for consulting on the usefulness/quality of existing statistics and to discuss emerging data requirements and the implementation of methodological improvements. This group is comprised of economists and statisticians from within and outside of the Rosstat, as well as members representing major data users including other government ministries. The council is co-chaired by the head of the Rosstat and the head of the Higher School of Economics. This group meets approximately four times each year and focuses mainly on methodological and data quality issues. The Rosstat is not obligated to accept the recommendations made by the group, but in the event of disagreement, a compromise is usually found.

The Rosstat routinely organizes working groups with data users, such as the Ministry of Finance, Russian Academy of Sciences, and other users, to discuss data needs and elicit feedback on statistical activities.

Meetings with users, as described above, provide the necessary feedback on the usefulness of the statistics. Also, the Rosstat has recently established on its website the means by which the general public can address their concerns about the data by email. These requests are monitored by the agency and properly considered when planning the statistical activities.

The relevance of the statistics is also discussed during consultations conducted in the preparation of the Federal Plan of Statistical Operations. Rosstat staff participate regularly in statistical meetings organized by international organizations keeping the institution updated on new developments in the compilation of the statistics. Moreover, Russia is in the process of joining the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which requires the compilation of statistics in accordance with this institution’s standards.

Recommendation: Enhance processes to obtain feedback from users on the relevance of the national accounts statistics by conducting periodic user surveys. Hold press conferences at the time the quarterly accounts are released to increase the awareness of the press and the general public of the data.

0.4 Other quality management

0.4.1 Processes are in place to focus on quality

The Rosstat focuses on the provision of high quality data. Established procedures are in place to analyze the quality of the data prior to their dissemination. The institution has a manual for quality control. Reviews of the quality of the national accounts statistics are also conducted by international organizations like the Eurostat and OECD. Staff training and re-training activities emphasize the importance of data quality.

0.4.2 Processes are in place to monitor the quality of the statistical program

The National Accounts Department does not collect basic data by itself. The departments collecting and processing source data (departments producing enterprise statistics and household statistics) monitor the non-response rates to the surveys and make efforts to maintain them at a reasonably low level. The National Accounts Department reviews constantly the design and content of the forms used to collect the information. In fact, it authorizes the forms used by the departments responsible for the production of the basic statistics, which are needed for the compilation of the macroeconomic accounts.

In practice, all data inputs and outputs of the national accounts are analyzed before use/release. The staff of the National Accounts Department have access to the individual data reported by respondents, which allow them to address problems identified in the source data. Established schedules of revisions are in place, recognizing the trade-off between timeliness and quality. Moreover, GDP estimates are compiled using the production and expenditure approaches, which also serve as cross checks on the quality of the final product.

0.4.3 Processes are in place to deal with quality considerations in planning the statistical program

Response rates to surveys and revisions to the national accounts are continuously monitored by managers and appropriate measures are taken to improve response rates and the accuracy of the data when planning the statistical program.

1. Assurances of integrity

1.1 Professionalism

1.1.1 Statistics are produced on an impartial basis

The terms and conditions under which the statistics are produced are stipulated by resolution on the Federal Statistics Service adopted by Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 399 issued on July 30, 2004 and its updates. On its article 5.4 this decree states that the Federal Statistics Service shall develop the official statistical methodology ensuring consistency with international standards. Additionally, the Statistics Law emphasizes the professional independence and integrity of the staff. Though the Rosstat is not mentioned specifically by name in the Statistics Law, the legislation refers to the “national agents responsible for statistics,” which includes the Rosstat. However, the Rosstat being subordinated to the Ministry of Economic Development may give rise to potential conflict of interest since the ministry is responsible for forecasts of the same statistics produced by the Rosstat (like GDP and inflation measures). In addition, the professional independence of the Rosstat is undermined by the strong role played by the Ministry of Economic Development (beyond its role as a member of the Scientific Methodological Council) in the decision- making process for introducing changes in the methodology for the compilation not only of the national accounts, but for all statistics compiled by the Rosstat. For example, the changes in the methodology for the compilation of a revised series of output of owner-occupied dwellings have long been postponed due to the lack of agreement from the ministry. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the intervention of the ministry is based on statistical methodological grounds, not for other purposes.

Although the head of the Rosstat and his/her head deputies are appointed by the government, these positions are usually held for extended periods of time by experienced professionals that rose from the ranks of the institution during long careers.

The staff of Rosstat are prohibited by law from joining or participating in any political party. The Statistical Plan, discussed above, protects the Rosstat from interference from others in the compilation and/or dissemination of statistical information. Any update or change to the Statistical Plan must be agreed to by all statistical agencies and approved by the prime minister.

Staff are recruited via a competitive process and selected based on qualifications. All vacancies are announced on the Rosstat website and applications can be received from both internal and external candidates. All promotions are merit based.

All newly hired staff participate in a mentoring program where each new staff member is paired with an experienced staff member. The senior staff member provides on-the-job training in methodology and data compilation methods. The duration of the mentoring program varies with individual staff and depends upon the rate at which the newly hired staff member is able to demonstrate the competencies necessary to complete his or her duties.

Staff are encouraged to participate in training programs. Ongoing skills development programs in a variety of areas are offered by the Rosstat either in a classroom setting or computer-based training. Staff may also participate in courses offered by the Public Service Academy and are urged to participate in short-term university courses. The Rosstat actively encourages all staff to pursue post-graduate studies and grants leave to these staff for purposes of completing exams or preparing assignments. The Russian Academy of Sciences sponsors seminars and discussions on statistical issues, and staff are encouraged to attend. Finally, English language course are offered by the Rosstat for all interested staff. Research and analysis by staff are encouraged and published by the Rosstat. Staff produce scholarly works for publication in journals and bulletins outside of the Rosstat. Additionally, the Rosstat produces a monthly bulletin, Issues of Statistics, which publishes research papers produced by the staff.

Recommendation: The Rosstat should be provided the independence to implement improvements and changes of a statistical nature without approval of the Ministry of Economic Development.

1.1.2 Choices of sources and statistical techniques, as well as decisions about dissemination, are informed solely by statistical considerations

The choice of source data and statistical techniques for the compilation of the national accounts is determined solely by statistical considerations. Dissemination timing is predetermined in an advance release calendar posted on the website of the agency at the beginning of each year and with exact dates provided a quarter in advance. The Rosstat disseminates the national accounts in conformity with the periodicity and timing prescribed by the SDDS.

1.1.3 The appropriate statistical entity is entitled to comment on erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics

The Rosstat is entitled to respond to erroneous interpretation and misuse of the statistics. When required, the Rosstat issues a press communiqué and conducts press conferences to clarify issues related to the statistics. It also addresses the issues through TV interviews as well as in the press. Recent criticisms by some users related to the GDP figures of the last quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 have been publicly addressed by Rosstat authorities. In the latter case, one of the Rosstat’s deputy chairmen was present at the press conference conducted by the consulting firm criticizing the data. The deputy chairman made statements to the press clarifying the data. The chairman of the Rosstat provides frequent television interviews, where different statistics are discussed. Comments on the statistics are also identified through a clipping service, regularly conducted by the administrative department of the Rosstat and circulated among the relevant departments.

Recommendation: The Rosstat should play a more active role in responding to criticisms of its data on national accounts. Special communiqués should be released to the media with Rosstat’s comments.

1.2 Transparency

1.2.1 The terms and conditions under which statistics are collected, processed, and disseminated are available to the public

The relevant legal documents are posted on the website of the agency. The questionnaires used for the collection of data make reference to the statistical law and the confidentiality of the data provided. Statistical publications make references to where more information about the Rosstat and its products can be found. A catalog of publications is available on the website.

1.2.2 Internal governmental access to statistics prior to their release is publicly identified

There are no established procedures for the provision of internal government access to the statistics prior to their release to the general public.

1.2.3 Products of statistical agencies/units are clearly identified as such

Data released to the public are clearly identified as the data produced by the agency. The Rosstat has no logo but in all its publication it uses the official government seal. The agency requests attribution when its statistics are used or reproduced. At the same time, the Rosstat also recognizes in its publication the data produced by other institutions.

1.2.4 Advance notice is given of major changes in methodology, source data, and statistical techniques

News releases are disseminated on the website in advance of the introduction of changes in the methodology, source data, and statistical techniques. The timing of the advance notice depends on the importance of the changes. Thus, for changes in the classification of economic activities, the notice was provided more than a year in advance, while less significant changes are publicized just a few weeks before the data are released or at the time of release.

1.3 Ethical standards

1.3.1 Guidelines for staff behavior are in place and are well known to the staff

Staff are made aware of the code of conduct to be observed during employment with the Rosstat. The commitment to the observance of the code has to be signed by the workers at the time of accepting the terms and conditions of employment and any time a new contract is issued due to changes in positions within the organization. There is a section on the description of the work that relates to ethical standards to be observed.

During the mentoring period for new staff, the senior staff emphasize the importance of maintaining ethical standards. Regional office staff receive written procedures describing how to behave as a representative of the Rosstat. A strong culture of professionalism and ethical standards precludes political interference.

2. Methodological soundness

2.1 Concepts and definitions

2.1.1 The overall structure in terms of concepts and definitions follows internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

The Russian national accounts follow the conceptual framework of the System of National Accounts 1993 (1993 SNA).

2.2 Scope

2.2.1 The scope is broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

The Russian system of national accounts is quite comprehensive. The Rosstat compiles and disseminates all the accounts and tables that the Inter-Secretariat Working Group on National Accounts (ISWGNA) considers as a minimum requirement for the implementation of the 1993 SNA. Thus, GDP is compiled annually based on the production and expenditure approaches at current prices as well as volume measures. The complete sequence of accounts, except for the financial account, is compiled annually for the total economy and by institutional sector. The estimates for the sequence of accounts are available for the period 1995–2009.

Moreover, Russian national accounts also include annual supply and use tables and quarterly GDP estimates, which are recommended by the ISWGNA. In addition, the Rosstat also compiles and disseminates annual regional estimates of GDP. Quarterly GDP estimates are compiled both using the production and expenditure approaches at current prices and in volume measures.

A benchmark estimate of detailed input-output tables was compiled for the year 1995. From that year and up to 2003, input-output tables are available with a breakdown of 110 economic activities and published at the level of 25 activities. With the introduction of a new classification of economic activities, supply and use tables have been compiled and disseminated for the years 2004, 2005, and 2006. These tables have been disseminated for 15 groups of products and 15 economic activities. The work on supply and use tables has been temporarily suspended until 2011 when a new benchmark estimate is scheduled to be compiled at disaggregated level of products and economic activities, based on comprehensive source data.

The delimitation of the units that form part of the economy is consistent with the internationally recommended methodology of the national accounts. The concept of residence used is consistent with the 1993 SNA and the Balance of Payments Manual, fifth edition (BPM5). In particular, the following are included as part of the economy:

  • Territorial enclaves in the rest of the world. Thus, the national accounts include estimates of the economic activities undertaken in the Baikonur base located in Kazakhstan.

  • Free zones/bonded warehouses/factories operated by offshore enterprises under customs control (the free zone of Kaliningrad is included in the national accounts).

  • Workers who work part of the year in another country are considered residents for purposes of the national accounts, consistently with the treatment given in the balance of payments statistics compiled by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR).

The production boundary in the Russian national accounts is broadly in accordance with the 1993 SNA. The following items are in the scope of the measurement of output:

  • Own-account production of all goods for own final consumption;

  • Research and development on own-account is separately distinguished as output, although there is no complete production account since data on intermediate consumption is reported only at the enterprise level (as a whole);

  • Output of capital goods for own-use is included although separate data are not always made available from the economic surveys. In particular, there are difficulties with the classification of expenditures of the general government, where it is difficult to distinguish some capital expenditures from current expenses;

  • Mineral exploration;

  • Production of entertainment, literary, and artistic originals (based on data on purchases and production); and

  • In-house production of computer software is included in the scope of output, although the data cannot always be distinguished separately from the reports of enterprises. Changes in the reporting forms are planned to be introduced next year to better capture the respective output.

The output of illegal activities is not in the scope of the Russian national accounts.

The assets boundary in the Russian national accounts broadly conforms to the scope of assets in the 1993 SNA. In particular, the following items are in the scope for determining the assets boundary:1

Among tangible assets:

  • Defense related assets that could be used for civilian purposes;

  • Valuables; and

  • Agricultural work-in-progress is accounted for animal breeding and agriculture production, except for perennial crops.

Among intangible assets:

  • Mineral exploration (whether successful or not);

  • Systems and standard applications computer software and databases (purchased or built in-house);

  • Entertainment, literary, or artistic originals; and

  • Patented entities (included in the scope but not in practice because of lack of information).

Historical monuments and leases and other transferable contracts (such as purchased goodwill) are not in the scope of the Russian national accounts.

2.3 Classification/sectorization

2.3.1 Classification/sectorization systems used are broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

The classification of transactions and flows in the national accounts of Russia follow broadly the recommendations of the 1993 SNA. The classification of institutional units follows the 1993 SNA recommendations. Since 2008, separate data for financial corporations and non-financial corporations are available.2

The institutional sectors considered in the national accounts of Russia are general government, households, non-profit institutions serving households, non-financial corporations, and financial corporations.

The classification of economic activities is made according to the All Russian Classification of Branches of the National Economy (OKVED in Russian), which is based on the General Industrial Classification of Economic Activities of the European Communities (NACE, Rev. 2). This classification has been applied to the data from 2003.

Since 2009, goods and services have been classified based on the OKVED classification, which is compatible with the classification of goods and services used by the European Community, the CPA (classification of products by activity).

Annual estimates of household consumption expenditure have been compiled using the internationally recommended Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) starting with the data of 2004, but their release has been postponed until August 2010, at the same time that a historical revision of the national accounts series, based on new source data and methodology, is scheduled to be released.

Since the data related to 2005, the Ministry of Finance has introduced the Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG). Estimates of general government consumption in the national accounts are compiled and disseminated using the COFOG categories. Foreign trade data are classified based on the Foreign Economic Activity Nomenclature, which is based on the International Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System.

2.4 Basis for recording

2.4.1 Market prices are used to value flows and stocks

Market prices are used for the valuation of all transactions and flows in the Russian national accounts. Market output is valued at basic prices in accordance with the principles of valuation recommended by the 1993 SNA. Production for own-use is valued at the equivalent basic market prices or as the sum of their cost components. Intermediate consumption is measured at market purchaser’s prices, that is, including distribution margins and the taxes on the goods and services used as inputs in production. In accordance with the valuation principles of the 1993 SNA, the refundable value added tax on goods and services purchased for intermediate consumption purposes is not included in the respective value.

Expenditures on final consumption are valued at purchaser’s price, that is, the price paid by households, including any tax levied on the goods and services purchased. General government consumption expenditure is recorded at cost including an estimate of the consumption of fixed assets. Nonprofit institutions consumption expenditure is recorded at cost including an estimate of consumption of fixed assets. Gross fixed capital formation is recorded at purchaser’s prices, when the capital goods are purchased and at basic prices (estimated by cost components) when own-produced. Total exports and imports of goods are recorded on f.o.b. basis, in accordance with international practices.

A particular case is the valuation of the imputed rents of owner-occupied dwellings, for which the recorded estimates are not based on equivalent market prices, but only reflect a fraction of their value. Experimental calculations based on the “cost approach” have been implemented for the year 2008 using the methodology recommended by the OECD. Results are still being assessed and discussed with main users, mainly the Ministry of Economic Development as the introduction of this methodological change will significantly affect the level of GDP estimates.3 The national accounts staff are aware of the need to implement these changes to adhere to the SNA methodology and for international comparison purposes; therefore work is in progress to develop a series for publication.

Recommendation: Disseminate promptly the revised series of imputed rental of owner-occupied dwellings based on the internationally recommended methodology.

2.4.2 Recording is done on an accrual basis

In accordance with the 1993 SNA, most transactions and flows are recorded in the national accounts on an accrual basis. Source data for general government income and expenditures are on a cash basis but the National Account Department makes adjustments to bring these data closer to the accrual basis in the national accounts statistics. These adjustments include the allocation of compensation of employees to the period in which work was performed, and adjustments for arrears and purchases of utilities.

Agriculture output of perennial crops is registered at the time of the harvest and not as work in progress.

2.4.3 Grossing/netting procedures are broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

In general, transactions between establishments within the same enterprise are not recorded on a gross basis since the observation unit for the economic surveys is the enterprise. However, separate data on output are collected for each kind of economic activity (“pure activity”) undertaken by an enterprise. Moreover, when establishments belonging to the same enterprise are located in different regions, the transactions between them are recorded on a gross basis, necessary for the compilation of regional GDP estimates.

3. Accuracy and reliability

3.1 Source data

3.1.1 Source data are obtained from comprehensive data collection programs that take into account country-specific conditions
Enterprise statistics

The Rosstat has a very comprehensive system of regular enterprise surveys with monthly, quarterly, and annual frequency. A dedicated department within the Rosstat is responsible for the collection and processing of the data. This includes sampling design, sample selection, collection of the raw data from enterprises, processing, and tabulation of results. The surveys cover all economic activities, except for activities of the financial sector, which are covered by a special report prepared by the CBR. The target population of the enterprise surveys is the universe of legal entities.

Annual structural surveys are conducted on a census basis, with all large units being surveyed, while for medium-sized, small enterprises, and micro-enterprises data are collected from a sample of enterprises representing the population. Random sampling methods are used for the selection of the samples, and consequently, estimates for the total population are obtained by grossing-up the sample values with the weights implicit in the sampling design. Consideration is given to the accuracy of the estimates using stratified random sampling procedures.

The data collected in the structural surveys has enough details to compile the production and generation of income accounts at the level of the enterprise. Moreover, information on output is also collected for homogenous (“pure”) activity. For large- and medium-sized enterprises, data are also collected on inventories (at the beginning and at the end of the period, and by type), on capital formation, on employment, as well as on selected financial indicators. No data on inventories are collected for small enterprises. Approximately 108,000 large- and medium-sized enterprises are covered by the enterprise surveys.

Quarterly surveys also cover enterprises of all sizes, except the micro-enterprises for which only annual surveys are conducted. As for the annual surveys, the quarterly data are collected on a census basis for large enterprises, while random sampling procedures are used for the medium and small enterprises.

A unified questionnaire is used to collect information for all kinds of activities. The quarterly questionnaire is less detailed than the questionnaire used to collect annual data. Simplified questionnaires are used to collect data from small enterprises.

The collection of data on enterprises is regulated by the “Federal Law on the Development of Small and Medium Businesses in the Russian Federation” Federation Law No. 209 issued on July 24, 2007 stipulates that full scale censuses of small and medium-sized enterprises should be conducted every five years.

The data produced as a result of the enterprise surveys are used by the departments of the Rosstat responsible for the compilation of business statistics (manufacturing, trade, agriculture, etc). These departments make additional estimates to achieve full coverage of the data, including estimates for the economic activities of individuals and adjustments for the non-observed economic activities (NOE) in their respective fields.

A statistics register, established, maintained, and regularly updated by the Rosstat serves as the main sampling framework from which the statistical units participating in the surveys are drawn. The Rosstat has available an administrative register based on the database on taxpayers available from the Federal Tax Service. The administrative register distinguishes between legal entities and individual entrepreneurs (physical persons registered as entrepreneurs with the tax authorities). This administrative register has records for approximately 4.3 million enterprises and around 4.0 million entrepreneurs. The information contained in this register includes the official registration number, the identification code of the enterprise, the property type code, the legal form code, name of the legal founders, the capital structure, share of founders in the capital, and date of registration. The register contains active as well as non-active entities.

The statistical register is mainly based on the administrative register with additional relevant information collected through the regular surveys conducted by the Rosstat. Main indicators included in the statistical register are: number of employees, income, size, economic activity, institutional sector, and subsector (based on 1993 SNA), form of accounting, active or not active, etc. Around two-thirds of the enterprises in the register are active. The register is updated once a year at the beginning of each calendar year. The register is prepared for each region and for the country as a whole. The Rosstat headquarters in Moscow employs seven staff to work on methodology of the register and 70 staff in the Computing Center for data processing of the register. The regions employ on average 10 staff to deal with the register.

Household surveys

The HBS is conducted each year during the period October to September. It is a sample survey collecting data on expenditures through a diary (for a two-week period) of daily expenditures and a journal that collects data on all expenditures (i.e. recurring expenditures, expenditures on durable goods and other goods/services). Enumerators also collect data on household demographic characteristics, characteristics of dwellings, access in distance to public services, and income. Participation is voluntary.

The survey covers households from all socio-economic groups in both urban and rural areas throughout Russia. The sample of 47,800 households was selected using a sampling frame based on the 2002 population census and represents approximately 0.1 percent of the total population. A two-stage sampling procedure was used for the selection of households. Geographic areas are chosen in the first stage, while households are chosen in the second stage. For both stages, stratified systematic sampling was used to ensure that all types of households were selected for all geographic areas. The Rosstat oversamples to account for non-response. Standard errors are calculated for the entire country and the regions, but only those for Russia are published and used for survey planning purposes.

Other source data

Data on the general government’s income and expenditure are obtained from the budget execution reports. From data related to 2007, consolidated reports, including all levels of government, as well as extra-budgetary funds, are obtained from the Federal Treasury. Annual data are available based on the COFOG and economic classifications. Quarterly data are available based on the COFOG classification only. Operations of extra-budgetary funds are also collected through statistical surveys at the regional level. Defense-related expenses are detailed enough to identify the acquisition of assets that can be used for civilian purposes, thus allowing for their inclusion in the data on capital formation. However, there are problems with the economic classification of expenses used by the Treasury, which requires the compilers of national accounts to undertake a thorough examination of the source data to make adjustments to fit the needs of the national accounts statistics. Moreover, due to the lack of an economic classification of the quarterly source data4, these estimates are based on indicators, like the indices of employment in the government sector. Rosstat staff work closely with the staff of the Treasury to overcome these shortcomings in the source data.

Data on the general government’s strategic inventories are not available for the compilation of the national accounts. Consequently, the changes in these types of inventories are not included in the national accounts.

Data on the balance of payments statistics are received on a timely basis from the CBR and with the necessary breakdown for the compilation of the national accounts. The National Accounts Department uses these estimates when compiling GDP by expenditure and the Rest of the World account with one exception: exports and imports by migrants are not included in the estimates of national accounts. The exclusion of data on exports and imports by migrants does not affect the GDP levels nor the current external balance, but it creates discrepancies on the level of imports and exports of goods between these two sets of macroeconomic statistics.

Main price indices available are the CPI, the PPI, and the unit value indices of exports and imports of goods. All of these indices have a monthly periodicity. Other price indices compiled by the Rosstat are the Price Index of Agriculture Products and the Price Index of Investment. Paasche-type quarterly unit value indices of exports and imports are also available, after a recent revision of the methodology used by the Federal Custom Service, the institution responsible for the compilation of these statistics. Surveys covering the non-profit institutions serving households (NPISHs) are conducted by the Rosstat every two years.

Recommendations:

Collect information on strategic inventories and include the estimates of changes in these inventories in the national accounts data.

Include transfers in kind made by migrants in total imports and exports of goods for complete consistency with the balance of payments statistics.5

3.1.2 Source data reasonably approximate the definitions, scope, classifications, valuation, and time of recording required

The enterprise statistics are collected and compiled using the definitions, concepts, and valuation principles of the 1993 SNA. All questionnaires used, and the respective instructions to respondents, are carefully examined by the staff of the National Accounts Department, which is the main internal user of these statistics. Output is reported at basic prices and intermediate consumption data are available at market purchaser’s prices, as needed for the compilation of the national accounts. The classification of economic activities is the same for the production statistics and the national accounts statistics. Statistics are compiled at highly disaggregated levels of the economic classification of activities (170 activities).

3.1.3 Source data are timely

All data are received on a timely basis. Deadlines established in the Federal Plan of Statistical Operations and in the Rosstat’s annual plan are strictly adhered to by the suppliers of the data. Bilateral agreements with a number of institutions for sharing information also contribute to the timely receipt of the data needed for the compilation of the national accounts.

3.2 Assessment of source data

3.2.1 Source data—including censuses, sample surveys, and administrative records—are routinely assessed, e.g., for coverage, sample error, response error, and nonsampling error; the results of the assessments are monitored and made available to guide statistical processes

Enterprise surveys are routinely assessed for non-response and appropriate techniques are used to deal with this problem in sampling-based surveys. The response to the surveys by large and middle-sized enterprises is practically complete. Low response rates are observed in surveys of small enterprises. Adjustments for missing observations are made in each region by activity. When the rate of non-response is higher than 20 percent,6 a replacement sample randomly selected is used, an appropriate statistical procedure. Otherwise, (in cases where the response rate is less than 20 percent) imputations are implicitly made by correcting the grossing-up factors.

Coefficients of variations are calculated for all variables to assess the accuracy of the estimates. The questionnaires are revised every year and changes are introduced, as necessary. The data are subjected to automated checks for arithmetic accuracy, comprehensiveness, and logical consistency, questionnaire by questionnaire. The data checking procedures are documented in a very detailed manual. Inconsistencies identified are clarified directly with respondents.

The temporal consistency and consistency of the aggregate data with other related source data are also checked by the departments responsible for compiling the branch statistics and by the compilers of the national accounts.

Revisions of the source data are rare. Nevertheless, annual accounts may be revised up to two years after the end of the reference period. Quarterly estimates are revised only after a new annual estimate is available. Therefore, revisions of the data for the quarters of the current year are not synchronized with revisions of the source data, if the latter are made during the current year. This revision policy may cause discrepancies between the source data and the estimates of national accounts. This seems to be the case of revisions of source statistics for the national accounts like the producer price index and the industrial price index, which are revised during the current year.

3.3 Statistical techniques

3.3.1 Data compilation employs sound statistical techniques to deal with data sources

As explained above, rigorous procedures are in place to minimize data processing errors Data are automatically checked for consistency at a detailed as well as aggregated level. Moreover, estimates based on random samples are computed using grossing-up factors derived from the sample design.

3.3.2 Other statistical procedures (e.g., data adjustments and transformations, and statistical analysis) employ sound statistical techniques

Estimates of the non-observed economy are compiled by the departments responsible for the compilation of the branch statistics. These estimates are made using a case-by-case approach. Techniques include the labor input method and balances of resources and uses, depending on the economic activity for which the estimates refer. In the year 2008, the estimates for the NOE represent 14.4 percent of total value added. The shares of the NOE estimates vary from activity to activity, with agriculture having the highest share (55.9 percent), followed by hotels and restaurants (44.9 percent). Estimates for the NOE are made for both the production and the expenditure approach for compiling GDP. Adjustments to the foreign trade data for non-recorded exports and imports are made by the compilers of the balance of payments in the CBR. Adjustments for the consumption of goods are implicit in the adjustments made to the retail trade turnover, used as the main source for estimating household consumption expenditure in the national accounts.

Production approach procedures

Estimates of output are compiled at highly disaggregated levels. In the annual estimates, output is compiled for 370 pure activities and 156 main activities. In the quarterly estimates, output is compiled for 312 pure activities and 148 main activities. Intermediate consumption and value added are calculated annually and quarterly at the level of the main activity (156 and 148 activities, respectively).

There is no significant use of outdated fixed coefficients for producing the national accounts estimates. In a few cases, to fill information gaps for recent periods, coefficients derived from the previous year’s estimates are used.

Techniques used for specific issues in GDP compilation

Owner-occupied dwellings

The output of owner-occupied dwelling is not measured in accordance with the internationally recommended methodology. Estimates are not based on the imputation of rental services using the market values for similar accommodations or using a cost approach that represents the total cost of maintenance, consumption of fixed assets, and an estimate of the return to capital. Instead, the published estimates are significantly undervalued as only a fraction of the cost is used for the imputation. Experimental calculations based on the cost approach have been compiled for the year 2008. A decision has not yet been taken to revise the series.

Work-in-progress

Work-in-progress is recorded for the estimates of output whose production process extends beyond one period of account, particularly significant for quarterly accounts. Thus, output of construction project undertaken under the initiative of construction companies are allocated to the periods in which work was put in place. The output of standing timbers, animal breeding, and crops, with the exception of perennial crops, are allocated to the quarters of the year proportionally to the allocation of expenses on production in each sub-period of the year. However, the allocation coefficients used were derived from benchmark estimates of 1995. Updating the coefficients for the inter-annual allocation of production requires undertaking special studies. In the short-run, the distribution of expenses within the year reported by enterprises within the framework of the regular surveys could be used.

Inventory valuation adjustment

The methodology used for the estimates of changes in inventories is aimed to eliminate holding gains from the reported book values of inventories. Although the method applied is in accordance with internationally recommended methodology, no specific deflators for each kind of inventories have been developed.

Inventory valuation adjustments are made in the calculations of output and in the calculations of intermediate consumption, in accordance with the internationally recommended practices. However, as mentioned above, the quality of the adjustment can be improved by developing more specific deflators to derive these valuation adjustments.

Procedures for the compilation of volume measures of GDP

A single indicator method is used for the compilation of GDP. Volume indexes of output are the most commonly used indicator for the extrapolation of intermediate consumption on a quarterly and annual basis. The direct deflation of value added has been applied only in a few cases. Estimates of volume measures of output are compiled at the same highly disaggregated levels at which output estimates are available at current prices. These indexes are used for the extrapolation of intermediate consumption and value added of the estimates for the main activity. This approach is followed because the lack of data on intermediate consumption at the level of the pure activity.

Volume measure estimates for annual and quarterly GDP estimates are compiled at average prices of the previous year, which are chain-linked to produce series at the fixed reference period of 2003. Discrepancies between the chain-linked values of the totals and the respective sum of the components (a normal situation with chain-linked values) have increased over time in Russia. This may point to the need for a change of the base reference period to a more recent year.

Estimates of output of the trade industry are based on the extrapolation of the trade margin of the previous year by the volume index of trade turnover. Separate estimates are made for the retail and the wholesale trade industries. However, for each of these activities, extrapolation is made only at the level of the total, a procedure that does not allow capturing changes in the trade margin attributable to changes in the structure of the goods.

Estimates of volume measures of taxes on products are made separately for each type of tax. However, in most cases compilation is conducted at aggregated levels. Volume measure estimates of the value added tax on imported goods at prices of the previous year are based on the extrapolation of the total taxes levied in the previous year using the total volume index of imports of goods. Volume measures of exports duties are separately compiled for energy-related commodities. Volume measures of excise taxes are estimated by product. Volume measures of value added taxes on domestically produced goods are based on the extrapolation of the previous year’s data with the volume index of value added for the total economy. Subsidies are deflated by the CPI. Improvements of these estimates require the extrapolation of the data on taxes at more disaggregated levels, and ideally based on the use matrix of the supply and use table.

Expenditure approach procedures

Each component of final uses is estimated independently. A discrepancy between GDP by production and GDP by expenditure is shown explicitly in the tables disseminated. GDP by production is considered more accurate and the discrepancy is shown in the GDP by expenditure.

Household consumption expenditure has been compiled using the COICOP classification but these estimates have not yet been released. The published figures are provided only for total consumption. The series with the COICOP classification is scheduled to be released in October 2010, at the time other changes to the GDP series are introduced. General government consumption expenditure is disseminated using the COFOG classification. There is no breakdown available for the estimates of gross fixed capital formation, due to the lack of suitable source data, particularly for small enterprises.

In accordance with internationally recommended methodology, household consumption expenditure includes expenditures of resident households abroad and excludes consumption of non-residents in the domestic territory. Source data on these transactions are extracted from the balance of payments statistics compiled by the CBR. Expenditures on valuables are included in the accounts as such. General government consumption expenditure is equal to the general government own-production plus purchases of goods and services distributed free or at a nominal price to the population less incidental sales.

Volume measures of components of final uses

Estimates of final consumption expenditures of households are based on deflation of 30 groups of consumption of goods and services using corresponding components of the CPI as deflators. New estimates, based on the COICOP classification are being produced at more disaggregated levels. Volume measures of general government consumption expenditures are based on the extrapolation of own-produced output of the general government index of employment and the deflation of purchases by specific price indices. Own-produced output of general government should be compiled as the sum of the volume measures of its cost components. Estimates of exports and imports of goods are deflated by Paasche-type unit value indices of exports and imports, respectively. There are no adequate index used for the deflation of export and import of services.

The volume measures of changes in inventories are based on adequate methods, but the deflators are not representative of all type of inventories as the same component of the producer price index is used for each type of inventory within a specific economic activity.

Specific Quarterly Compilation Techniques

Quarterly national accounts data are aligned to the annual estimate by distributing the difference between the annual estimate and the sum of the estimates of the four quarters of the years proportionally to the distribution of the unadjusted quarterly data. This technique is not appropriate as it introduces a step problem -a distortion of the growth rate between the last quarter of every year and the first quarter of the following year. An appropriate technique, as the Denton method should be used for benchmarking the quarterly estimates to the respective annual figures.

Russian national accounts are compiled based on original data. Seasonally adjusted estimates and trend estimates are compiled and disseminated for total GDP, for 15 activities, and for the main components of aggregate demand. Seasonally adjusted data are disseminated in absolute values. Seasonal adjustment is made based on the X-12 software. The seasonal adjustment factors are recalculated every time data for a new quarter are introduced.

Recommendations:

Update the coefficients used for the intra-annual allocation of work in progress of agriculture product.

Improve the estimates of changes in inventories by developing specific deflators for goods held as inventories of raw materials. A breakdown by main group of products used in production by each activity can be derived from the most recent input-output table.

Compile estimates of the volume measures of the trade margin at more disaggregated levels.

Compile estimates of volume measures of taxes and subsidies on products based on calculations at disaggregated levels.

Compile volume measure estimates of general government consumption expenditure as the sum of the cost components of production compiled in volume measures. Specific indices should be developed to deflate intermediate consumption and consumption of fixed assets.

Adopt more adequate quarterly benchmarking techniques. The use of the Denton method is recommended.

Update the reference period of the chain-linked volume values and indices to a more recent year.

3.4 Assessment and validation of intermediate data and statistical outputs

3.4.1 Intermediate results are validated against other information, where applicable

Estimates of intermediate data are validated with other sources of information, when available. For example, output estimates for specific activities are compared with corresponding components of export data or expenditures of households from the household budget survey. Also, implicit deflators are compared with available price indices.

3.4.2 Statistical discrepancies in intermediate data are assessed and investigated

Discrepancies identified in intermediate data are routinely assessed and data are corrected as needed.

3.4.3 Statistical discrepancies and other potential indicators of problems in statistical outputs are investigated

Supply and use tables have been compiled up to the year 2006. A new benchmark estimates is scheduled to be compiled for 2011. Partial balances of resources and uses are commonly used to assess the consistency of the data of national accounts, on a quarterly and annual basis. The discrepancy between the production-based GDP estimates and the expenditure-based GDP estimate is low and has never exceeded two percentage points.

3.5 Revision studies

3.5.1 Studies and analyses of revisions are carried out routinely and used internally to inform statistical processes (see also 4.3.3)

The Rosstat does not conduct systematic revision studies. Normally, estimates are not revised beyond the last two years. Revisions to the data and their causes are explained in the publications. More detailed explanations of revisions are disseminated when important methodological changes are introduced, a situation that does not happen frequently.

4. Serviceability

4.1 Periodicity and timeliness

4.1.1 Periodicity follows dissemination standards

Russia meets the periodicity requirements of the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS). Quarterly GDP estimates at current prices and in volume measures are compiled and disseminated.

4.1.2 Timeliness follows dissemination standards

Quarterly GDP estimates are released timely, although an exception occurred in the second quarter of 2009 for which quarterly GDP data were not released on time. Normally, the quarterly production-based GDP estimates at current prices and in volume terms are disseminated 80 days after the end of the reference quarter, thus meeting the timeliness and periodicity requirements of the SDDS. Quarterly expenditure-based GDP estimates at current prices and in volume measures are disseminated 90 days after the end of the reference quarter. Moreover, a quarterly volume index of GDP by production is disseminated 30 days after the end of the reference period and a first preliminary quarterly GDP estimate by production is released 50 days after the end of the reference period.

4.2 Consistency

4.2.1 Statistics are consistent within the dataset

Quarterly GDP estimates are consistent with the respective annual estimates. The discrepancy between GDP estimates by production and GDP estimates by expenditure is shown explicitly in the publications. The discrepancy between these two independent GDP estimates is small.

4.2.2 Statistics are consistent or reconcilable over a reasonable period of time

Consistent series of expenditure-based GDP is available from data starting in 1995. Consistent series of GDP by production is available from data of 2002 since data from previous years were not recalculated using the new classification of economic activity.

4.2.3 Statistics are consistent or reconcilable with those obtained through other data sources and/or statistical frameworks

The national accounts statistics are consistent with the balance of payments, except for a minor item. Migrant transfers in kind are not included in exports and imports in the national accounts data. The coverage of the financial sector is the same in the monetary and financial statistics and in the national accounts. Moreover, the CBR cooperates closely with the Rosstat; the compilation of the production accounts of the financial intermediaries, including FISIM, is actually conducted by the CBR. Same source data are used for the compilation of the government finance statistics and the national accounts for the general government sector, although there are discrepancies in the economic and functional classifications of expenditures of general government.

4.3 Revision policy and practice

4.3.1 Revisions follow a regular and transparent schedule

Russia has a clearly established dissemination policy. The exact dissemination dates of revisions of the national accounts statistics are posted ahead of time on the website of the Rosstat in Russian. A preliminary annual GDP estimate for the preceding year, based on the production approach, is disseminated on January 30. Revised annual estimates for the same year are later published in March and December that follows the end of the reference period and in March and December one year later.

Quarterly estimates for the current year are not revised within the year. Historical series of quarterly GDP are revised only with the dissemination of the annual estimates in March of each year. Two shortcomings can be singled out with this revision policy: (i) different timing of revisions between the national accounts and some of the source data (e.g. balance of payments, industrial production index, etc) will show discrepancies during the year, thus confusing users, and (ii) the dissemination of a preliminary annual estimate without a simultaneous release of revised quarterly data for the same year also confuse users and is a cause of misinterpretation of the data.

It should be noted, that as a matter of policy, most source data for the national accounts produced by the Rosstat are not revised during the year, similar to the practice adopted for the compilation of the quarterly national accounts. Regarding the inconsistency between the first preliminary annual GDP estimates and the quarterly estimates for the first three quarters of the same year, previously published, the Rosstat position is that both estimates are based on different source data (preliminary annual reports are used for the estimates disseminated on January 30), and users are made aware that the quarterly data lack consistency with the new annual figures. Therefore, it will be wrong to derive estimates for the last quarter of the year based on these two sets of published data.

Recommendations:

Revise quarterly GDP estimates for the current year every time data for a new quarter is released.

Educate users not to make use of the first preliminary annual data to derive estimates for the last quarter of the year, thus avoiding misuse of the data.

4.3.2 Preliminary and/or revised data are clearly identified

Each time the data are disseminated on the website, the date of the release is stated. The data are not marked as revised or preliminary in the tables using conventional symbols. However, revisions to the data are explained in the text that accompanies the publication.

4.3.3 Studies and analyses of revisions are made public (see also 3.5.1)

The number of revisions made to the data is described in the Federal Plans of Statistical Operations posted on the Rosstat website. Explanations are provided only for important data revisions, such as those arising from the use of a new classification system or adoption of a new methodology.

5. Accessibility

5.1 Data accessibility

5.1.1 Statistics are presented in a way that facilitates proper interpretation and meaningful comparisons (layout and clarity of text, tables, and charts)

Dissemination practices are in general good. Long-term data series of the data are disseminated on the website. Data are provided in nominal values, volume measure levels, and as indices. The detail of the disseminated series is adequate and corresponds to the maximum detail that is made available to users. A limited number of charts are also provided. Text describing the main findings, revisions, and the methodology are also available and can easily be accessed through links to the tables. An annual publication contains the complete sequence of accounts by institutional sector. In addition to the titles, the 1993 SNA codes for the classification of economic flows and the classification of institutional sectors are used for data dissemination. Seasonally adjusted data and trend values are also disseminated in the form of values and in charts.

5.1.2 Dissemination media and format are adequate

The dissemination format is very good. Tables can be downloaded from the Rosstat website in Excel format.

5.1.3 Statistics are released on a preannounced schedule

An advance release calendar is posted on the Rosstat website. The exact dates of the release are made public three months in advance. It should be noted that all information on the national accounts is kept up-to-date on the Rosstat website only in Russian. The English version is less frequently updated and contains less information than the Russian version.

5.1.4 Statistics are made available to all users at the same time

Statistics are made available to all users simultaneously through the Internet.

5.1.5 Statistics not routinely disseminated are made available upon request

The statistics are disseminated on the Rosstat website with the maximum detail that is available for users. It is also not common to have requests for additional, unpublished data.

5.2 Metadata accessibility

5.2.1 Documentation on concepts, scope, classifications, basis of recording, data sources, and statistical techniques is available, and differences from internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices are annotated

The publication of the annual national accounts provides a summary of the methodology. The text is updated every year. Other methodological publications for specific issues in the compilation of the national accounts, like the methodology used for the estimates of NOE, are also available on the Rosstat website.

5.2.2 Levels of detail are adapted to the needs of the intended audience

Simple methodological notes are posted on the internet together with the disseminated data.

5.3 Assistance to users

5.3.1 Contact points for each subject field are publicized

All publications list the names and telephone numbers of the persons that can be contacted regarding the data. The contact information for each statistical subject is also posted on the internet. Questions are promptly answered. A new service using the internet by which users can raise questions about the statistics was recently put in place.

5.3.2 Catalogs of publications, documents, and other services, including information on any charges, are widely available

A catalog of publications is available on the Internet and updated every year. The publications also make reference to other publications available and provide information on how these documents can be obtained. Printed publications are distributed free of charge to users on the mailing list and are available free of charge to the general public through the internet. The website also contains announcements of new data.

Table 1.

Data Quality Assessment Framework: Summary of Results for National Accounts

(Compiling Agency: Rosstat)

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II. Price Statistics (Consumer Price Index)

0. Prerequisites of quality

0.1 Legal and institutional environment

0.1.1 The responsibility for collecting, processing, and disseminating the statistics is clearly specified

The Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) is the official body entrusted by law for coordinating and overseeing the production and dissemination of the official statistics of the country. Significant and important changes in the structural organization of the Russian Federation Statistical System have taken place since the 2003 ROSC mission. These changes also reflect the new administrative structure of the country which now includes 83 subjects of the federation (oblasts) with their own administrative structure but with each institution subordinated to the corresponding central institution in the capital city.

Currently, the most significant legal documents regulating and providing support for the statistical activity are the resolution No. 399 of the government of Russia, Provisions on the Federal State Statistics Service, issued on July 30, 2004 (whose latest update is Resolution 420, issued on June 2, 2008) and the Federal Law No. 282 F3, On Official Statistical Accounting and State Statistics System in the Russian Federation, (herein after referred to as the Statistical Law) issued on November 29, 2007, signed by the President of Russia. The latter document is in compliance with recommended legal frameworks for the regulation of countries’ statistical systems as advised by Eurostat, the United Nations, and the World Bank.

The first of these two documents mentioned above states in Article 1 that “the Federal State Statistics Service is an authorized executive agency that carries out functions related to the approval of regulatory and legal acts in the area of state statistical activity, functions related to preparation of official statistical information on the social, economic, demographic, and environmental situation in the country, as well as functions related to oversight in the area of state statistical activity.” The purpose of the above-mentioned federal law is to provide the “legal basis for the implementation of the unified governmental policy in the field of official statistical accounting aimed to satisfy information needs of the state and the society.”

Article 2 of the Statistical Law defines official statistical information as “summarized aggregated documented information on the quantitative component of social, economic, demographic, ecological, and other social processes in the Russian Federation, compiled by the subjects of then official statistical accounting in compliance with official statistical methodology.” The subjects of official statistical accounting information are the federal authorities and other federal state bodies compiling official statistical information. Article 5 of this law says that official statistical accounting shall be exercised in compliance with the Federal Plans of Statistical Operations to be prepared by the federal executive authority.

The Federal Plan of Statistical Operations is drafted by the Rosstat in consultation with all other government institutions responsible for compiling official statistics. The plan and any of its subsequent updating should be approved by the Russian government. The plan is formulated taking into account the rational use of resources, avoiding duplication of activities, and reducing the respondents’ burden. It assigns the responsibility for compiling and disseminating the official statistics among all government bodies subject to the law, and it includes detailed information describing the statistics to be compiled, their periodicity, and the dissemination deadlines. The compilation of the national accounts and the price indices statistics are clearly defined in the Federal Plan of Statistical Operations as the responsibilities of the Rosstat.

The Rosstat also prepares a separate document containing its own annual plan, where the activities undertaken by the institution are provided at a more detailed level than in the Federal Plan of Statistical Operations, including inter alia, the type of forms to be used to collect information, the technology to be used to process the information, level of aggregation of the data, dissemination formats, etc.

The Rosstat has the authority to issue official orders establishing the methodology and classifications to be used in the compilation of the official statistics by all compiling entities. It also monitors the compliance of the production of the official statistics in accordance with the federal plan.

The legal framework for the compilation of the statistics assures that there are no conflicts or potential conflicts between the legal authority to produce statistics and other laws or provisions. Thus, Article 5, Section 9, of the Law No. 282-F3 states that the official entities producing statistics can obtain information from administrative sources and from respondents without limitations at the same time that they should provide for the security of the information acquired in compliance with the legislation of Russia.

0.1.2 Data sharing and coordination among data-producing agencies are adequate.

The Rosstat is self-sufficient in producing and compiling both the CPI and the annual household income and expenditure survey, which provides the basis for selecting the market basket list of items for monthly price collection and the weights for the index. No other agencies are involved in the compilation of the CPI.

The Statistical Law establishes the role of the Rosstat as the federal statistics coordinating agency. One of the major goals of the legislation is to delegate authority to the Rosstat to coordinate statistical efforts of all federal agencies to ensure standard definitions, classification systems, and methodologies.

In addition to the legislation, the Rosstat coordinates working meetings with other data producing agencies. The focus of these working meetings is to coordinate statistical needs to avoid duplication and reduce respondent burden.

0.1.3 Individual reporters’ data are to be kept confidential and used for statistical purposes only

Two primary pieces of legislation guarantee and protect the confidentiality of individual reports’ data. The first, The Law on Personal Data (FZ-152), stipulates that all data are confidential and to be used solely for statistical purposes. The second, The Law on Information, Information Technology, and Data Collection (FZ-149), provides for the protection and safe storage of all collected data. In addition to these pieces of legislation, other decrees related to specific data collection activities (e.g. the decennial census) contain specific language ensuring data confidentiality.

Survey questionnaires state clearly on the front page that all information collected by the agency will be kept confidential and used for statistical purposes only. Though the form cites the relevant legal basis for the collection of data, the confidentiality statement fails to reference the relevant laws providing the safeguarding of data.

Any Rosstat staff responsible for releasing confidential data may be subject to prosecution. The statutes do not define specific penalties for breeches of confidentiality; rather, it states that penalties will be assessed by the administrative courts. It is up to the court to decide an appropriate penalty based on the circumstances surrounding the release of confidential data.

The Rosstat has implemented numerous internal safeguards to ensure the confidentiality of the data. Access to confidential documents is limited to persons who may need to refer to them during the course of the statistical compilation process. The documents are stored in secured premises with limited, monitored access and computer programs with information on individual units are password protected. Procedures have been developed for the secure storing and destroying of confidential data.

Regular meetings are conducted in the various regional offices to impress upon staff the critical importance of protecting confidentiality and upholding procedures to safeguard data. Prior to release, the head of the prices unit studies the data to ensure that no data of a confidential nature are inadvertently released and signs-off on the release attesting to this fact.

The Rosstat has developed procedures for the aggregation of individual responses to prevent the disclosure of individual data, including those that could be identified by a process of elimination; however, the agency is not prohibited from disseminating data in the form of indices from which information on individual units can be derived. No policies have been developed requiring the permission of the respondent before dissemination. For example, in the national accounts, a minimum of three respondents is required for aggregation within a specific activity; otherwise, aggregation is done at the next highest level to avoid respondent identification. This special aggregation policy does not apply to the price programs as they are producing data in the form of indices.

The Rosstat releases micro-data upon request, but only after all personally identifiable data are removed. The authorities have drafted specific instructions guiding staff on how to make all records anonymous by removing all personally identifiable data.

Recommendation: Amend the confidentiality statement included on data collection questionnaires to include a reference to the relevant laws providing the safeguarding of data.

0.1.4 Statistical reporting is ensured through legal mandate and/or measures to encourage response

The Rosstat has the legal authority to collect data required to compile the statistics and enforces mandatory reporting provisions as necessary. The authority to collect information by the Rosstat is provided by the Federal Law No. 282-Φ2 which in its Article 5 establishes that “to compile official statistics the subjects of official statistical accounting shall obtain primary statistical data and administrative data from respondents.” The federal law covers all legal entities as well as individuals. However, Article 8 of the law states that individuals residing in Russia not conducting business should provide information on a voluntary basis, unless otherwise stipulated by the federal laws. In the case of population censuses, individuals are obliged to respond.

Lack of compliance with the reporting obligation is subject to administrative sanctions and penalties. Monetary fines are imposed by the regional offices of the Rosstat, and the proceeds from these fines are transferred to the Treasury. Fines are not particularly high and in the past, they have not served as a deterrent for non-compliance by private enterprises, which were more concerned with the confidentiality of their operations. This situation has improved as respondents are now more confident of the protection of the data supplied to the statistical agencies.

The Rosstat also tries to encourage reporting by considering the reporting burden, avoiding duplication of reporting requests to the same respondents through the coordination of the activities of the statistical entities. Forms for collecting information include detailed instructions. The telephone numbers of contact persons are provided in case assistance is needed. In fact, this is a requirement for data collection imposed on the Rosstat in the Statistical Law. Before collecting data for the first time, letters explaining the purposes of data collection are sent to respondents to the surveys conducted by the Rosstat. Cooperation of respondents is also sought by means of seminars conducted in the regions, where the purposes of data collection are explained to respondents.

0.2 Resources

0.2.1 Staff, facilities, computing resources, and financing are commensurate with statistical programs

In general, the staff and financial resources available for compiling the CPI are adequate to support monthly compilation and dissemination of the index. The section responsible for overseeing the production of the CPI is part of the Division of Price and Financial Statistics of the Rosstat. The CPI section consists of 12 staff members working on the CPI, all of whom received a university degree. Five of the twelve staff joined the Rosstat within the last five years. Low salaries, as compared to similar positions in other ministries, result in high turnover rates; however, recruitment of new staff is not difficult, and vacancies are quickly filled.

There are 1,596 full-time staff engaged in the CPI work in the regional and local office levels. These regional office staff perform a range of CPI activities including data collection, data validation, data processing, and responding to public queries.

The average age of the Rosstat workforce is 52 years old. The organization has implemented efforts to recruit young staff to replace retiring staff.

All staff participate in mandatory refresher training every three years. The program reinforces data quality issues as well as other pertinent topics of interest. Staff may also participate in seminars and training programs organized by the Rosstat training facility.

Computing equipment and information technology support at both headquarters and at the regional/local level are sufficient for compiling the CPI. All staff are assigned a desktop computer that has all needed software. Though all staff have access to the Rosstat intranet, direct access to the internet for their assigned desktop is restricted to the head and deputy head of the division and to those who require the internet to fulfill their regularly assigned duties. Staff may not have internet access directly from their desktop, but at least three computers in every room have access to the internet which other staff can use when needed. Additionally, staff who participate in web-based training programs are granted direct access to the internet for the duration of the course.

The Rosstat computer center processes all price data and stores all data on a secure central database which responsible staff can access from their desktop computers. All data are backed up regularly. Plans for the continuity of operations in the event of a natural or other disaster have been developed to ensure that the CPI can be compiled and released from an off-site location.

The physical facilities are currently under extensive renovation. Staff have been displaced as a result of construction activity, and current working space is limited with many employees sharing rooms. Air conditioners are outdated, and in many cases they are not in working condition. Physical office space will be improved once renovations have been completed.

Other resources are adequate for compiling and disseminating the CPI. Enumerators are provided with sufficient resources to collect prices each period. Procedures have been implemented in the last two years to reimburse data collectors for transportation expenses on a regular basis.

Funding for the CPI is reasonably secure to ensure timely compilation and dissemination of the index. Beginning in 2007, a three-year budget cycle was implemented; however, the financial crisis of 2008 forced the Rosstat to revert to an annual budget cycle in 2009 and 2010. It is planned that the three-year budget cycle will return in 2011. The financial crisis resulted in a 30 percent reduction in the 2009 budget of the Rosstat; however, the agency absorbed these cuts by delaying capital improvement expenditures and did not reduce the budgets for any of the statistical programs.

0.2.2 Measures to ensure efficient use of resources are implemented

Staff performance is reviewed and evaluated on a monthly basis. The evaluation results are used as the basis for awarding a merit-based performance bonus to deserving staff. As was mentioned earlier, all staff are required to participate in a mandatory refresher training program every three years. Upon completing this program, staff are tested and accredited. The accreditation provides the justification for promoting, suspending, or separating staff.

All departments within the Rosstat use consistent methodologies and classification systems, thereby averting the need for constant reviews and adjustments to the data. Survey instruments are streamlined to capture the information required by a cross-section of departments thus reducing the number of surveys and questionnaires.

The Finance Department of the Rosstat reviews all resources to ensure that efficient allocation and spending practices are followed. Budgeting procedures are used to allocate resources.

0.3 Relevance

0.3.1 The relevance and practical utility of existing statistics in meeting users’ needs are monitored

The Scientific and Methodological Council of the Rosstat provides a structured venue for consulting on the usefulness/quality of existing statistics and to discuss emerging data requirements and the implementation of methodological improvements. Members of this group include economists and statisticians from within and outside of the Rosstat, as well as members representing major data users including other government ministries. The council is co-chaired by the head of the Rosstat and the head of the Higher School of Economics. This group meets approximately four times each year and focuses mainly on methodological and data quality issues. The Rosstat is not obligated to accept the recommendations made by the group, but in the event of disagreement, a compromise is usually found.

The Rosstat routinely organizes working groups with data users, such as the Ministry of Finance, Russian Academy of Sciences, and other users, to discuss data needs and elicit feedback on statistical activities. Also Rosstat has recently established on its website the means by which the general public can address their concerns about the data by e-mail. Comments and queries are monitored by the agency and properly considered when planning the statistical activities.

The relevance of the statistics is also discussed during the consultations conducted in the preparation of the Federal Plan of Statistical Operations. Staff interact with foreign partners to compare methodologies and ensure that the Rosstat’s methods reflect international best practices. Staff routinely participate in international meetings, working groups, and training programs. Bilateral cooperation activities between the Rosstat and other statistical agencies also ensure that statistical methods reflect international recommendations and best practices. Moreover, Russia is in the process of joining the OECD, which requires the compilation of statistics in accordance with this institution’s standards.

Staff compiling price statistics have undertaken a number of studies to identify new and emerging data requirements. A technical task force has been convened to conduct a comprehensive review of CPI methods. Other studies have been conducted to review the coverage of the household budget survey to enhance representativeness and to review the conceptual basis of the CPI.

0.4 Other quality management

0.4.1 Processes are in place to focus on quality

The Rosstat management is sensitive to all dimensions of data quality and promotes awareness of data quality issues through the development of a numerous procedures and systems to ensure data quality. A written manual—detailing the data quality procedures implemented by the Rosstat—serves as a reference and guide for all staff. Each program area, such as the CPI, PPI, and national accounts, has developed detailed methodology manuals which include a separate manual focusing on data quality issues. Staff training programs include discussions on the importance of data quality issues.

0.4.2 Processes are in place to monitor the quality of the statistical program

Monitoring processes are in place to inform managers on the quality of ongoing statistical activities. Reports are generated and reviewed detailing response rates, incidence of error, and editing rates to ensure that accurate, reliable data are collected, compiled, and disseminated.

The Scientific and Methodology Council provides expert guidance on the quality of the Rosstat’s statistics and makes recommendations for improvement. Working groups are also convened to assess data quality and recommend changes.

Individual staff performance for all CPI staff, including regional and district staff, is monitored and reviewed on a regular basis to ensure all activities such as data collection, validation, and editing meet the minimum quality standards. Staff receive feedback on performance.

0.4.3 Processes are in place to deal with quality considerations in planning the statistical program

As noted earlier, the Rosstat prepares a work plan that includes an annual timetable of the receipt of source data and dissemination of statistics. Multiple divisions and groups within the Rosstat actively and routinely review the work plan to ensure quality standards are maintained.

Major data users, such as other government agencies/ministries, academicians, and trade unions, review and comment on the work plan for the Rosstat. During this review process, data users comment on how well current needs are met and emerging data needs to be considered.

1. Assurances of integrity

1.1 Professionalism

1.1.1 Statistics are produced on an impartial basis

The terms and conditions under which the statistics are produced are stipulated by resolution No. 420 of the Russian government issued on July 30, 2004. Article 5.4 of this resolution states that the Federal Statistics Service shall develop the official statistical methodology; ensuring consistency with international standards. Additionally, the Statistics Law emphasizes the professional independence and integrity of staff. Though the Rosstat is not mentioned specifically by name in the Statistics Law, the legislation refers to the “national agents responsible for statistics,” which includes Rosstat.

It should be noted that because the Rosstat has been subordinated to the Ministry of Economic Development, this relationship may give rise to a potential conflict of interest given that the ministry produces forecasts of the same economic statistics produced by the Rosstat (i.e., GDP and inflation measures). In addition, the professional independence of the Rosstat is undermined by the strong role played by the Ministry of Economic Development (beyond its role as a member of the Scientific and Methodological Council) in the decision-making process for introducing changes in the methods used to compile prices indices. For example, the ministry denied Rosstat’s initial request to implement COICOP and have questioned the methods used by the CPI staff for the treatment of seasonal items. It should be noted that all questions raised by the ministry are based strictly on statistical methodological grounds, and not for other purposes.

The head of Rosstat is appointed and dismissed by the prime minister. The deputy heads of the Rosstat are appointed and dismissed by the Minister of Economic Development. These positions are usually held for extended periods of time by experienced professionals that rose from the ranks of the institution during long careers.

The staff of the Rosstat are prohibited by law from joining or participating in any political party. The Statistical Plan, discussed above, protects the Rosstat from interference from other government agencies or officials in the compilation and/or dissemination of statistical information. Changes, alterations, or deviations from the approved Statistical Plan are not possible without agreements by all agencies producing statistics and approval by the prime minister; thus, preventing interference from others, including government officials, and protecting the Rosstat’s professional independence.

Staff are recruited via a competitive process and selected based on qualifications. All vacancies are announced on the Rosstat website and applications can be received from both internal and external candidates. All promotions are merit-based.

All newly hired staff participate in a mentoring program where each new staff member is paired with an experienced staff member. The senior staff member provides on-the-job training in methodology and data compilation methods. The duration of the mentoring program varies with individual staff and depends upon the rate at which the newly hired staff member is able to demonstrate the competencies necessary to complete his or her duties.

Staff are encouraged to participate in training program. Ongoing skills development programs in a variety of areas are offered by the Rosstat either in a classroom setting or computer-based training. Staff may also participate in courses offered by the Public Service Academy and are urged to participate in short-term university courses. The Rosstat actively encourages all staff to pursue post-graduate studies and grants leave to these staff for purposes of preparing for and completing exams and assignments required to pass courses. The Russian Academy of Sciences sponsors seminars and discussion on statistical issues and staff are encouraged to attend. Finally, English-language courses are offered by the Rosstat for all interested staff.

Research and analysis by staff are encouraged and published by the Rosstat. Staff produce scholarly works for publication in journals and bulletins outside of the Rosstat. Additionally, the Rosstat produces a monthly bulletin, Issues of Statistics, which publishes research papers produced by the staff.

Recommendation: The Rosstat should be provided the independence to implement improvements and changes of a statistical nature without the approval of the Ministry of Economic Development.

1.1.2 Choices of sources and statistical techniques, as well as decisions about dissemination, are informed solely by statistical considerations

The choice of data sources and statistical techniques is guided solely by considerations of a statistical nature. Dissemination timing is predetermined in an advance release calendar posted on the website of the agency at the beginning of each year and with exact dates provided a quarter in advance. The Rosstat disseminates the CPI in conformity with the periodicity and timing prescribed by the SDDS.

1.1.3 The appropriate statistical entity is entitled to comment on erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics

The Rosstat is authorized to make public clarifications regarding erroneous interpretations or misuse of the data. All criticisms or reporting of erroneous error are responded to in a timely manner. The Rosstat directs commentary directly to the organization reporting the criticism or erroneous data. Responses are posted on the Rosstat website and are included in Rosstat publications. Additionally, the head of Rosstat holds press conferences to correct misconceptions and clarify methodologies.7

1.2 Transparency

1.2.1 The terms and conditions under which statistics are collected, processed, and disseminated are available to the public

The relevant legal documents are posted on the website of the agency. The questionnaires used for the collection of data make reference to the statistical law and the confidentiality provided to the data.

Publications and the website clearly identify a specific contact and details where more information about the data can be found. Publications also identify the members of the editorial board responsible for reviewing the Rosstat publications.

CPI weight data have been published at a detailed level on the Rosstat website since 2006. Historical weight data are only available in the biannual publication Prices in Russia. The authorities should consider also publishing weight data prior to 2006 on the Rosstat website.

1.2.2 Internal governmental access to statistics prior to their release is publicly identified

There are no procedures for providing internal government access to the statistics prior to their release to the general public.

1.2.3 Products of statistical agencies/units are clearly identified as such

All of the publications of the Rosstat identify the source of the published data. Data released via hard copy and the website clearly identify the Rosstat. In lieu of a logo, all publications include the official government seal. The Rosstat requires that explicit reference be made to the data source when its data are reproduced in the publications of other agencies and in the press. Users quoting data produced by the Rosstat are required to cite the Rosstat as the source.

1.2.4 Advance notice is given of major changes in methodology, source data, and statistical techniques

Major changes in the concepts and methods used to compile the CPI are announced in advance. Minor or routine changes are announced in all publications and on the website at the time of release. For example, all changes to CPI methods must be included in The Plan on Methodological Works, which features all methodological changes to be implemented effective in January of the following year. The plan is released in January of the year prior to the implantation of the changes; however, it can be updated as need to reflect additional methodological improvements. In effect, advance notice of up to one year is provided for changes in CPI methods.

1.3 Ethical standards

1.3.1 Guidelines for staff behavior are in place and are well known to the staff

All staff are made aware of the code of conduct to be observed during employment. The commitment to the observance of the codes has to be signed by workers at the time of accepting the terms and conditions of employment and any time a new contract is issued due to changes in positions within the organization. Individual job descriptions list duties and rights of staff and include specific clauses prohibiting staff from disclosing pre-release data or using data for personal use. All staff are required to sign their job descriptions attesting that they have read and fully understood their duties and rights. During the mentoring period for new staff, the senior staff emphasize the importance of maintaining ethical standards. Regional office staff received written procedures describing how to behave as a representative of the Rosstat. A strong culture of professionalism and ethical standards precludes political interference.

2. Methodological soundness

2.1 Concepts and definitions

2.1.1 The overall structure in terms of concepts and definitions follows internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

In general, the concepts and definitions used to compile the CPI reflect international standards and best practices consistent with the CPI Manual, CPI Handbook, and 1993 SNA. Deviations from international standards are noted below. CPI staff refer to the Russian translation of the CPI Manual. The CPI Handbook is currently available in English only.

Rosstat Decree No.110 of December 30, 2005 details the concepts and methods used to compile the CPI for Russia. The methodology is developed by the Rosstat and reflects the official statistical standards of Russia. Copies of the decree are posted on the Rosstat website and can be obtained by request in hardcopy.

Expenditure data on both services and commodities are tabulated in sufficient detail to permit analysis at the level of the four-digit Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP).

2.2 Scope

2.2.1 The scope is broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

The scope of the CPI reflects internally accepted standards, guidelines, and best practices. The annual household budget survey (HBS), upon which the CPI market basket weights are based, covers all geographic areas and socio-economic groups. All socio-economic strata are represented in the CPI. In the case of households with unincorporated businesses, household consumption expenditures are separated from expenditures relating to production.

Excluded from the reference population are individuals in institutions (for example, hospitals, prisons, etc.). All households with at least one resident would be enumerated in the HBS, excluding foreign diplomatic and military personnel stationed in Russia. No estimates are made for the non-observed economy when compiling expenditure data or in estimating the weights. Imputed rents for owner-occupied dwellings are also excluded.

All items exceeding 0.1 percent of total household consumption expenditure are included in the CPI market basket. A total of 489 items are included in the market basket, and the weights are fixed at the item level. The CPI reflects the “national” concept where expenditures of nonresidents are excluded from the CPI weights, but the consumption of nationals abroad (for example, while on holiday) is included.

The following are not covered in the CPI: expenditures on illegal goods and services, expenditures for gambling and prostitution, production for own consumption, expenditures on second-hand goods other than automobiles, and expenditures made by institutional households. These excluded items, however, are deemed minor and/or internationally common exceptions to the 1993 SNA.

The CPI excludes owner-occupied housing; however, rents, maintenance, and repair costs for municipal and private apartments are included. The majority of households in Russia rent their dwelling, but the rate of home ownership is increasing steadily each year. Even if the weight is relatively low, the Rosstat should include owner-occupied housing in the CPI. The difficulty of measuring the cost of an index component is not usually a good justification for excluding that component from the index. International recommendations call for either using rental equivalence or net acquisition of residential housing stock, but it is generally preferred to include a rental equivalence component in the CPI market basket to represent the cost of owner-occupied housing.

The Rosstat noted that the weight for owner-occupied housing would be below the threshold of 0.1 percent; however, data are not collected via the HBS to develop weights for owner-occupied dwellings. The HBS should include questions to collect the data needed to develop weights for owner-occupied housing to either justify its exclusion because it falls below the threshold or to include it in the index because the weight meets the threshold.

Recommendation: Include a rental equivalence component in the CPI market basket to represent the cost of owner-occupied housing unless expenditure data justify excluding it because it falls below the threshold of 0.1 percent.

2.3 Classification/sectorization

2.3.1 Classification/sectorization systems used are broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

It is generally recommended to use the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) to classify all items in the CPI. This is not the case in Russia. The classification system used for the CPI is the All-Russian Classification of Products and the All-Russian Classification of Services, neither of which are comparable or derived from COICOP. The Rosstat began an experimental use of COICOP in 2007 and proposed adopting COICOP in 2008. The Ministry of Economic Development denied the request, but the Rosstat is currently preparing another request for the ministry to approve the adoption of COICOP. The current classification system used for the CPI is composed of 3 groups, 189 sub-groups, and 489 items.

Recommendation: Adopt COICOP to classify all items in the CPI to enhance international comparability of Russia’s CPI

2.4 Basis for recording

2.4.1 Market prices are used to value flows and stocks

Consistent with international standards, both market basket weights and monthly prices used in the compilation of the CPI are valued at market prices, including taxes (VAT, excise tax, sales tax, and other indirect taxes) and applicable discounts. Discounts available to the general public are included, while discounts restricted to pensioners, for example, are not included as they do not apply to the general public.

2.4.2 Recording is done on an accrual basis

Both expenditure data from the HBS and the price data for the monthly survey are recorded on an accrual basis. For monthly data collection, the prices are those actually charged at the date of collection—between the twenty-first and twenty-fifth of the months. In certain circumstances where there are no major price changes occurring, prices may be collected one or two days earlier.

2.4.3 Grossing/netting procedures are broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

According to international recommendations, the weights for durable goods in the CPI market basket should be based on net purchases (the value of purchases less the value of sales) of these goods. In general, all gross/netting procedures are in accordance with the 1993 SNA; however, the relatively minor weight for used cars is based on net purchases using alternative data sources.

Recommendation: Include questions on the HBS to collect data needed to improve the estimates of net purchases (sales less disposals) for used cars.

3. Accuracy and reliability

3.1 Source data

3.1.1 Source data are obtained from comprehensive data collection programs that take into account country-specific conditions

The list of goods and services included in the CPI market basket and their corresponding index weights are derived from the annual HBS and supplemented by alternative sources as necessary. The HBS is conducted during October to September of each year. It is a sample survey collecting data on expenditures via a diary (for a two-week period) which collects daily expenditure data and a journal that collects data on all expenditures (i.e. recurring expenditures, expenditures on durable goods and other goods/services). Enumerators also collect data on household demographic characteristics, characteristics of the dwelling, access (in terms of distance) to public services, and income. Participation is voluntary.

The survey covers households from all socio-economic groups in both urban and rural areas throughout Russia. The sample of 47,800 households is selected using a sampling frame based on the 2002 population census and represents approximately 0.1 percent of the total population. A two-stage sampling procedure is used for the selection of households. Geographic areas are chosen in the first stage, while households are chosen in the second stage. For both stages, stratified systematic sampling is used to ensure that all types of households are selected for all geographic areas. The Rosstat oversamples to account for non-response. Standard errors are calculated for the national and regional levels, but only those for national level are published and used for survey planning purposes.

All data derived from the survey are adjusted for non-response and to values that correspond to the entire population. All expenditure data are compared with other data sources to ensure reliability and consistency. Alternative data sources used include retail trade data, production data, and other available data sources. Under-reported data are augmented as needed using these alternative sources. For example, expenditures on alcohol and tobacco are typically under-reported on HBS throughout the world. Using alternative source data, such as retail sales data, weights are adjusted to account for under-reporting. These alternative sources are also used to develop weights at the most detailed levels as needed. HBS data are based on sample surveys and cannot be expected to provide reliable expenditure estimates at very detailed levels.

Households selected to participate in the HBS report data until they self-select and request to be dropped from the survey. In theory, expenditure data could be collected from a single household for several years. This has proven to be problematic for developing accurate weights for durable goods. Procedures should be adopted for rotating households out of the sample and replacing them with new households. For example, each year 20 percent of the households could be rotated out of the sample and replaced by new households. This would reduce respondent burden and improve the collection of expenditures on durable goods.

To compile the CPI within each subject of the federation, HBS data (validated against other data sources) are used to develop weights. The weights within each region reflect household expenditures in a specific region. The weight for each group, sub-group, and item refer to their shares in the total consumption expenditures of the reference population. Within each item, the regional weight reflects the consumption expenditure in the region in proportion to the expenditure in the whole country for that item.

CPI weights are revised on an annual basis, which exceeds the international recommendation of revising weights every five years. Revised weights are introduced in January of each year. The weights reflect expenditures made in the 12 months ending in September of the previous year. For example, the weights used in 2010 reflect expenditures during the period October 2008-September 2009.

Each month, approximately 617, 400 price quotations are collected for 489 items from over 58,000 outlets in 266 urban areas located throughout Russia. Reflecting international recommendations, the weights reflect expenditures of nearly all households living in urban and rural areas, while monthly price collection is restricted to urban areas. Since price indices are robust and measure changes in prices, rather than levels in prices, it is not unusual for the weights to represent a wider geographic area than the monthly price survey.

Using the most popular item as a guide, enumerators select and precisely specify varieties for which prices will be collected each month. Prices are collected during the twenty-first and twenty-fifth of each month or the nearest working day if these days fall on a weekend.

Outlets selected for monthly price collection are selected using purposive sampling techniques using sales data and product availability. Selection is made to ensure that the outlet sample reflects all types and sizes of outlets.

Recommendation: Develop procedures for rotating the sample of households for the HBS to minimize respondent burden and to ensure a broad range of expenditure data are collected.

3.1.2 Source data reasonably approximate the definitions, scope, classifications, valuation, and time of recording required

The annual HBS provides detailed expenditure data on goods and services for the geographic areas covered by the CPI. The level of detail is limited to the four-digit COICOP level, while the CPI staff require more detailed expenditure data for many items to develop weights and must rely on alternative data sources to disaggregate expenditure data.

The concepts and definitions of the HBS match those of the CPI. COICOP has been adopted as the classification system used for the HBS, but the CPI still relies on the national classification systems (see section 2.3.1). International standards recommend the use a common classification system based on COICOP for the CPI, household budget survey, the purchasing power parity project, and personal consumption expenditures in the national accounts.

3.1.3 Source data are timely

Prices are collected during the twenty-first through the twenty-fifth (or nearest business day) of each month. The index is published on the sixth business day of the month following the reference period. HBS data are compiled quarterly and are supplied in good time for use in developing and updating the weights each January.

3.2 Assessment of source data

3.2.1 Source data—including censuses, sample surveys, and administrative records—are routinely assessed, e.g., for coverage, sample error, response error, and nonsampling error; the results of the assessments are monitored and made available to guide statistical processes

Source data for the CPI are monitored on a continuous basis for errors of all types. For the monthly price survey, the price and specification data on the survey forms are checked for completeness and accuracy in the field. Captured data are subjected to automated checks for atypical and/or extreme values. Any atypical/extreme values that are identified by this process are checked for data entry errors. If problems persist, the respondent is contacted to verify the accuracy of the price data. Consistency checks are also made across the dataset.

For the Rosstat, the entire process of sampling the households, coding the data, collecting the data, and tabulating the data is monitored. Numerous consistency checks are made at every step of the process. Standard errors are calculated for the HBS household sample at the national level and for each region. These standard errors are published for the national level and taken into account when planning the survey. It is not possible to estimate sampling error for the CPI outlet and product samples as purposive sampling techniques are employed.

The CPI staff conduct 500 inspections of price collection procedures at the regional level semi-annually. Price collection techniques are observed for adherence to the Rosstat data collection methods. A comprehensive report is prepared identifying issues, problems, and shortcomings that drive the development of improved methods.

3.3 Statistical techniques

3.3.1 Data compilation employs sound statistical techniques to deal with data sources

In general, data compilation procedures are sound. Russia encounters missing prices for a variety of reasons, including seasonal unavailability. Prices of temporarily missing items are imputed based on the price movements for similar products or product groups. Prices will be carried forward only if it is absolutely certain that the price has not changed (e.g., tuition). Prices missing for several months (including seasonal items) are imputed using the same technique. This practice of imputing the prices of missing items due to seasonal factors reflects international standards and best practices and is preferred over the use of variable weights for seasonal products.

Procedures have been developed for the introduction of new goods. The market basket is updated annually, which facilitates the introduction of new goods. Goods are introduced into the CPI as soon as they are available for pricing in those subjects of the federation that reported expenditures on the particular item.

Elementary aggregates are formed using a matched price methodology. If the enumerator determines that a price is permanently missing; a replacement item will be selected using the detailed price specifications as a guide. Enumerators select replacement items in consultation with regional office supervisors. When a replacement item is selected, the Rosstat tries to collect an overlap price. This means that a price can be collected for the new item in the previous month. If this overlap exists, then the current price of the replacement item will be compared to its overlap price collected for the previous period. If there is no overlap between the two items, the price of the new item is linked into the index to show no change. Rosstat does not make any additional adjustments for price change due to differences in quality between the old and new items.

Recommendation: Improve procedures to adjust for changes due to differences in quality when making substitutions. The Rosstat should consider using imputation techniques in addition to the use of the overlap method. The CPI staff lack the necessary experience to make direct quality adjustments.

3.3.2 Other statistical procedures (e.g., data adjustments and transformations, and statistical analysis) employ sound statistical techniques

For the CPI market basket, all of the weights are estimated in a manner consistent with the 1993 SNA and CPI Manual. In particular, durable goods are valued at the market value of the good at the time of the purchase regardless of the method of payment.

To calculate the elementary aggregate, the relative of average prices (using the geometric mean) is calculated for each item by region. Using the appropriate weights, elementary aggregates are progressively aggregated within each region using the Two-stage (Modified) Laspeyres index formula. Expenditure weights are used to aggregate indices across subjects of the federation to compile the All Russia indices.

Reflecting international best practices, market basket weights, updated each January, are updated for the relative change in price between the weight (October-September) and price reference (December) periods. Though the old CPI is not linked to the new CPI to form a continuous time series of data, a separate time series of CPI data is published with an index reference year of 2000.

3.4 Assessment and validation of intermediate data and statistical outputs

3.4.1 Intermediate results are validated against other information, where applicable

The CPI is checked against relevant components of the PPI for industrial products and agricultural price indices for fresh food products.

3.4.2 Statistical discrepancies in intermediate data are assessed and investigated

Consistency checks are made on a monthly basis to identify atypical price levels and price movements. This is done for the price movements by comparing price changes from the previous period to the current period for all price quotations for a given product. Any atypical values are investigated and corrected as necessary. Data assessment and investigation are done at the district and regional levels, as well as at headquarters.

3.4.3 Statistical discrepancies and other potential indicators of problems in statistical outputs are investigated

Geographical aggregation of indices to obtain the national index and imputation procedures for missing prices are carried out in a manner that do not produce inconsistent aggregate results regardless of the order of aggregation.

3.5 Revision studies

3.5.1 Studies and analyses of revisions are carried out routinely and used internally to inform statistical processes (see also 4.3.3)

In practice CPI data are final upon release and are not subject to revision. No revision policy has been developed to date because data have never been revised.

The Rosstat prepared a tender to conduct research on the regional weighting structure of the CPI. The goal of the proposed research, to be financed by the World Bank, is to review the regional weighting structure for reliability and accuracy. The Higher School of Economics prepares routine studies and analyses on substitution bias and the effect of the annual weights updates on the index. These studies are presented at the Ministry of Economic Development with written copies provided to the Rosstat. The Rosstat organizes conferences to discuss these studies and recommendations for improvement.

4. Serviceability

4.1 Periodicity and timeliness

4.1.1 Periodicity follows dissemination standards

The periodicity of the CPI for Russia is monthly, which meets the IMF’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS).

4.1.2 Timeliness follows dissemination standards

The Rosstat releases the CPI on the fourth and the sixth business day of the month following the close of the reference month. An express release is issued on the fourth business day, while the detailed data are released on the sixth business day. This exceeds the SDDS timeliness requirement that specifies 30 days following the reference month.

4.2 Consistency

4.2.1 Statistics are consistent within the dataset

Index aggregation procedures ensure that aggregates of regional indices at all levels of detail are consistent with corresponding indices at the national level.

4.2.2 Statistics are consistent or reconcilable over a reasonable period of time

Upon subscribing to the SDDS and to meet required specification, the Rosstat began presenting data in a time series format. These time series data are minimal and include only the average All Items index at the national level for each year. Two time series of data exist: (i) 1996–2004 (1995 base) and (ii) 2001–present (2000 base). These data series should be linked to create a continuous time series of data and can be done in such a way as to preserve the required year 2000 index reference.

4.2.3 Statistics are consistent or reconcilable with those obtained through other data sources and/or statistical frameworks

The CPI price, weights, and index data are conceptually consistent and/or reconcilable with corresponding data from the national accounts and the PPI.

4.3 Revision policy and practice

4.3.1 Revisions follow a regular and transparent schedule

The weights for the CPI are revised on an annual basis, with revised weights introduced in January of each year. Documentation describing weight revisions is available to users. CPI weights have been published on the Rosstat website since 2006. Detailed expenditure data used to develop the CPI weights are also available on the Rosstat website and are published in the biannual publication, Prices in Russia (since 2006).

4.3.2 Preliminary and/or revised data are clearly identified

The CPI is final upon publication.

4.3.3 Studies and analyses of revisions are made public (see also 3.5.1)

Weight and methodology revisions are explained to users. Data are not revised; therefore, studies detailing the magnitude of change between preliminary and final data are not produced. As noted above in 3.5.1, the Rosstat is preparing to undertake a study of the regional weighting structure and the Higher School for Economics routinely publishes studies on the effect of weight revisions and substitution bias.

5. Accessibility

5.1 Data accessibility

5.1.1 Statistics are presented in a way that facilitates proper interpretation and meaningful comparisons (layout and clarity of text, tables, and charts)

The monthly CPI is disseminated in a number of hard-copy formats. The key monthly bulletins include:

  • Express Release (in Russian only)—Data are not presented as a continuous time series. The cover of the release does not include contact details or resources where users could locate additional details. The release provides data on index levels at the national level for each of the major groups. Tables present index levels for key items within each group (food, nonfood, and services). Tables highlight the current period index level, index level last month, index level for December of the previous year, and the index level 12 months ago. No percent changes are calculated or presented in the tables. A brief analysis describes which prices contributed most to changes in the aggregate index and which ones may be most different from the aggregate. The analysis includes percent changes at the All Items level for the month-to-month change, the 12-month change, and the change for the current month to the previous year.

  • Socio-Economic Situation of the Russian Federation (in Russian only)—Monthly bulletin that includes price data on a more detailed level produced from January of the current year to the month prior to release, as well as all data for the previous year. For example, the June 2010 publication contains data for the period January to May 2010. Data are not presented in a continuous time series. Graphs and tables show index levels as well as the impact on the index in percentage terms of the major index groups, and several tables showing the month-on-month change, current month to previous December, and 12-month index changes by major groups. Limited analysis is included as this publication includes a variety of data produced by different government agencies.

Other publications disseminate price data. None of these publications presents data as a continuous time series. Tables present detailed index levels for the current month, previous month, 12 months ago, and from December of the previous year. Percent changes are calculated comparing the current month with each of these time periods. Quarterly publications include data for each of the months in the quarter, while annual and biannual publications include detailed data for the months of the relevant year(s). Limited analysis of the data is provided. These publications include:

  • Statistical Review (in Russian only)—Quarterly

  • Regions of Russia: Social and Economic Indicators (in Russian only)—Annual bulletin

  • Prices in Russia (in Russian only)—Biannual bulletin

  • Statistical Yearbook of Russia (in Russian and English)—Annual bulletin

  • Social Status and Living Standards in Russia (in Russian only)—Annual bulletin

  • Russia in Figures (in Russian only)—Annual bulletin

All publications are available on the Rosstat website and hard copy can be requested. Up to 500 hardcopy versions are available for each publication every month. Once these supplies run out, publications can be purchased in the bookstore run by the publication center located on the ground floor of the Rosstat headquarters in Moscow.

Regional data are also published by the various regional offices of the Rosstat. Each regional office determines how and by what means prices data will be published in their regions. Most recently, the Russian government developed a web-based federal portal providing a single access point for all data produced by all federal agencies. Users can access all Rosstat data, publications and metadata via this portal.

Detailed CPI data are not presented in a continuous time series of data. The limited time series data are posted on the Rosstat website and are available through the English-language portal. Consistent time series index data are not published in regular Rosstat publications.

It should be noted that time series data are produced by the CPI staff upon request. A consistent time series of data are produced to meet users’ specified level of detail and time period.

Recommendation: To reflect international best practices, a continuous time series of data at a detailed level should be produced and published.

5.1.2 Dissemination media and format are adequate

As described above, CPI data are published in a number of paper publications. CPI data are also disseminated through the Rosstat website, in other electronic formats (e-mail and other forms upon request, and hard-copy printout). Prices data are only available in English in, Statistical Yearbook of Russia, and on the website.

Recommendation: Publish CPI weights at a detailed level on the website for those years prior to 2006.

5.1.3 Statistics are released on a preannounced schedule

The Rosstat publishes an Advance Release Calendar (ARC) on its website and the IMF’s Data Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB). The ARC posted on the English-language portal of the Rosstat website and the IMF’s SDDS notes that data are released on the last working day of the month following the reference month; however, this is not the actual date of release. In practice, data are released on the fourth and sixth business day of the month (or nearest business day if this falls on a weekend) following the reference month. The express release occurs on the fourth business day, while the full release of data occurs on the sixth business day. The ARC posted on the main (Russian language) version of the Rosstat website indicates the actual dates for release of the data. It is important that all data users (including English-speaking users) know exactly when data are to be disseminated. The ARC posted on the English-language portal and the IMF’s DSBB should include the actual dates of release. The current ARC posted on these sites reflects the SDDS general guideline of releasing the data within one month following the reference month and not the scheduled date for disseminating the CPI data.

Recommendation: Update the ARC posted on the English-language portal of the Rosstat website and the IMF’s DSBB to reflect actual dates of release.

5.1.4 Statistics are made available to all users at the same time

CPI data are released simultaneously to all users, with no one outside of the Rosstat having access to the index prior to its release. Data are released via the Rosstat website, courier, email, and fax.

CPI data are officially released and disseminated once the head of Rosstat signs and approves the release. Immediately upon approval, the appropriate staff begin working to post the data on the Rosstat website, which is the primary means of obtaining data for general users. According to the Statistical Plan, no official release time exists, but data are to be released no later than 4:00 p.m. for monthly data releases such as the CPI. Though past delays of posting data to the website have been corrected, data users must continually check the website on the day of release to obtain the data. As data are being posted on the website, Rosstat simultaneously begins sending out the release by e-mail, fax, and courier to the media and other federal agencies.

Recommendation: Eliminate the no later than 4:00 p.m. requirement for the release of data and adopt a standard policy of releasing data at 4:00 p.m. on the day of release. This better informs users of when to expect the data and enhances the practice of simultaneous data release to all users.

5.1.5 Statistics not routinely disseminated are made available upon request

The Rosstat’s main Russian-language website and publications present a great deal of detailed index data. Special tabulations of non-confidential data are available on request. These special tabulations are available free of charge not only to users included on the list contained in the federal statistics program, but also to other users on an occasional basis. Rosstat is not authorized to charge fees. The publication center, which is operated independently of the Rosstat, assesses fees to users not listed in the federal statistics program who desire special tabulations of non-confidential data on a regular basis.

5.2 Metadata accessibility

5.2.1 Documentation on concepts, scope, classifications, basis of recording, data sources, and statistical techniques is available, and differences from internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices are annotated

The Statistical Law requires the Rosstat to provide detailed explanations on the concepts and methods used to compile official statistical information. Decree No.110, dated December 30, 2005, describes in detail the concepts, scope, classifications, basis of recording, data sources, and statistical techniques used to compile the CPI. This methodology is complete and exhaustive in describing all concepts and methods, but deviations from internationally accepted standards are neither identified nor explained (e.g. COICOP).

Overviews of CPI methodology are included in each of the Rosstat publications. Detailed CPI weights have been published on the website since 2006. Detailed expenditure data used to develop the CPI weights are posted on the Rosstat website annually and published in the Rosstat publication, Prices in Russia. Detailed historical weight data can be found only in Prices in Russia. Rosstat should consider publishing detailed historical weight data on the website.

5.2.2 Levels of detail are adapted to the needs of the intended audience

The Rosstat publishes the CPI methodology in a variety of formats to meet the needs of different users. Releases and bulletins include a brief overview of CPI methodology. The Rosstat website includes a comprehensive and detailed description of CPI concepts and methods in Russian; while the English-language portal of the website reflects their entry on the DSBB. Hardcopy versions of CPI concepts and methods can also be purchased at the bookstore operated by the publications center.

5.3 Assistance to users

5.3.1 Contact points for each subject field are publicized

With the exception of the Express Release, all publications indicate a name and telephone number of staff users may contact for additional assistance. Also, the Rosstat website includes a detailed list of names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of staff available to provide support and assistance.

Recommendation: The Express Release should include contact details where users can obtain more information.

5.3.2 Catalogs of publications, documents, and other services, including information on any charges, are widely available

The Rosstat produces a catalogue of all publications and other data products. The catalogue of publications includes a short description of each product and notes the price of those publications available only for purchase.

A central call center provides users with detailed information on how to obtain additional information of data products. It is the policy of the Rosstat that all questions or requests for additional information be made in writing, either by email or post. All queries are assigned a control number and tracked to ensure timely response. Current procedures require Rosstat staff to respond to all queries and requests within three weeks.

Rosstat publications can be purchased in the bookstore, operated independently of the Rosstat by a publishing house, located on the first floor of the headquarters. Users can also obtain information about statistics at the bookstore. The Information and Publications Center provides access to the Rosstat website to all users. Users can also access publications in the Rosstat library located on the second floor of the headquarters in Moscow.

Table 2.

Data Quality Assessment Framework: Summary of Results for Price Statistics (Consumer Price Index)

(Compiling Agency: Rosstat)

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III. Price Statistics (Producer Price Index)

0. Prerequisites of quality

0.1 Legal and institutional environment

0.1.1 The responsibility for collecting, processing, and disseminating the statistics is clearly specified

The Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) is the official body entrusted by law for coordinating and overseeing the production and dissemination of the official statistics of the country. Significant and important changes in the structural organization of the Russian Federation Statistical System have taken place since the 2003 ROSC mission. These changes also reflect the new administrative structure of the country which now includes 83 subjects of the federation (oblasts) with their own administrative structure but with each institution subordinated to the corresponding central institution in the capital city. The Rosstat has offices in the capital cities of each of these subjects of the federation.

Currently, the most significant legal documents regulating and providing support for the statistical activity are the resolution No. 399 of the government of the Russian Federation, Provisions on the Federal State Statistics Service, issued on July 30, 2004 (whose latest update is Resolution 420, issued on June 2, 2008) and the Federal Law No. 282 F3, On Official Statistical Accounting and State Statistics System in the Russian Federation, (herein after referred to as the Statistical Law) issued on November 29, 2007, signed by the President of Russia. The latter document is in compliance with recommended legal frameworks for the regulation of countries’ statistical systems as advised by Eurostat, the United Nations, and the World Bank.

The first of these two documents mentioned above states in Article 1 that “the Federal State Statistics Service is an authorized executive agency that carries out functions related to the approval of regulatory and legal acts in the area of state statistical activity, functions related to preparation of official statistical information on the social, economic, demographic, and environmental situation in the country, as well as functions related to oversight in the area of state statistical activity.” The purpose of the above-mentioned federal law is to provide the “legal basis for the implementation of the unified governmental policy in the field of official statistical accounting aimed to satisfy information needs of the state and the society.

Article 2 of the Statistical Law defines official statistical information as “summarized aggregated documented information on the quantitative component of social, economic, demographic, ecological, and other social processes in the Russian Federation, compiled by the subjects of then official statistical accounting in compliance with official statistical methodology.” The subjects of official statistical accounting information are the federal authorities and other federal state bodies compiling official statistical information. Article 5 of this law says that official statistical accounting shall be exercised in compliance with the Federal Plans of Statistical Operations to be prepared by the federal executive authority.

The Federal Plan of Statistical Operations is drafted by the Rosstat in consultation with all other government institutions responsible for compiling official statistics. The plan and any of its subsequent updating should be approved by the government of Russia. The plan is formulated taking into account the rational use of resources, avoiding duplication of activities, and reducing the respondents’ burden. It assigns the responsibility for compiling and disseminating the official statistics among all government bodies subject to the law, and it includes detailed information describing the statistics to be compiled, their periodicity, and the dissemination deadlines. The compilation of the national accounts and the price indices statistics are clearly defined in the Federal Plan of Statistical Operations as the responsibilities of the Rosstat.

The Rosstat also prepares a separate document containing its own annual plan, where the activities undertaken by the institution are provided at a more detailed level than in the Federal Plan of Statistical Operations, including inter alia, the type of forms to be used to collect information, the technology to be used to process the information, level of aggregation of the data, dissemination formats, etc.

The Rosstat has the authority to issue official orders establishing the methodology and classifications to be used in the compilation of the official statistics by all compiling entities. It also monitors the compliance of the production of the official statistics in accordance with the federal plan.

The legal framework for the compilation of the statistics assures that there are no conflicts or potential conflicts between the legal authority to produce statistics and other laws or provisions. Thus, Article 5, Section 9, of the Law No. 282-F3 states that the official entities producing statistics can obtain information from administrative sources and from respondents without limitations at the same time that they should provide for the security of the information acquired in compliance with the legislation of Russia.

0.1.2 Data sharing and coordination among data-producing agencies are adequate

The Rosstat is self-sufficient in the production of the PPI. Both the data for index weights and the monthly price data are collected and processed by the Rosstat. No other agencies are involved in the compilation of the PPI.

The Statistical Law establishes the role of the Rosstat as the federal statistics coordinating agency. One of the major goals of the legislation is to delegate authority to the Rosstat to coordinate statistical efforts of all federal agencies to ensure standard definitions, classification systems, and methodologies.

In addition to the legislation, the Rosstat coordinates working meetings with other data producing agencies. The focus of these working meetings is to coordinate statistical needs to avoid duplication and reduce respondent burden.

0.1.3 Individual reporters’ data are to be kept confidential and used for statistical purposes only

Two primary pieces of legislation guarantee and protect the confidentiality of individual reports’ data. The first, The Law on Personal Data (FZ-152), stipulates that all data are confidential and to be used solely for statistical purposes. The second, The Law on Information, Information Technology, and Data Collection (FZ-149), provides for the protection and safe storage of all collected data. In addition to these pieces of legislation, other decrees related to specific data collection activities (e.g. the decennial census) contain specific language ensuring data confidentiality.

Survey questionnaires state clearly on the front page that all information collected by the agency will be kept confidential and used for statistical purposes only. Though the form cites the relevant legal basis for the collection of data, the confidentiality statement fails to reference the relevant laws providing the safeguarding of data.

Any Rosstat staff responsible for releasing confidential data may be subject to prosecution. The statutes do not define specific penalties for breeches of confidentiality; rather, it states that penalties will be assessed by the administrative courts. It is up to the court to decide an appropriate penalty based on the circumstances surrounding the release of confidential data.

The Rosstat has implemented numerous internal safeguards to ensure the confidentiality of the data. Access to confidential documents is limited to persons who may need to refer to them during the course of the statistical compilation process. The documents are stored in secured premises with limited, monitored access and computer programs with information on individual units are password protected. Procedures have been developed for the secure storing and destroying of confidential data.

Regular meetings are conducted in the various regional offices to impress upon staff the critical importance of protecting confidentiality and upholding procedures to safeguard data. Prior to release, the head of the prices unit studies the data to ensure that no data of a confidential nature are inadvertently released and signs-off on the release attesting to this fact.

The Rosstat has developed procedures for the aggregation of individual responses to prevent the disclosure of individual data, including those that could be identified by a process of elimination; however, the agency is not prohibited from disseminating data in the form of indexes from which information on individual units can be derived. No policies have been developed requiring the permission of the respondent before dissemination. For example, in the national accounts, a minimum of three respondents is required for aggregation within a specific activity; otherwise, aggregation is done at the next highest level to avoid respondent identification. This special aggregation policy does not apply to the price programs as they are producing data in the form of indexes.

The Rosstat releases micro-data upon request, but only after all personally identifiable data are removed. The authorities have drafted specific instructions guiding staff on how to make all records anonymous by removing all personally identifiable data.

Recommendation: Amend the confidentiality statement included on data collection questionnaires to include a reference to the relevant laws providing the safeguarding of data.

0.1.4 Statistical reporting is ensured through legal mandate and/or measures to encourage response

The Rosstat has the legal authority to collect data required to compile the statistics and enforces mandatory reporting provisions as necessary. The authority to collect information by the Rosstat is provided by the Federal Law No. 282-Φ2 which in its Article 5 establishes that “to compile official statistics the subjects of official statistical accounting shall obtain primary statistical data and administrative data from respondents.” The federal law covers all legal entities as well as individuals. However, Article 8 of the law states that individuals residing in Russia not conducting business should provide information on a voluntary basis, unless otherwise stipulated by the federal laws. In the case of population censuses, individuals are obliged to respond.

Lack of compliance with the reporting obligation is subject to administrative sanctions and penalties. Monetary fines are imposed by the regional offices of the Rosstat, and the proceeds from these fines are transferred to the Treasury. Fines are not particularly high and, in the past, they have not served as a deterrent for noncompliance by private enterprises, which were more concerned with the confidentiality of their operations. This situation has improved as respondents are now more confident of the protection of the data supplied to the statistical agencies.

The Rosstat also tries to encourage reporting by considering the reporting burden, avoiding duplication of reporting requests to the same respondents through the coordination of the activities of the statistical entities. Forms for collecting information include detailed instructions. The telephone numbers of contact persons are provided in case assistance is needed. In fact, this is a requirement for data collection imposed on the Rosstat in the Statistical Law. Before collecting data for the first time, letters explaining the purposes of data collection are sent to respondents to the surveys conducted by the Rosstat. Cooperation of respondents is also sought by means of seminars conducted in the subjects of the federation, where the purposes of data collection are explained to respondents.

0.2 Resources

0.2.1 Staff, facilities, computing resources, and financing are commensurate with statistical programs

In general, the staff and financial resources available for compiling the PPI are adequate to support monthly compilation and dissemination of the index. The section responsible for overseeing the production of the PPI is part of the Division of Price and Financial Statistics of the Rosstat. The PPI section consists of 11 staff members working on the PPI, all of whom received a university degree. Three of the ten staff joined the Rosstat within the last five years. Low salaries, as compared to similar positions in other ministries, result in high turnover rates; however, recruitment of new staff is not difficult, and vacancies are quickly filled.

There are 270 full-time staff engaged in the PPI work in the regional and local office levels. These regional office staff perform a range of PPI activities including data collection, data validation, data processing, and responding to public queries. The average age of the Rosstat workforce is 52 years old. The organization has implemented efforts to recruit young staff to replace retiring staff.

All staff participate in mandatory refresher training every three years. The program reinforces data quality issues as well as other pertinent topics of interest. Staff may also participate in seminars and training programs organized by the Rosstat training facility.

Computing equipment and information technology support at both headquarters and at the regional/local level are sufficient for compiling the PPI. All staff are assigned a desktop computer that has all needed software. Though all staff have access to the Rosstat intranet, direct access to the internet for their assigned desktop is restricted to the head and deputy head of the division and to those who require the internet to fulfill their regularly assigned duties. Staff may not have internet access directly from their desktop, but at least three computers in every room have access to the internet which other staff can use when needed. Additionally, staff who participate in web-based training programs are granted direct access to the internet for the duration of the course.

The Rosstat computer center processes all price data and stores all data on a secure central database which responsible staff can access from their desktop computers. All data are backed up regularly. Plans for the continuity of operations in the event of a natural or other disaster have been developed to ensure that the PPI can be compiled and released from an off-site location.

The physical facilities are currently under extensive renovation. Staff have been displaced as a result of construction activity, and current working space is limited with many employees sharing rooms. Air conditioners are outdated and in many cases they are not in working condition. Physical office space will be improved once renovations have been completed.

Other resources are adequate for compiling and disseminating the PPI. Enumerators are provided with sufficient resources to collect prices each period. Procedures have been implemented in the last two years to reimburse data collectors for transportation expenses on a regular basis.

Funding for the PPI is reasonably secure to ensure timely compilation and dissemination of the index. Beginning in 2007, a three-year budget cycle was implemented; however, the financial crisis of 2008 forced the Rosstat to revert to an annual budget cycle in 2009 and 2010. It is planned that the three-year budget cycle will return in 2011. The financial crisis resulted in a 30 percent reduction in the 2009 budget of the Rosstat; however, the agency absorbed these cuts by delaying capital improvement expenditures and did not reduce the budgets for any of the statistical programs.

0.2.2 Measures to ensure efficient use of resources are implemented

Staff performance is reviewed and evaluated on a monthly basis. The evaluation results are used as the basis for awarding a merit-based performance bonus to deserving staff. As was mentioned earlier, all staff are required to participate in a mandatory refresher training program every three years. Upon completing this program, staff are tested and accredited. The accreditation provides the justification for promoting, suspending, or separating staff.

All departments within the Rosstat use consistent methodologies and classification systems, thereby averting the need for constant reviews and adjustments to the data. Survey instruments are streamlined to capture the information required by a cross-section of departments thus reducing the number of surveys and questionnaires.

The Finance Department of the Rosstat reviews all resources to ensure that efficient allocation and spending practices are followed. Budgeting procedures are used to allocate resources.

0.3 Relevance

0.3.1 The relevance and practical utility of existing statistics in meeting users’ needs are monitored

The Scientific and Methodological Council of the Rosstat provides a structured venue for consulting on the usefulness/quality of existing statistics and to discuss emerging data requirements and the implementation of methodological improvements. Member of this group include economists and statisticians from within and outside of the Rosstat, as well as members representing major data users including other government ministries and trade unions. Business groups and trade associations are not regular members of the Council. The council is co-chaired by the head of the Rosstat and the head of the Higher School of Economics. This group meets approximately four times each year and focuses mainly on methodological and data quality issues. The Rosstat is not obligated to accept the recommendations made by the group, but in the event of disagreement, a compromise is usually found.

The Rosstat routinely organizes working groups with data users, such as the Ministry of Finance, Russian Academy of Sciences, and other users, to discuss data needs and elicit feedback on statistical activities. Also Rosstat has recently established on its website the means by which the general public can address their concerns about the data by email. Comments and queries are monitored by the agency and properly considered when planning the statistical activities.

The relevance of the statistics is also discussed during the consultations conducted in the preparation of the Federal Plan of Statistical Operations. Staff interact with foreign partners to compare methodologies and ensure that the Rosstat’s methods reflect international best practices. Staff routinely participate in international meetings, working groups, and training programs. Bi-lateral cooperation activities between the Rosstat and other statistical agencies also ensure that statistical methods reflect international recommendations and best practices. Moreover, Russia is in the process of joining the OECD, which requires the compilation of statistics in accordance with this institution’s standards.

PPI staff are encouraged to engage in research on new and emerging data requirements. For example, the PPI staff recently completed research on the agricultural price index. This research paper reviewed PPI calculation methods, the effect of seasonality on compiling the index, the treatment of quality changes, and an analytical review of the price specifications.

Recommendation: Consult business groups and trade associations on a more frequent basis on the usefulness of existing statistics in meeting their needs.

0.4 Other quality management

0.4.1 Processes are in place to focus on quality

The Rosstat management is sensitive to all dimensions of data quality and promotes awareness of data quality issues through the development of a numerous procedures and systems to ensure data quality. A written manual—detailing the data quality procedures implemented by the Rosstat—serves as a reference and guide for all staff. Each program area, such as the CPI, PPI, and national accounts, has developed detailed methodology manuals which include a separate manual focusing on data quality issues. Staff training programs include discussions on the importance of data quality issues.

0.4.2 Processes are in place to monitor the quality of the statistical program

Monitoring processes are in place to inform managers of the quality of ongoing statistical activities. Reports are generated and reviewed detailing response rates, incidence of error, and editing rates to ensure that accurate, reliable data are collected, compiled and disseminated.

The Scientific and Methodology Council provides expert guidance on the quality of the Rosstat’s statistics and makes recommendations for improvement. Working groups are also convened to assess data quality and recommend changes.

Individual staff performance for all PPI staff, including regional and district staff, is monitored and reviewed on a regular basis to ensure all activities such as data collection, validation, and editing meet the minimum quality standards. Staff receive feedback on performance.

0.4.3 Processes are in place to deal with quality considerations in planning the statistical program

As noted earlier, the Rosstat prepares a work plan that includes an annual timetable of the receipt of source data and dissemination of statistics. Multiple divisions and groups within the Rosstat actively and routinely review the work plan to ensure quality standards are maintained.

Major data users, such as other government agencies/ministries, academicians, and trade unions, review and comment on the work plan for the Rosstat. During this review process, data users comment on how well current needs are met and emerging data needs to be considered.

1. Assurances of integrity

1.1 Professionalism

1.1.1 Statistics are produced on an impartial basis

The terms and conditions under which the statistics are produced are stipulated by resolution No. 420 of the government of Russia issued on July 30, 2004. Article 5.4 of this resolution states that the Federal Statistics Service shall develop the official statistical methodology; ensuring consistency with international standards. Additonally, the Statistics Law emphasizes the professional independence and integrity of staff. Though the Rosstat is not mentioned specifically by name in the Statistics Law, the legislation refers to the “national agents responsible for statistics”, which includes the Rosstat.

It should be noted that because the Rosstat has been subordinated to the Ministry of Economic Development, this relationship may give rise to a potential conflict of interest given that the ministry produces forecasts of the same economic statistics produced by the Rosstat (i.e., GDP and inflation measures). In addition, the professional independence of the Rosstat is undermined by the strong role played by the Ministry of Economic Development (beyond its role as a member of the Scientific and Methodological Council) in the decision-making process for introducing changes in the methods used to compile prices indexes. For example, the ministry denied Rosstat’s initial request to implement COICOP and questioned the methods used by the CPI staff for the treatment of seasonal items. It should be noted that all questions raised by the ministry are based strictly on statistical methodological grounds, and not for other purposes.

Nevertheless it should be noted that intervention of the ministry is based on statistical methodological grounds, not for other purposes.

The head of the Rosstat is appointed and dismissed by the prime minister. The deputy heads of the Rosstat are appointed and dismissed by the minister of Economic Development. These positions are usually held for extended periods of time by experienced professionals that rose from the ranks of the institution during long careers.

The staff of the Rosstat are prohibited by law from joining or participating in any political party. The Statistical Plan, discussed above, protects the Rosstat from interference from other government agencies or officials in the compilation and/or dissemination of statistical information. Changes, alterations, or deviations from the approved Statistical Plan are not possible without agreements by all agencies producing statistics and approval by the prime minister; thus, preventing interference from others, including government officials, and protecting the Rosstat’s professional independence.

Staff are recruited via a competitive process and selected based on qualifications. All vacancies are announced on the Rosstat website, and applications can be received from both internal and external candidates. All promotions are merit-based.

All newly hired staff participate in a mentoring program where each new staff member is paired with an experienced staff member. The senior staff member provides on-the-job training in methodology and data compilation methods. The duration of the mentoring program varies with individual staff and depends upon the rate at which the newly hired staff member is able to demonstrate the competencies necessary to complete his or her duties.

Staff are encouraged to participate in training program. Ongoing skills development programs in a variety of areas are offered by the Rosstat either in a classroom setting or computer-based training. Staff may also participate in courses offered by the Public Service Academy and are urged to participate in short-term university courses. The Rosstat actively encourages all staff to pursue post-graduate studies and grants leave to these staff for purposes of preparing for and completing exams and assignments required to pass courses. The Russian Academy of Sciences sponsors seminars and discussion on statistical issues, and staff are encouraged to attend. Finally, English language courses are offered by the Rosstat for all interested staff.

Research and analysis by staff are encouraged and published by the Rosstat. Staff produce scholarly works for publication in journals and bulletins outside of the Rosstat. Additionally, the Rosstat produces a monthly bulletin, Issues of Statistics, which publishes research papers produced by the staff.

Recommendation: The Rosstat should be provided the independence to implement improvements and changes of a statistical nature without the approval of the Ministry of Economic Development.

1.1.2 Choices of sources and statistical techniques, as well as decisions about dissemination, are informed solely by statistical considerations

The choice of data sources and statistical techniques is guided solely by considerations of a statistical nature. Dissemination timing is predetermined in an advance release calendar posted in the website of the agency at the beginning of each year and with exact dates provided a quarter in advance. The Rosstat disseminates the PPI in conformity with the periodicity and timing prescribed by the SDDS.

1.1.3 The appropriate statistical entity is entitled to comment on erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics

The Rosstat is authorized to make public clarifications regarding erroneous interpretations or misuse of the data. All criticisms or reporting of erroneous error are responded to in a timely manner. The Rosstat directs commentary directly to the organization reporting the criticism or erroneous data. Responses are posted on the Rosstat website and are included in the Rosstat publications. Additionally, the head of the Rosstat holds press conferences to correct misconceptions and clarify methodologies.

Because the PPI is less controversial than the CPI, it is not subject to the same level of criticism and misconception. There are no recent examples of the Rosstat having to issue statements correcting erroneous PPI data.

1.2 Transparency

1.2.1 The terms and conditions under which statistics are collected, processed, and disseminated are available to the public

The relevant legal documents are posted on the website of the agency. The questionnaires used for the collection of data make reference to the statistical law and the confidentiality provided to the data.

Publications and the website clearly identify a specific contact and details where more information about the data can be found. Publications also identify the members of the editorial board responsible for reviewing the Rosstat publications.

PPI weight data have not been published. Data on total annual sales collected from establishments, used to develop the PPI weights, are available by economic activity on the Rosstat website. Like the CPI, PPI weights at a detailed level should be published in hardcopy and on the website and easily accessible by all users.

Recommendation: Publish the detailed PPI weight data (both current and historic) on the Rosstat website and include them in the PPI methodology bulletin.

1.2.2 Internal governmental access to statistics prior to their release is publicly identified

There are no procedures for providing internal government access to the statistics prior to their release to the general public.

1.2.3 Products of statistical agencies/units are clearly identified as such

All of the publications of the Rosstat identify the source of the published data. Data released via hardcopy and the website clearly identify the Rosstat. In lieu of a logo, all publications include the official government seal. The Rosstat requires that explicit reference be made to the data source when its data are reproduced in the publications of other agencies and in the press. Users quoting data produced by the Rosstat are required to cite the Rosstat as the source.

1.2.4 Advance notice is given of major changes in methodology, source data, and statistical techniques

Major changes in the concepts and methods used to compile the PPI are announced in advance. Minor or routine changes are announced in all publications and on the website at the time of release. For example, when NACE was adopted as the classification system for the PPI, the change was announced on the website and in all PPI publications two years in advance.

1.3 Ethical standards

1.3.1 Guidelines for staff behavior are in place and are well known to the staff

All staff are made aware of the code of conduct to be observed during employment. The commitment to the observance of the codes has to be signed by workers at the time of accepting the terms and conditions of employment, and any time a new contract is issued due to changes in positions within the organization. Individual job descriptions list duties and rights of staff and include specific clauses prohibiting staff from disclosing pre-release data or using data for personal use. All staff are required to sign their job descriptions attesting that they have read and fully understood their duties and rights. During the mentoring period for new staff, the senior staff emphasize the importance of maintaining ethical standards. Regional office staff received written procedures describing how to behave as a representative of the Rosstat. A strong culture of professionalism and ethical standards precludes political interference.

2. Methodological soundness

2.1 Concepts and definitions

2.1.1 The overall structure in terms of concepts and definitions follows internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

In general, the current PPI is constructed using concepts and definitions recommended in the 1993 SNA and the PPI Manual. Deviations from international standards are noted below. The PPI Manual is currently available only in English, so staff rely on translated summary materials distributed at international meetings and seminars.

Rosstat Decree No. 55 of March 11, 2008 details the concepts and methods used to compile the PPI for Russia.8 The methodology is developed by the Rosstat and reflects the official statistical standards of Russia.

PPI data are compiled both by industry and commodity for the country and by region. Industry indices are compiled and published at the 4- to 6-digit level of Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community, Revision 1.1 (NACE, Rev 1.1), while commodity indices are compiled and published at the 6- to 9-digit level of the Classification of Products by Activity (CPA).

2.2 Scope

2.2.1 The scope is broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

The Rosstat produces a system of producer price indices. This system includes what is referred to as the PPI, which covers the entire mining, manufacturing, and utilities (water, gas, and electricity) sectors, which correspond to sections C, D, and E of NACE Rev. 1.1. Producer price indices are also compiled and released for construction, agriculture, forestry, fishing, transportation of cargo and freight, and communications. These indices reflect the same methods used to produce the headline PPI and are not discussed further in this report.

Although the index covers total sales of production, prices are collected only for goods sold on the domestic market. Goods sold on the export market are excluded from price collection. International recommendations suggest that export goods be included for pricing in the PPI.

Recommendation: Expand coverage of the PPI to include export goods for price collection.

2.3 Classification/sectorization

2.3.1 Classification/sectorization systems used are broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

Since the 2003 ROSC, Russia adopted the internationally recommended classification systems for the PPI. The classification of economic activities used for the PPI is NACE, while commodities are classified according to CPA.

2.4 Basis for recording

2.4.1 Market prices are used to value flows and stocks

In accordance with the 1993 SNA and the international PPI Manual, weights and prices are valued at basic prices at the factory gate.

2.4.2 Recording is done on an accrual basis

Both producer prices and weights are valued on an accrual basis. For monthly data collection, prices collected refer to transactions on or near the twenty-second of each month. Actual prices are collected and not unit values or average prices.

2.4.3 Grossing/netting procedures are broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

Transactions between establishments within the same enterprise are recorded on a gross basis for the determination of PPI weights, consistent with international standards.

3. Accuracy and reliability

3.1 Source data

3.1.1 Source data are obtained from comprehensive data collection programs that take into account country-specific conditions

PPI weights are based on the value of sales at current prices as reported by establishments collected during the annual industrial surveys. These surveys cover all large- and medium-sized establishments and a sample of small establishments. The sample of establishments was selected using a sample frame based on the statistical business register.

The Rosstat maintains both the statistical and administrative business registers. The administrative business register is updated using information from the legal registration of businesses with the Ministry of Taxation and Revenues. This register contains 3.6 million legal entities and 4.5 million sole proprietors. Only businesses that have been officially liquidated are deleted from the register, so many inactive enterprises are included. The statistical register seeks to capture only active enterprises. Currently, 4.3 million legal entities are included on this register. Sole proprietors are not included on the statistical register. The statistical register is derived from the administrative register and is updated on an annual basis by deleting those enterprises that do not respond to two consecutive annual surveys.

Businesses are required to include the total number of employees and their total annual sales revenue during the registration process. Economic censuses of medium- and large-sized firms are conducted every five years. The first census of small establishments will be conducted in 2011 and will be conducted every five years thereafter. Total annual revenues and number of employees defines whether a firm will be classified as micro, small, medium, or large. Micro establishments earn less than 60 million rubles in revenue per year and employee less than 15 persons. Small establishments earn between 61 and 400 million rubles per year and employ 15 to 100 persons. Medium firms employ 101 to 250 persons and earn up to 1 billion rubles per year, while large firms earn in excess of 1 billion rubles per year and employ more than 250 persons.

Unique products and works in progress (e.g. ships, aircrafts, turbines, etc) are included in the weights but not in the prices. The Rosstat argues that practical difficulties preclude the collection of these prices; however, international best practices can guide the collection of prices for unique products and works in progress. For example, model pricing is a popular technique used by many countries to collect prices for ships, aircrafts, and other unique products. Another option is to develop a detailed specification that includes all of the inputs used to produce a ship or an aircraft and use the prices of the inputs to calculate a price.

Data on production volumes are used to develop product weights within establishments.

The sample size includes 8,500 establishments from which over 30,000 prices are collected on approximately 1,030 specific goods each month. Prices are collected mainly through mailed questionnaires. Though other methods are used to collect prices (including telephone, personal visit, facsimile, and e-mail), establishments are required to submit a completed and signed questionnaire from the designated responsible officer within each respondent establishment. The Statistical Law mandates that all establishments report correct data to the Rosstat upon request. By signing the questionnaire, the respondent certifies that the data are correct.

The current establishment sample includes all establishments that account for more than 50 percent of the total value of sales for a given industry in the mining, manufacturing, and utilities sectors. The weights reflect the total value of sales for each of these sectors.

3.1.2 Source data reasonably approximate the definitions, scope, classifications, valuation, and time of recording required

The monthly prices collected for the PPI reflect the definitions, scope, classification, valuation, and time of recording needed for the index. The prices used in the index are basic prices at the factory gate.

A list of product groups common to all subjects of the federation throughout Russia is developed by the PPI staff in Moscow based on returns from the establishment survey.

Regional staff are requested to meet with contact persons within sampled establishments to initiate price collection for each of the selected product groups. Sampled establishments are asked to provide product prices and production volumes. Respondents develop and submit detailed specifications for those varieties that they consider will be available for pricing on a regular basis. Detailed product specifications include a detailed product description (size, weight, power, model, etc) as well as defined terms of transaction (volume, class of customer, applicable discounts, etc). Using these detailed specifications, prices are collected each month from respondents through post. The questionnaire indicates the type of price (excluding value added and excise taxes and transportation charges) and the timing of price collection (twenty-second of each month).

The questionnaire notes that establishments are required by law to submit timely and accurate data to the Rosstat. Respondent establishments know that the Rosstat will enforce these mandates. In the recent past, the Rosstat won a legal case against an establishment that submitted a financial statistics questionnaire with significant errors. Because of the magnitude of the errors, the Rosstat initiated legal proceedings allowed under the law.

The Rosstat developed a comprehensive manual to guide PPI staff in the regional offices. The manual provides an overview of the concepts and methods used in the PPI as well as pricing procedures. Topics include how weights are developed; how products are selected; calculation of indices; price collection procedures; quality change procedures; how to handle temporarily missing goods; how to handle seasonal items; how to deal with production on commission; special notes on energy products; and special notes on household durables.

3.1.3 Source data are timely

Monthly price data for the PPI are collected in a timely manner. As noted above, the Statistics Law requires all establishments to report data on time as requested by the Rosstat. All questionnaires are submitted on time in accordance with this law.

3.2 Assessment of source data

3.2.1 Source data—including censuses, sample surveys, and administrative records—are routinely assessed, e.g., for coverage, sample error, response error, and nonsampling error; the results of the assessments are monitored and made available to guide statistical processes

The source data used to select the establishment and product samples and to estimate the weights for the PPI is thoroughly scrutinized manually and statistically. Purposive sampling techniques are used in the PPI and hence there is no information available on sampling errors. Response rates are effectively 100 percent, so no adjustments are necessary to account for non-response. Again, establishments are required by law to report data requested by the Rosstat.

Price quotations are carefully checked at the regional level and are compared both over time and with related products. The data processing system flags for review any short-term price change that exceeds a defined threshold or those prices significantly different from averages. All flagged data are reviewed and validated. If necessary, the Rosstat sends a written request to the establishment to verify prices. Additional validation checks are performed at the Rosstat headquarters.

3.3 Statistical techniques

3.3.1 Data compilation employs sound statistical techniques to deal with data sources

In general, data compilation procedures are sound. Prices of temporarily missing items are imputed based on the price movements for similar products or product groups. Prices missing for several months (including seasonal items) are imputed using the same technique.

Procedures have been developed for the introduction of new goods. The weights and product list are updated annually, which facilitates the introduction of new goods. Goods are introduced into the PPI as soon as they are available for pricing in those subjects of the federation that reported revenues on the particular item.

Elementary aggregates are formed using a matched price methodology. If the enumerator determines that a price is permanently missing; a replacement item will be selected using the detailed price specifications as a guide. When a replacement item is selected, the Rosstat tries to collect an overlap price. This means that a price can be collected for the new item in the previous month. If this overlap exists, then the current price of the replacement item will be compared to its overlap price collected for the previous period. If there is no overlap between the two items, the Rosstat first compares the detailed description of the new item with the detailed description of the old item to identify changes to the price-determining characteristics. Changes to the price-determining characteristics are noted. In consultation with the respondent, the PPI staff estimate the value of the change in these characteristics. The price in the previous period is adjusted to account for the change in the price-determining characteristics so that the old and the new items are judged to be comparable.

Recommendation: Improve procedures to adjust for changes due to differences in quality while allowing pure price change to be measured when making substitutions. The Rosstat should consider using imputation techniques in addition to the use of the overlap method. The PPI staff lack the necessary experience to make direct quality adjustment.

3.3.2 Other statistical procedures (e.g., data adjustments and transformations, and statistical analysis) employ sound statistical techniques

The PPI is compiled using the short-term formulation of the Laspeyres index formula—also known as the Two-stage or Modified Laspeyres formula. Within each subject of the federation price relatives for the current period over the previous period are calculated at the product specification level and then aggregated upwards using product weights that reflect the product’s share of sales within the relevant establishment or product group. Values of sales weights are used to aggregate indices across the subjects of the federation to compile the All Russia indices.

Reflecting international best practices, the index weights are updated for price change between the weight reference period and the price reference period.

Weights are revised annually and introduced in the index in January of each year with a one-year lag. For example, the index for 2010 is based on weights reflecting the value of sales in 2008 and these weights were introduced in January 2010.

The sample of establishments is adjusted in January of each year. If a respondent ceases business during the first half of the year, the index for the elementary aggregate is recalculated to exclude the respondent, which may result in a revision to the appropriate index series at the region/industry/product levels. If a significant business begins production of a representative product during the second half of the year, the normal practice is to defer introduction of that business to the PPI survey until the following January.

3.4 Assessment and validation of intermediate data and statistical outputs

3.4.1 Intermediate results are validated against other information, where applicable

On a regular basis, comparative analysis is conducted for the components of the PPI and corresponding components of the CPI.

3.4.2 Statistical discrepancies in intermediate data are assessed and investigated

Any unusual movements in the PPI are documented and explained to users in select publications (described below is section 5.1.1) and on the website.

3.4.3 Statistical discrepancies and other potential indicators of problems in statistical outputs are investigated

The PPI is compiled by product and by industry for all Russia and by subject of the federation. Careful checks are made to ensure consistency between the two datasets. Imputation procedures for missing prices are carried out in a manner that does not produce inconsistencies in the aggregate index over time.

3.5 Revision studies

3.5.1 Studies and analyses of revisions are carried out routinely and used internally to inform statistical processes (see also 4.3.3)

PPI data are subject to revision. The general guideline for revising PPI data allows for data to be revised within one month of the release of the preliminary data; however, in practice PPI data can be revised up to the end of December of the current year. All data are considered final in January of the next year.

Revised data are explained and footnoted in publications. The Rosstat has conducted studies on the magnitude of change between preliminary and final PPI data and noted that the impact of data revisions on the aggregate index is negligible. The most common error noted was a misreporting of the unit of measurement. The Higher School of Economics prepares routine studies and analyses on substitution bias and the effect of the annual weights updates on the index. These studies are presented at the Ministry of Economic Development with written copies provided to the Rosstat. The Rosstat organizes conferences to discuss these studies and recommendations for improvement.

4. Serviceability

4.1 Periodicity and timeliness

4.1.1 Periodicity follows dissemination standards

The periodicity of the PPI for Russia is monthly, which meets the IMF’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS).

4.1.2 Timeliness follows dissemination standards

The Rosstat releases the PPI on the tenth business day of the month following the close of the reference month. This exceeds the SDDS timeliness requirement that specifies 30 days following the reference month.

4.2 Consistency

4.2.1 Statistics are consistent within the dataset

The PPI is compiled both by product and by industry for all Russia and by subject of the federation. There are no internal inconsistencies due to aggregation or imputation.

4.2.2 Statistics are consistent or reconcilable over a reasonable period of time

Upon subscribing to the SDDS and to meet required specification, the Rosstat began presenting data in a time series format. These time series data are minimal and include only the average All Items index at the national level for each year. Two time series of data exist: (i) 1996–2004 (1995 base) and (ii) 2001–present (2000 base). These data series should be linked to create a continuous time series of data and can be done in such a way as to preserve the required year 2000 index reference.

4.2.3 Statistics are consistent or reconcilable with those obtained through other data sources and/or statistical frameworks

Checks are made with the relevant elements of the CPI to ensure that the two series are consistent. Both the national accounts and PPI use NACE, Rev 1.1, so the weights for the PPI are reconcilable with the weights used for the national accounts.

4.3 Revision policy and practice

4.3.1 Revisions follow a regular and transparent schedule

PPI weights are updated and revised on an annual basis each January. Revisions are made to PPI data as needed to account for necessary corrections to prices or item specifications. PPI data can be revised up to the end of December of the current year. All data are considered final in January of the next year.

4.3.2 Preliminary and/or revised data are clearly identified

When first published, PPI data are noted in publications as being preliminary and subject to revision. Once final, data are footnoted and explained.

4.3.3 Studies and analyses of revisions are made public (see also 3.5.1)

Weight and methodology revisions are explained to users in publications and on the website. Reasons for data revision are explained and published. As noted above in section 3.5.1, the Rosstat has conducted studies on the magnitude of change between preliminary and final PPI data and noted that the impact of data revisions on the aggregate index is negligible. The most common error noted was a misreporting of the unit of measurement.

5. Accessibility

5.1 Data accessibility

5.1.1 Statistics are presented in a way that facilitates proper interpretation and meaningful comparisons (layout and clarity of text, tables, and charts)

The PPI is compiled and disseminated by industry and product. Detailed industry and product data are published by subject of the federation and for Russia as a whole.

The monthly PPI is disseminated in a number of hard-copy formats. The key monthly bulletins include:

  • Express Release (in Russian only)—Monthly release that contains the first, albeit abbreviated, release of PPI data. Published on the tenth business day following the end of the month, the report highlights PPI data for three major commodities (energy, oil, and gas) and 14 industry categories. Data are not presented as a continuous time series. The cover of the release does not include contact details or resources where users could locate additional details. Tables highlight the current period index level, index level last month, index level for December of the previous year, and the index level 12 months ago. No percent changes are calculated or presented in the tables. A brief analysis describes which prices contributed most to changes in the aggregate index and which ones may be most different from the aggregate. The analysis includes percent changes at the All Items level for the month-on-month change, the 12-month change, and the change for the current month to the previous year.

  • Socio-Economic Situation in Russia (in Russian only)—Monthly bulletin that includes price data on a more detailed level produced from January of the current year to the month prior to release, as well as all data for the previous year. For example, the June 2010 publication contains data for the period January to May 2010. Data are not presented in a continuous time series. Graphs and tables show index levels as well as the impact on the index in percentage terms of the major index groups, and several tables showing the month-to-month change, current month to previous December, and 12-month index changes by major group. Limited analysis is included as this publication includes a variety of data produced by different government agencies.

Other publications disseminate price data. None of these publications presents data as a continuous time series. Tables present detailed index levels for the current month, previous month, 12 months ago, and from December of the previous year. Percent changes are calculated comparing the current month with each of these time periods. Quarterly publications include data for each of the months in the quarter, while annual and biannual publications include detailed data for the months of the relevant year(s). Limited analysis of the data is provided. These publications include:

  • Statistical Review (in Russian only)—Quarterly

  • Regions of Russia: Social and Economic Indicators (in Russian only)—Annual bulletin

  • Prices in Russia (in Russian only)—Biannual bulletin

  • Statistical Yearbook of Russia (in Russian and English)—Annual bulletin

  • Social Status and Living Standards in Russia (in Russian only)—Annual bulletin

  • Russia in Figures (in Russian only)—Annual bulletin

All publications are available on the Rosstat website and can be requested in hard copy.

Regional data are also published by the various regional offices of the Rosstat. Each regional office determines how and by what means prices data will be published in their specific region. Most recently, the Russian government developed a web-based federal portal providing a single access point for all data produced by all federal agencies. Users can access all Rosstat data, publications, and metadata through this portal.

Detailed PPI data are not presented in a continuous time series of data. The limited time series data are posted on the Rosstat website and are available through the English-language portal. Consistent time series index data are not published in regular Rosstat publications.

It should be noted that time series data are produced by the PPI staff upon request. A consistent time series of data are produced to meet users’ specified level of detail and time period.

Recommendation: To reflect international best practices, a continuous time series of data at a detailed level should be produced and published.

5.1.2 Dissemination media and format are adequate

As described above, PPI data are published in a number of paper publications. PPI data are also disseminated through the Rosstat website, in other electronic formats (e-mail and other forms upon request, and hardcopy printout. Prices data are only published in English in the Statistical Yearbook of Russia and on the website.

5.1.3 Statistics are released on a preannounced schedule

The Rosstat publishes an Advance Release Calendar on its website and the IMF’s Data Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) noting that data are released on the last working day of the month following the reference month; however, this is not the actual date of release. In practice, data are released on the tenth business day of the month (or nearest business day if this falls on a weekend) following the reference month. The ARC posted on the main (Russian language) version of the Rosstat website indicates the actual dates for release of the data. It is important that data users (including English-speaking users) know exactly when data are to be disseminated. The ARC posted on the English-language portal and the IMF’s DSBB should include the actual date of release. The current ARC posted on these sites reflects the SDDS general guideline of releasing data within one month following the reference month and not the scheduled date for disseminating the PPI data.

Recommendation: Update the ARC posted on the English-language portal of the Rosstat website and the IMF’s DSBB to reflect actual dates of release.

5.1.4 Statistics are made available to all users at the same time

PPI data are released simultaneously to all users, with no one outside of the Rosstat having access to the index prior to its release. Data are released via the Rosstat website, courier, email, and fax.

PPI data are officially released and disseminated once the head of Rosstat signs and approves the release. Immediately upon approval, the appropriate staff begin working to post the data on the Rosstat website, which is the primary means of obtaining data for general users. According to the Statistical Plan, no official release time exists, but data are to be released no later than 4:00 p.m. for monthly data releases such as the PPI. Though past delays of posting data to the website have been corrected, data users must continually check the website on the day of release to obtain the data. As data are being posted on the website, Rosstat simultaneously begins sending out the release by e-mail, fax, and courier to the media and other federal agencies.

Recommendation: Eliminate the no later than 4:00 p.m. requirement for the release of data and adopt a standard policy of releasing data at 4:00 p.m. on the day of release. This better informs users of when to expect the data and enhances the practice of simultaneous data release to all users.

5.1.5 Statistics not routinely disseminated are made available upon request

Reasonable requests for PPI data, which are not available on the Rosstat website, are accommodated so long as the confidentiality of the informant is not breeched. As noted in 0.1.3 above, price movements relating to an individual producer (or dominant producers) are not regarded as confidential although the corresponding prices collected are regarded as strictly confidential. Special tabulations are available free of charge not only to users included on the list contained in the federal statistics program, but also to other users on an occasional basis. Rosstat is not authorized to charge fees. The publication center, which is operated independently of the Rosstat, assesses fees to users not listed in the federal statistics program who desire special tabulations of non-confidential data on a regular basis.

5.2 Metadata accessibility

5.2.1 Documentation on concepts, scope, classifications, basis of recording, data sources, and statistical techniques is available, and differences from internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices are annotated

The Statistical Law requires the Rosstat to provide detailed explanations on the concepts and methods used to compile official statistical information. Decree No. 55 dated March 11, 2008, describes in detail the concepts, scope, classifications, basis of recording, data sources, and statistical techniques used to compile the PPI. This methodology is complete and exhaustive in describing all concepts and methods.

Overviews of PPI methodology are included in each of the Rosstat’s PPI publications. Detailed PPI weights are not published; however, detailed data on total annual sales, which are used to develop weights for the PPI, are published by economic activity on the Rosstat website under the Entrepreneurship section, industrial subsection.

5.2.2 Levels of detail are adapted to the needs of the intended audience

The Rosstat publishes the PPI methodology in a variety of formats to meet the needs of different users. Releases and bulletins include a brief overview of PPI methodology. The Rosstat website includes a comprehensive and detailed description of PPI concepts and methods in Russian; while the English-language portal of the website reflects their entry on the IMF’s DSBB. Hardcopy versions of PPI concepts and methods can also be purchased at the bookstore operated by the publications center.

5.3 Assistance to users

5.3.1 Contact points for each subject field are publicized

With the exception of the Express Release, all publications indicate a name and telephone number of staff that users may contact for additional assistance. Also, the Rosstat website includes a detailed list of names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of staff available to provide support and assistance.

Recommendation: The Express Release should include contact details where users can obtain more information.

5.3.2 Catalogs of publications, documents, and other services, including information on any charges, are widely available

The Rosstat produces a catalogue of all publications and other data products. The catalogue of publications includes a short description of each product and notes the price of those publications available only for purchase.

A central call center provides users with detailed information on how to obtain additional information of data products. It is the policy of the Rosstat that all questions or requests for additional information be made in writing, either by email or post. All queries are assigned a control number and tracked to ensure timely response. Current procedures require Rosstat staff to respond to all queries and requests within three weeks.

Rosstat publications can be purchased in the bookstore, operated independently of the Rosstat by a publishing house, located on the first floor of the headquarters. Users can also obtain information about statistics at the bookstore. The Information and Publications Center provides access to the Rosstat website to all users. Users can also access publications in the Rosstat library located on the second floor of the headquarters in Moscow.

Table 3.

Data Quality Assessment Framework: Summary of Results for Price Statistics (Producer Price Index)

(Compiling Agency: Rosstat)

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IV. Government Finance Statistics

0. Prerequisites of quality

0.1 Legal and institutional environment

0.1.1 The responsibility for collecting, processing, and disseminating the statistics is clearly specified

The authority and responsibility to collect, process, and disseminate fiscal statistics on the operations of the central and general government is assigned to the Federal Treasury (Treasury), an agency subordinated to the Ministry of Finance (MOF). The fiscal statistics disseminated by the Treasury on its website correspond exclusively to budget execution data. Fiscal statistics compiled in accordance with the guidelines of the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001 (GFSM 2001) are also compiled and reported for publication to the IMF, but are not currently posted on the Treasury’s website.9 10 The authority and responsibility to collect, process, and disseminate fiscal statistics on the debt of the central government is assigned to the MOF.

The compilation and dissemination of budget execution data is conducted in accordance with the terms and conditions established in the following laws and regulations (and their amendments): (i) Budget Code of the Russian Federation, adopted by Law No. 145-FZ on July 31, 1998; (ii) Government Resolution No. 329 on the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, dated June 30, 2004; (iii) Government Resolution No. 703 on the Federal Treasury of the Russian Federation, dated December 1, 2004; (iv) annual Budget Law; (v) annual Law on Budget Execution; (vi) MOF Order No. 150n on approval of the procedures for application of the Budget Classification, dated December 30, 2009; (vii) Government Resolution No. 281 on the submission of quarterly and annual reports on federal budget execution to the Government of the Russian Federation, dated May 11, 2006; (viii) Federal Law No. 129-FZ on accounting, dated November 21, 1996; (ix) MOF Order No. 128n on approval of guidelines for annual, quarterly, and monthly reports, dated November 13, 2008; (x) MOF Order No. 148n on approval of budget reporting guidelines, dated December 30, 2008; and (xi) MOF Order No. 139n, on the organization of work to compile quarterly and annual reports on federal budget execution, the consolidated budget of the Russian Federation, and the budgets of state extrabudgetary funds, dated November 7, 2006.

The law on the Budget Code describes the budgetary system and establishes the general procedures for budget execution and reporting. The government resolution on the MOF states in Article 5 that the tasks of the MOF include, among others, provision of the federal budget execution report and consolidated budget execution reports to the government. Article 6 states that the functions of the MOF include, among others, setting the procedures for the accounting and reporting on budget execution. The presidential decree on the Treasury states in Article 2 that the tasks of the institution include, among others, the collection, processing, and analysis of the information on state government finances, and the reporting on the financial operations of the government and on the budgetary system of the Russian Federation, to the supreme legislative and executive authorities.

The annual Budget Law sets out the fiscal policies and the allocation of resources for the upcoming year. The annual law on Budget Execution approves the final budget execution report for the previous fiscal year. The MOF order on Budget Classification determines the budget classifications to be followed by budgetary units. The government resolution on reporting details the information to be provided on the quarterly and annual budget execution reports, as well as the terms and conditions under which they should be submitted. Finally, the executive orders of the MOF establish the procedures to be followed for budget reporting and reports, and assign tasks to its various units.

The task of compiling and disseminating budget execution data and GFS on the central government and general government operations, and debt data of the central government, is assigned to various Treasury and MOF units: (i) the Consolidated Reporting Unit, which prepares consolidated budget execution reports and GFS; (ii) the Federal Budget Execution Reporting Unit, which prepares federal budget execution reports; (iii) the Unit of Analysis of Cash Budget Execution, which provides explanatory notes for all federal budget execution reports; (iv) the Unit of Cash Budget Execution Reporting, which collects and consolidates the cash budget execution reports for all budgets of the Russian budgetary system prepared by territorial offices of the Treasury; (v) the Department of Public Debt and State Financial Assets, which prepares reports on the government domestic and foreign debt; and (vi) the Department of Long-Term Financial Planning, which prepares the data in SDDS format. Working arrangements are consistent with the assignment of responsibility.

0.1.2 Data sharing and coordination among data-producing agencies are adequate

The Treasury is the only entity authorized to collect data on budget execution, which it provides to other agencies as requested. All of the data needed to compile fiscal statistics on government operations are available within the Treasury. There are close communications and information flows among the MOF and the Treasury units responsible for compiling budget execution data and GFS. There is also close coordination between the MOF, the Treasury, and the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR) at the level of accounting and reporting units and concerning financing and debt data. The Federal Program for Statistical Work, approved every year, specifies the data to be provided by the MOF to the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat). In general, there is good coordination with internal (government) users of the statistics.

0.1.3 Individual reporters’ data are to be kept confidential and used for statistical purposes only

The federal law on Official Statistical Accounting and State Statistical System establishes in its Article 9 that (i) primary statistical data are confidential; (ii) should be processed in conditions guaranteeing protection of such data against unauthorized access, theft, loss, falsification, or distortion; and (iii) officials who by virtue of their activities have access to primary statistical data and unlawfully disclose or disseminate these data, will bear disciplinary, civil, administrative, or criminal responsibility in compliance with legislation of the Russian Federation.

The Law on State Secrets No. 5485-1, dated July 21, 1993, identifies data that are considered confidential and applies to both the private and public sectors. An example of confidential data is the economic classification of defense expenditure. The sanctions for revealing confidential information are established in the Criminal Code and include jail sentences. Civil servants are well aware of the provisions of the law. In general, aggregated data are not confidential.

0.1.4 Statistical reporting is ensured through legal mandate and/or measures to encourage response

For the central and general government, there are legal and administrative provisions for collecting the information necessary for the compilation of budget execution reports. The Treasury has the right to request from the federal and regional executive authorities the information necessary for the compilation of budget execution reports. According to these provisions, it is mandatory to report any information requested, within the stipulated deadlines and in accordance to the relevant established procedures. There are no problems with access to data. Agencies that do not comply are subject to sanctions.

The Executive Department within the MOF and the Treasury are responsible for the control and management of information exchange within the institution. Each draft executive order aimed at collecting data goes through several departments to ensure the information to be requested is needed and not already available, thereby minimizing the reporting burden of respondent units.

0.2 Resources

0.2.1 Staff, facilities, computing resources, and financing are commensurate with statistical programs

The human and physical resources allocated to compiling budget execution data and GFS, as well as debt data, are adequate. Most staff holds university degrees in economics, finance, or accounting; and is knowledgeable about GFS concepts and practices. The necessary computer resources and other modern technologies are available to facilitate the timely compilation and dissemination of fiscal statistics, such as through the automation of data collection and processing. Each staff member has a computer to perform his or her tasks. Training is strongly supported by top management. Internal and external training (including attendance to IMF courses), as well as participation in international conferences and institutional visits, are encouraged and pursued. Measures to retain experienced personnel include promotion to higher positions based on performance and scholarships to pursue higher education. Wages are comparable to the average wages across the economy.

0.2.2 Measures to ensure efficient use of resources are implemented

The costs associated with compiling budget execution data and GFS are directly calculated. The Financial Division of the Treasury conducts a regular assessment of the financial inputs to each compiling unit and evaluates its output based on performance indicators such as completeness of the information compiled and disseminated, timeliness, comments from users, etc.

0.3 Relevance

0.3.1 The relevance and practical utility of existing statistics in meeting users’ needs are monitored

The budget execution reports and GFS compiled by the Treasury are the main sources of information for the design, monitoring, and assessment of tax and budget policy. The evolving needs of internal users are closely monitored and reflected in the data compiled. There is no mechanism established for regular consultation with external users, although there is regular contact with selected users, such as rating agencies and international organizations.

0.4 Other quality management

0.4.1 Processes are in place to focus on quality

The MOF and the Treasury are fully aware of the importance of the quality of data, which is regularly emphasized by management. Particular attention is placed on the quality of accounting data. A major medium-term effort to implement a program for budget reform is well advanced. This program includes changing accounting standards and procedures to meet international standards and best practice, the adoption of accrual accounting, and the introduction of a new chart of accounts aligned with the guidelines of the GFSM 2001.

0.4.2 Processes are in place to monitor the quality of the statistical program

Processes have been formally established to monitor the quality of data. The MOF jointly with the Treasury approves the accounting and reporting rules applicable to all central and general government units. All budgetary and extrabudgetary units use the same chart of accounts, which enhances the consistency of the data reported. There is regular control of the reliability and overall quality of the financial information received from general government units. The budget execution data and GFS are compiled and cross-checked in accordance with prevailing national accounting standards.

0.4.3 Processes are in place to deal with quality considerations in planning the statistical program

As indicated under 0.4.1, a medium-term budget reform program is under implementation. This program has already led and will continue to lead to further improvements in the quality of fiscal statistics, as well as the ability to meet the requirements of users. At present, there is regular coordination with internal users to meet their data requirements. The information provided by one unit to another, and to outside agencies is specified annually in internal documents and officially agreed upon.

1. Assurances of integrity

1.1 Professionalism

1.1.1 Statistics are produced on an impartial basis

The compilation and dissemination of fiscal statistics are not supported by specific laws affording professional independence to the unit responsible for compiling budget execution data and GFS. However, the executive order that created the Department of Budget Accounting and Reporting, under which all Treasury units that compile budget execution reports and GFS fall, establishes its functions, responsibilities, and rights. It also establishes that fiscal statistics are to be based on accounting data and must be compiled in accordance with international standards. Furthermore, the legal framework establishes detailed procedures to be followed for all aspects of data collection and processing. Thus, the possibility for outside interference is severely constrained by the legal environment.

Continuous efforts to promote professionalism are made. Staff is strongly encouraged to pursue internal and external training. There is a policy of regular attendance to international conferences on relevant accounting and methodological issues, as well as visits to other data compiling agencies.

1.1.2 Choices of sources and statistical techniques, as well as decisions about dissemination, are informed solely by statistical considerations

Statisticians are free of political influence in the choice of the most appropriate data sources and methods for compiling budget execution reports and GFS, and changes in the statistical procedures are made on the basis of technical rather than political criteria. Data sources are selected according to both the basis of recording and the availability of the information needed to compile and disseminate fiscal statistics.

1.1.3 The appropriate statistical entity is entitled to comment on erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics

Budget execution reports are disseminated through coordination between the Department of Budget Accounting and Reporting of the Treasury and the Department of Information Systems. Compilers are authorized to provide expert advice on technical aspects of budget execution reports. Press releases are issued in cases of misinterpretation of data by external users. Budget execution reports include explanatory notes to assist in the interpretation of statistics. In addition, speeches of the members of the Board of the MOF and the Treasury related to the budget and internal discussion of the reports are made publicly available. For example, the speech to Congress by the Deputy Minister of Finance on the execution of the budget for 2009 has been posted on the MOF’s website.

1.2 Transparency

1.2.1 The terms and conditions under which statistics are collected, processed, and disseminated are available to the public

The laws and regulations governing the compilation and dissemination of budget execution data and GFS are available to the public. Internal executive orders of the MOF and the Treasury are not disseminated, but are not considered secret.

1.2.2 Internal governmental access to statistics prior to their release is publicly identified

No official or public agency outside of the Treasury has access to budget execution data and GFS prior to their dissemination. Budget execution data and debt data are released to the general public through the Treasury’s and MOF’s websites, respectively.

The Budget Code and other legislation describe the approval process for reporting and disseminating budget execution data. The MOF procedures authorizing the dissemination of budget execution data and GFS are deemed internal arrangements and are not published.

1.2.3 Products of statistical agencies/units are clearly identified as such

The tables disseminated by the MOF and the Treasury identify the department responsible for their compilation. The tables disseminated by the Rosstat identify the MOF and the Treasury as their source.

1.2.4 Advance notice is given of major changes in methodology, source data, and statistical techniques

Methodological changes are usually described in the Budget Law and other laws for the corresponding year. Notes are included in quarterly and annual reports explaining other major changes, at the time the changes are introduced. Changes which cause a break in the time series are identified in footnotes (e.g., changes in coverage).

1.3 Ethical standards

1.3.1 Guidelines for staff behavior are in place and are well known to the staff

The compilation and dissemination of budget execution data and GFS are governed by the provisions of the Federal Law No. 79-FZ on Civil Service, dated July 27, 2004; rules of good conduct for federal civil servants of the Treasury (approved by Treasury Board Resolution No. 17, dated September 28, 2009); and the Presidential Decree No. 885, “General Principles for Workplace Behavior of Civil Servants,” dated August 12, 2002. These laws and regulations establish the ethical behavior expected of state servants and the penalties for infringement of the norms.

The above mentioned legislation is publicly available. The Human Resources Department of the MOF and the Treasury informs new employees of the norms, and the sanctions for their violation. Staff is reminded periodically of the provisions of the legislation.

2. Methodological soundness

2.1 Concepts and definitions

2.1.1 The overall structure in terms of concepts and definitions follows internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

The compilation and dissemination of budget execution data follows national concepts and definitions, which differ in certain aspects from, but can be linked to the guidelines of the GFSM 2001. GFS are compiled and reported to the IMF for publication in IFS and the Government Finance Statistics Yearbook (GFS Yearbook), in accordance with the guidelines of the GFSM 2001. These data are not currently disseminated domestically, but there are plans to begin such dissemination during July 2010. Furthermore, a new chart of accounts introduced in 2005 is aligned with the guidelines of the GFSM 2001. The authorities currently have no plan to migrate to the GFSM 2001 for purposes of compiling budget execution data.

Recommendation: Disseminate on the Treasury website the GFS reported to the IMF.11

2.2 Scope

2.2.1 The scope is broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

To facilitate understanding of the coverage of fiscal statistics, the institutional structure of the public sector is set out below (numbers in parenthesis denote number of institutional units).

Public Sector

I. Federal Government

1. Executive, legislative, judiciary

II. Federal Extrabudgetary Funds

1. Pension Fund

2. Social Insurance Fund

3. Federal Medical Insurance Fund

III. Subnational Governments

1. Regional governments (83)

2. Local governments (24,245)

IV. Subnational Extrabudgetary Funds

1. Territorial Medical Insurance Funds

V. Government-owned state unitary enterprises

As of January 1, 2009 the federal government owned 3,765 state unitary enterprises (not legally incorporated as corporations)

VI. Open-joint stock companies

1. Majority shareholder (1,895)

2. Minority shareholder (1,055)

The following definitions related to the institutional coverage of budget execution data and the GFS are used by the Russian authorities:

  • Subnational governments: Regional governments plus local governments (III.1+III.2).

  • Consolidated general government: Federal government, plus federal extrabudgetary funds, plus subnational governments, plus subnational extrabudgetary funds (I+II+III+III+IV).

  • Public Sector: Consolidated general government, plus state unitary enterprises, plus open-joint stock companies as majority shareholder (I+II+III+IV+V+VI.1).

In GFS terminology:

  • budgetary central government would correspond to I,

  • social security funds would correspond to II+IV,

  • central government would correspond to I+II+IV,

  • state governments would be III.1,

  • local governments would be III.2,

  • general government would be I+II+III+IV, and

  • public sector would be I+II+III+IV+V+VI.1.

There are two state unitary enterprises that belong to the general government sector under the GFSM 2001 methodology, which are not included in the Russian definition of general government, the Foundation for the Reform of Housing and Communal Services and The Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. These two institutions are included in the GFS reported to the IMF.

It is important to note that both federal and subnational budgetary entities have own-resource accounts (ORAs). The funds that flow into ORAs are generated from the sale of goods and services in the market by off-budget units. The Budget Code states that these funds should be included in the budget; however, the Civil Code states that these funds should be accounted for separately. At present, these funds are classified as extrabudgetary.

There are monthly, quarterly, and annual budget execution reports for the general government and its subsectors. However, statistics for the consolidated central government are not compiled, though the data for its preparation are available. The monthly reports are on a cash basis, cumulative, and final when first disseminated. The quarterly reports are the monthly reports with additional explanatory notes. In addition, three annual reports are also disseminated: a cash flow statement, a report on financial results of activity, and a balance sheet. The latter two reports are on an accrual basis. There are no sub-annual reports on an accrual basis. These reports contain the fiscal statistics disseminated on national websites that are subject to assessment under the ROSC Data Module.

Recommendations:

Compile and disseminate budget execution data for the consolidated central government. See footnote 11.

Disseminate monthly and quarterly discrete (non-cumulative) budget execution data. See footnote 11.

Disseminate sub-annual reports on an accrual basis.

Monthly budget execution reports are available 30 days after the end of the month, except for those corresponding to quarters, which are available 35 days after the end of the month. These reports are published on the Treasury website (www.roskazna.ru). A preliminary annual report for the federal budget is available on January 20 of the following year, while the whole set of annual reports are available on April 30. The quarterly and annual reports are submitted to Congress and the Accounting Chamber, 45 days after the end of the quarter and by May 20, respectively. The annual report is revised by the MOF after receiving comments from the Accounting Chamber and resubmitted to government in August. It is officially approved by Congress (Law on Budget Execution) around November. The main text and tables of the annual report are then posted on the Treasury’s and government’s websites.

The monthly budget execution reports include information on a cash basis for revenues, expenditures by function, financing, and debt. There is also monthly information on expenditures by economic classification on a cash basis, but it is not disseminated; it is only provided in the annual reports on an accrual basis.12 Likewise, monthly reports only include stock data for debt liabilities, whereas the annual reports include comprehensive stock data for non-financial assets, financial assets, and liabilities.

Recommendation: Disseminate a monthly cash based economic classification of expense table. See footnote 11.

Monthly budget execution reports for each region are available with a 15-day lag and are disseminated on the Treasury website. Consolidated data for all regions are prepared monthly, and are also published. The quarterly reports are the cumulative monthly reports for the last month of the quarter. There is also an annual report, available by the end of March of the following year.

There are monthly reports on domestic and foreign debt for the federal government, which are posted separately on the MOF website. The quarterly and annual reports are the monthly cumulative reports for the last month of the quarter or year, respectively. The domestic debt report is posted by the fifth of the following month, while the foreign debt report is posted by the fifteenth of the following month. These reports are final when first disseminated. Domestic debt is presented by type of security and maturity, while foreign debt is presented by type of debt obligation. The criterion to classify debt as either domestic or foreign is the currency criterion as established in budget legislation, and not the residency criterion recommended by international guidelines. Amounts in foreign currency are converted into rubles using the exchange rate of the CBR applicable on the reporting date. In calculating the amounts of debt on multi-currency loans from international financial organizations, a pool unit value is used based on data from the World Bank website. The reports include the debt guaranteed by the federal government. Quarterly debt reports are sent to the Rosstat and the World Bank in specific formats provided by these institutions.

Recommendations:

Disseminate a monthly table on total central government debt, with a breakdown of domestic and foreign debt.

Use the residency criterion to classify debt as either domestic or foreign debt.

In addition, data in Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) format are also published in the MOF website. They include monthly information on the budget execution of the federal government (i.e., budgetary central government), annual information on the budget execution of the general government, and quarterly information on the domestic and foreign debt of the federal government. These data are released according to a quarterly advance release calendar (ARC).

The SDDS data for central government operations come from a combination of sources. The revenues and expenditure data are obtained from the monthly budget execution reports for the federal government. The financing data, domestic and foreign, are obtained not from budget execution data, but instead are calculated using the methodology established in the past to calculate financing for purposes of monitoring the program with the IMF. The calculation uses data from the CBR and from various MOF units. The mission recommended that financing data from budget execution reports be used instead. Complementary information for disaggregating financing into its bank and nonbank components is obtained from CBR data. The 35- to 40-day lag to receive the information on the breakdown of financing into bank financing and nonbank financing, compels the government to use the SDDS flexibility option for the timeliness of central government.

Recommendation: Use as source data for the financing figures from the monthly budget execution reports and apply initially a ratio (e.g., average of last three months) for the split between bank financing and nonbank financing. Once the actual split for the month becomes available from the CBR, replace the preliminary figures as appropriate. In this manner; there would be no need to use the SDDS flexibility option for the timeliness of data on central government operations.

The SDDS data for general government operations come from the consolidated annual budget execution report, while the data for central government debt come mainly from the debt reports. The data on external debt are converted into rubles and the total debt is presented in rubles. The exchange rate used for the conversion is also published. The data include a breakdown by instrument and maturity for the domestic and external debt. The data presented include the debt guaranteed by the central government.

The SDDS metadata for fiscal sector statistics needs to be updated to reflect current circumstances for the compilation and dissemination of central government operations, general government operations, and central government debt, as described in this assessment.

Recommendation: Update the SDDS metadata currently posted on the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB).

Beginning January 1, 2010, monthly data for the general government are reported to the IMF for publication in IFS, based on the monthly budget execution reports for the federal government and subnational governments and on monthly domestic and external debt reports; while the annual GFS reported for publication in the IMF’s GFS Yearbook are based on the annual reports. The data for both publications are reported in GFSM 2001 format. These statistics are currently not disseminated domestically, but as indicated above there are plans to post them on the Treasury website shortly.

2.3 Classification/sectorization

2.3.1 Classification/sectorization systems used are broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

The budget classifications to be followed in the compilation of budget execution reports are contained in MOF Order No. 150n of December 30, 2009. In general, the classifications follow national concepts and definitions, which can be aligned with the GFSM 2001 classifications.

Institutional sectors are generally defined in accordance with international guidelines, and the sectors and subsectors for which budget execution data and GFS are produced generally follow the guidelines of the GFSM 2001. The budget execution data compiled and disseminated do not follow the presentation of the statements and tables of the GFSM 2001. The data can be converted to GFSM 2001 format, but this conversion requires knowledge of the methodology and access to some information not publicly available.

As indicated under 2.1.1, the current chart of accounts used to record flows and stocks of general government units is generally aligned with the guidelines of the GFSM 2001. However, the terminology of the categories for the classification of revenue, expense, financing, and debt are different, especially for the latter two. The budget execution reports on a cash basis show revenue and expense by function classified in a similar manner to the guidelines of the GFSM 2001. As indicated under 2.2.1, a monthly economic classification of expense is available, but is not currently disseminated. Financing is shown classified as a mix of instrument and holder, with emphasis on the former. Domestic debt is shown classified by type of instrument and external debt classified by type of holder. There are no summary statements for sub-annual budget execution data.

Recommendation: Compile and disseminate monthly GFS summary statements and detailed tables in accordance with GFSM 2001 classifications for the central government, state and local governments, and general government. See footnote 11.

2.4 Basis for recording

2.4.1 Market prices are used to value flows and stocks

Revenue, expenditure, financing, and the overall balance are presented on a modified cash basis. For budget execution purposes, these include: (i) cash transactions, and (ii) offset operations, which do not involve cash movements, although the corresponding entries for the transactions are effectively made.

Debt is shown on a modified cash basis. In addition to cash transactions, the revaluation of foreign currency denominated debt and debt restructuring operations are also included. All transactions are recorded in domestic currency. Transactions denominated in foreign currency are converted to domestic currency using the daily exchange rate announced by the CBR as of the day of the transaction. This rate is market-based, and it is a single rate (not buying and selling rates). Gross domestic debt and foreign debt are recorded at face value.

The value of nonfinancial assets is recorded at original cost, not market value. The value of nonfinancial assets denominated in foreign currency is converted to rubles by using the CBR rate effective on the date the assets are recognized in the accounting books. The value of financial assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currency is converted to rubles on a monthly basis using the CBR rate for the reporting date. Stocks and other shareholdings are valued at current market prices. Securities are valued at issue price and loans at disbursement value.

2.4.2 Recording is done on an accrual basis

Transactions are recorded at the time when the cash flows take place. More specifically, cash transactions are recorded when money flows in or out of the Treasury account according to the corresponding bank account.

2.4.3 Grossing/netting procedures are broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

All transactions are expressed in gross values, except for financing transactions, which are shown in both gross and net values. Corrective transactions are netted against the original transactions when they occur in the current year. If the corrective transactions take place in a different year than the original transaction, then they are not netted.

3. Accuracy and reliability

3.1 Source data

3.1.1 Source data are obtained from comprehensive data collection programs that take into account country-specific conditions

Data covering the full range of economic flows and stocks are provided from administrative and accounting systems. The main sources of information for the compilation of fiscal statistics on the federal government are the following: (i) the daily statements from the CBR and other state-owned banks for cash transactions, and the reports from various departments of the MOF involved in non-cash transactions; (ii) the monthly reports of regional treasuries, also based on bank statements, which are submitted electronically; and (iii) the monthly reports submitted by budgetary units, which include information on ORAs. All these data are collected and processed by the Department of Budget Accounting and Reporting of the Treasury.

The information is reported to the Treasury in accordance with the accounting and reporting procedures established by the MOF and the Treasury. These include the use of a single chart of accounts, uniform budget codes and classifications, and standard formats for all general government units. Data are available to allow consolidation for the central government sector, local governments sector, and general government sector.

3.1.2 Source data reasonably approximate the definitions, scope, classifications, valuation, and time of recording required

Beginning in 2002, all general government units use the same chart of accounts and budget classifications. The chart of accounts provides sufficient detail to allow the reclassification of data to align with GFS categories. There is an automated mechanism for generating GFS items directly from budgetary items. Compilers are aware of the differences between source data and GFS concepts. The time of recording and valuation are partially in conformity with GFS methodology (See 2.4.1). Finally, GFS are fully reconcilable with budget execution data, as the latter are the source data for compiling GFS.

3.1.3 Source data are timely

Accounting and administrative records provide comprehensive, up-to-date data on the execution of the federal budget and subnational budgets. All general government units are aware of the deadlines for reporting information to the Treasury.

3.2 Assessment of source data

3.2.1 Source data—including censuses, sample surveys, and administrative records—are routinely assessed, e.g., for coverage, sample error, response error, and nonsampling error; the results of the assessments are monitored and made available to guide statistical processes

Budget execution reports and GFS are based on comprehensive information from all general government units. As a result, no estimation of omissions in the data is needed. The information is reported electronically to the Treasury and is cross-checked for accuracy with other sources of information such as bank statements.

3.3 Statistical techniques

3.3.1 Data compilation employs sound statistical techniques to deal with data sources

There are no material gaps in the coverage or completeness of data collection. As pointed out above, budget execution reports and GFS are compiled on the basis of comprehensive information. There is an adequate balance between accuracy and timeliness.

Budget execution reports and GFS follow a regular cycle. GFS are compiled based only on final data. All data are corrected at the time an error is noticed, no adjustment is made to the report for the period in which the detected error took place.

3.3.2 Other statistical procedures (e.g., data adjustments and transformations, and statistical analysis) employ sound statistical techniques

Conversion tables for the automated compilation of GFS from budget execution reports have been prepared. These tables present budget execution data in GFSM 2001 format. The consolidation of data for general government is done following the GFSM 1986 approach, where the data for each subsector is directly consolidated, instead of the GFSM 2001 approach, where a separate consolidation column is used.

Recommendation: Adopt the GFSM 2001 approach to consolidation. See footnote 11.

3.4 Assessment and validation of intermediate data and statistical outputs

3.4.1 Intermediate results are validated against other information, where applicable

Budget execution data and GFS are based on accounting records. The information reported by general government units is cross-checked with bank statements and other information in a regular manner.

3.4.2 Statistical discrepancies in intermediate data are assessed and investigated

Financing flows are reconciled with changes in the corresponding debt data on a regular basis.

3.4.3 Statistical discrepancies and other potential indicators of problems in statistical outputs are investigated

Data are checked at the accounting level. Use of the correct budget codes to enter information is verified. Statistical outputs are checked horizontally and vertically to minimize discrepancies. Debt information is reconciled with creditors and debtors.

3.5 Revision studies

3.5.1 Studies and analyses of revisions are carried out routinely and used internally to inform statistical processes (see also 4.3.3)

Reliability of source data is continuously assessed. Revisions to final budget execution data are rare, and occur only when an accounting error is detected. There are no revisions to GFS, because they are based on final data. Therefore, no studies of revisions are needed.

4. Serviceability

4.1 Periodicity and timeliness

4.1.1 Periodicity follows dissemination standards

Statistics on central government operations (federal budget) are disseminated monthly, on general government operations annually, and on central government debt monthly. Therefore, the periodicity of fiscal sector statistics meets or exceeds the SDDS periodicity requirements.

4.1.2 Timeliness follows dissemination standards

Statistics on central government operations (federal budget) in SDDS format are available 35 to 40 days after the end of the month. The lag is due to the time needed to obtain the breakdown of financing between bank financing and non-bank financing. Therefore, a flexibility option for the timeliness of data on central government operations has been taken by the authorities. Statistics on general government operations and central government debt are available one quarter and one month after the end of the corresponding period, respectively. Therefore, the timeliness of these fiscal sector statistics exceeds the SDDS timeliness requirements.

4.2 Consistency

4.2.1 Statistics are consistent within the dataset

Budget execution reports are internally consistent. The quarterly and annual reports are the cumulative monthly reports. Thus, the concepts, definitions, and classifications of subannual and annual reports are the same. However, the sum of the quarters differs to a minor extent from the annual figures because certain adjustments are only made annually, and the corresponding quarterly reports are not adjusted.

Flow data on nonfinancial assets, financial assets, and liabilities are reconciled with changes in the corresponding stocks on an annual basis.

4.2.2 Statistics are consistent or reconcilable over a reasonable period of time

Statistics are consistent with expected trends and reflect discretionary changes, external shocks, and economic activity. Previous series are not adjusted to account for discontinuities arising from changes in coverage or methodological developments. Breaks in the time series and the reasons for them are identified.

Consistent time series are available for: (i) quarterly and annual federal budget execution reports from 1997, and for monthly reports from 2005; (ii) annual subnational budget execution reports from 2000; and (iii) annual consolidated general government from 2003. Time series for annual domestic debt are available from 1993, and for monthly domestic debt from 2003, by type of security and maturity. Time series for annual foreign debt are available from 2006, and for monthly foreign debt from mid-2009, by creditor.

4.2.3 Statistics are consistent or reconcilable with those obtained through other data sources and/or statistical frameworks

Budget execution data are used in the compilation of national accounts. Thus, budget execution data and GFS are largely consistent with related national accounts aggregates. Budget execution data and GFS are consistent with banking data. The reconciliation has traditionally been done at the accounting level. At the statistics level, reconciliation of financing data started in 2010. GFS foreign debt data are consistent with balance of payments data. The MOF is the agency responsible for official external debt statistics. Debt data are classified as either domestic or foreign on the basis of currency. The CBR reclassifies the MOF debt data based on the residence criterion.

Recommendation: Reconcile macroeconomic statistics not only at the source data level but also at the output level on a regular basis. See footnote 11.

4.3 Revision policy and practice

4.3.1 Revisions follow a regular and transparent schedule

Budget execution data and GFS are not revised because they are based on final data. The dissemination of the statistics follows a regular cycle known to users, and in several cases follows a schedule established by law.

4.3.2 Preliminary and/or revised data are clearly identified

Subannual budget execution data are final when first disseminated. Only the annual budget execution report has a preliminary version, which is later replaced by a final version.

4.3.3 Studies and analyses of revisions are made public (see also 3.5.1)

No studies of revisions are conducted because data are not revised.

5. Accessibility

5.1 Data accessibility

5.1.1 Statistics are presented in a way that facilitates proper interpretation and meaningful comparisons (layout and clarity of text, tables, and charts)

The budget execution data and GFS are presented in a way that allows major aggregates and balancing items to be identified and related to detailed underlying data. The budget execution data are disseminated according to national components, whereas the GFS follow the GFSM 2001 components. Budget execution data and GFS for the general government and its subsectors are provided, though budget execution data for the consolidated central government are not provided. Data on the MOF and Treasury websites are difficult to access. The statistics could be presented in a significantly more user-friendly manner, by introducing a dedicated fiscal data dissemination page that brings together all fiscal data related information. and by introducing summary tables and graphs. Limited information is disseminated in English.

Recommendations: Introduce a dedicated fiscal data dissemination page that brings together all fiscal data related information, and summary tables and graphs to facilitate user interpretation of fiscal statistical developments. See footnote 11.

Disseminate more budget execution data in English. See footnote 11.

5.1.2 Dissemination media and format are adequate

Budget execution data and debt data are posted on the MOF and the Treasury websites, while GFS are only disseminated in IMF publications (IFS and GFS Yearbook). The websites could be made more user-friendly, currently data is difficult to access. Press releases are provided when new data are first released. Time series are available for central government operations, general government operations, and central government debt.

Recommendation: Make the MOF and the Treasury websites more user-friendly. Users should be able to access and download data with ease. See footnote 11.

5.1.3 Statistics are released on a preannounced schedule

Budget execution data are released according to dates specified in government resolutions. Data disseminated in SDDS format are released according to an ARC with information for the current month and the following quarter. The publication date for SDDS format data usually coincides with the pre-announced date, although on occasion there is a delay due to technical reasons. The delay is not announced in the ARC.

Recommendation: Announce in the ARC the revised release date of SDDS fiscal statistics, when dissemination cannot be done on the date initially announced.

5.1.4 Statistics are made available to all users at the same time

The budget execution data and debt data are released at the same time to all users, through the MOF and the Treasury websites, respectively, without preferential treatment to any user.

5.1.5 Statistics not routinely disseminated are made available upon request

Non-disseminated, non-confidential disaggregated data are supplied on request. To this end, users usually send a letter to the MOF or the Treasury. The availability of non-disseminated data, and the terms and conditions on which it is made available, are not publicized.

Recommendation: Make public the availability of non-disseminated data, and the procedure to request it. See footnote 11.

5.2 Metadata accessibility

5.2.1 Documentation on concepts, scope, classifications, basis of recording, data sources, and statistical techniques is available, and differences from internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices are annotated

Many of the concepts, scope, and classifications used in the compilation of budget execution data are contained in legislation that is publicly available. However, no methodological notes with concepts, sources, and methods are posted on the MOF or the Treasury websites. The regulations applicable to accounting and reporting procedures are published in the MOF and the Treasury websites. Methodological differences with internationally accepted standards are not identified. There is a link on the MOF website to the National Summary Data Page in the DSBB and associated metadata. Finally, no request has ever been received for bridge tables showing the links between budget execution data and GFS, but such information is not considered secret and could be made available.

Recommendation: Disseminate methodological notes, detailing concepts, sources, and methods used in the compilation of budget execution data and GFS on the MOF and the Treasury websites. See footnote 11.

5.2.2 Levels of detail are adapted to the needs of the intended audience

As indicated in 5.2.1, no methodological notes with general or detailed descriptions of concepts, sources, and methods are made public.

5.3 Assistance to users

5.3.1 Contact points for each subject field are publicized

No contact person for budget execution data is publicized. Users interested in obtaining information usually send letters to the MOF or the Treasury. Users often call the MOF or the Treasury for information, and are referred to the corresponding unit. Data queries to these entities are few. Only the name, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address of the person who can be consulted regarding SDDS format data are posted on the IMF’s DSBB.

Recommendation: Make public a contact person and contact details, for users interested in requesting information on budget execution data. See footnote 11.

5.3.2 Catalogs of publications, documents, and other services, including information on any charges, are widely available

No catalogue of statistical products and services provided by the MOF or Treasury are posted on their websites.

Recommendation: Make available to the public a list of the statistical products and services provided by the MOF and the Treasury. See footnote 11.

Table 4.

Data Quality Assessment Framework: Summary of Results for Government Finance Statistics

(Compiling Agency: Treasury and Ministry of Finance)

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V. Monetary Statistics

0. Prerequisites of quality

0.1 Legal and institutional environment

0.1.1 The responsibility for collecting, processing, and disseminating statistics is clearly specified

The CBR is the sole official agency designated to compile monetary statistics for the Russian Federation. CBR’s responsibility for collecting, processing, and disseminating monetary statistics is established by the Federal Law of the Russian Federation No. 86-FZ On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) of July 10, 2002 (with amendments). Compilation of monetary statistics is directly related to the basic functions and powers vested in the CBR by Article 75 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

Article 4 of the Federal Law On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) specifies functions of the CBR, among which are the analysis and forecasting of the state of the Russian economy with respect to monetary, financial, and price developments. And, paragraph 18 of this article and Article 57 authorize the CBR to publish documents, research papers, and statistics.

The General Economic Department (GED) of the CBR is responsible for review and improvements in statistical methodology, statistical compilation, and dissemination to the public of monetary and financial statistics for the Russian Federation.

0.1.2 Data sharing and coordination among data producing agencies are adequate

CBR’s internal organizational instructions regulate information and data flows between departments in support of their individual mandates.

Monetary and Financial Statistics Section of the GED’s Division for Organization of Statistical Work receives accounting data for the CBR and credit institutions from the Information Technology Center (ITC). GED also receives from other CBR departments supplemental information that are considered necessary for its monetary statistics compilation program.

A written agreement between the CBR and the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) regulates exchange of data and statistical information. Agreements underpin joint work with the Federal Treasury and other arrangements, as needed, are made for collaborative efforts with other statistical agencies.

0.1.3 Individual reporters’ data are to be kept confidential and used for statistical purposes only

Federal Law On Information, Information Technology, and Protection of Information of July 27, 2006 establishes requirements for protection of information, confidentiality, and penalties for infraction of the Federal laws.

Article 26 of the Federal Law On Banks and Banking Activity No. 395-I of December 2, 1990 (with amendments) establishes that a credit institution and the CBR shall guarantee secrecy of operations, accounts, and deposits of their customers and correspondents.

Confidentiality of reporter’s data is stipulated in Article 57 of the Federal Law On the Central Bank of Russian Federation (Bank of Russia): “… information received from legal persons on concrete operations is not subject to disclosure without the consent of the relevant legal person, except in cases stipulated by Federal laws.”

CBR employees are prohibited from disclosing internal information on the CBR activities by Article 92 of the Federal Law On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (the Bank of Russia). The responsibilities of the CBR staff regarding preservation of confidentiality are also set forth in their employment contracts, job descriptions, and other CBR internal documents pertaining to issues of data and information.

At the CBR, access to the individual reporter’s data is available only to authorized staff who must pass identification and authentication procedures before access is granted. Cryptographic security measures are in place to protect the databases. CBR’s internal regulations govern access to premises housing data processing facilities, security of electronic infrastructure, including data storage and transmission facilities.

0.1.4 Statistical reporting is ensured through legal mandate and/or measures to encourage response

Federal Law On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia), the Federal Law On Banks and Banking Activity, and CBR regulations and instructions constitute the legal basis for CBR’s data and information collection, and data and information reporting by credit institutions to the CBR.

Specifically, Article 57 of the Federal Law On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) authorizes the CBR “to request and receive the necessary information free of charge from federal executive authorities, their territorial offices, and legal entities for the purposes of compilation of banking and monetary statistics, the balance of payments of the Russian Federation, and analysis of the economic situation.” In particular, it authorizes the CBR (i) to request from credit institutions the necessary information on their activity; (ii) to require explanations of the information received, and (iii) set rules for credit institutions and bank groups concerning compilation and submission of financial and statistical reports, as well as other information specified in Federal laws.

Article 74 of the Federal Law On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) empowers the CBR (i) to demand that a credit institution complies with Federal laws and CBR instructions and regulations, (ii) to impose a fine,13 or (iii) to restrict the right of a credit institution to engage in specific operations for up to twelve months. Failure by a credit institution to submit information or submission of incomplete or inaccurate information is pursued by the CBR under this article.

Article 20 of the Federal Law On Banks and Banking Activity authorizes the CBR to revoke credit institution’s banking license if reported data are determined to suffer from significant deficiencies or if the monthly data reporting exceeds the established timeliness by more than 15 days.

CBR directive 1375-U On the Rules for Drawing up and Submission of Reports by Credit Institutions to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (January 16, 2004) and CBR directive 2332-U On the List, Forms and Procedure for Compiling and Presenting Credit Institutions Reporting Forms to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (November 12, 2009) set out specific requirements for compiling and reporting accounting and statistical forms by credit institutions, their periodicity, and timeliness.14

CBR directives contain detailed instructions and explanations on the preparation of statistical reports by credit institutions and their submission to the CBR. Meetings, seminars, and consultations with representatives of reporting institutions are held on an ad hoc basis. Their purpose is to respond to questions on the compilation of data and other information report forms that will ensure that these are completed in accordance with the specified requirements. Draft new report forms and amended compilation instructions are posted on CBR’s website for comments by the reporters during a one-week period. Data reporters also participate in regular meetings with the CBR’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Department (BRSD), the purpose of which are to provide feedback to the BRSD on data reporting requirements and obtain clarification on data reporting issues.

Article 40 and 43 of the Federal Law On Banks and Banking Activity establish requirements for data and information reporting by credit institutions to CBR. Specific instructions concerning data reporting, such as timeliness, periodicity, format, and details are contained in topical regulations and instructions issued by the CBR.

0.2 Resources

0.2.1 Staff, facilities, computing resources, and financing are commensurate with statistical programs

The Monetary and Financial Statistics Section of the GED’s Division for Organization of Statistical Work compiles monthly monetary statistics for the Russian Federation. The staffing level is relatively stable: the section employs 6 staff, with higher education degrees in economics or technical disciplines, providing a firm basis for compiling monetary statistics.

Staff responsible for compiling monetary statistics attend training courses on monetary and financial statistics organized by the IMF and participate in seminars conducted by other central banks and international institutions. The CBR Human Resources and Personnel Management Department draws up annual plans for improvement of professional skills of CBR employees and organizes seminars to enhance the professional qualifications of the staff.

Computer resources of the units engaged in the preparation of monetary and financial statistics are considered adequate for their designated tasks. Hardware is appropriately allocated to ensure effective data processing and database management.

Financial resources available for the compilation of monetary statistics are sufficient for the required tasks. Plans are drawn up annually for acquisition and upgrade of the computing facilities, taking into account the scope of the evolving work program.

0.2.2 Measures to ensure efficient use of resources are implemented

GED management holds regular staff meetings to discuss effective implementation of the work program set out by the CBR management. CBR activities are subject to its expense budget considerations and performance assessments. A CBR commission holds inter-department discussions and coordinates the flow of financial resources to areas experiencing unexpected demand, and advises CBR management on resource allocation for the next fiscal year. CBR management overseas all new data collection programs in an effort to streamline data reporting.

GED participates, at a drafting stage, in the discussions of changes in accounting framework for the CBR and credit institutions so as to ensure that an efficient data collection can be established serving both the supervision and statistical compilation needs.

Rosstat compiles a Federal Register of Statistical Outputs based on information provided by the individual official compiling agencies, including the CBR. This register enumerates each agency’s statistical products, thus informing other agencies about currently available products so as to prevent duplication of efforts.

0.3 Relevance

0.3.1 The relevance and practical utility of existing statistics in meeting users’ needs are monitored

A number of fora (viz., the Consultative Group under the Governor of the CBR, the Advisory Group on the Monetary Policy at Bankers’ Association) provide users of monetary statistics with an opportunity to discuss CBR’s data dissemination as concerns structure, content, and details.

The CBR’s Training Center at Tula conducts semiannual workshops covering discussions of CBR’s activities, policies, and statistics. These workshops provide another opportunity to receive feedback from data users, including from representatives of the press, on data transparency and relevance. The CBR also offers a channel for comments (User’s Questionnaire) through the contact point on the Statistics page of its website and a phone number listed in the CBR’s Bulletin of Banking Statistics (BBS). Through these facilities, data users provide suggestions for enhancements in data dissemination.

GED holds regular discussions with CBR departments involved in the design and implementation of monetary policy. These departments are internal users of monetary statistics and are in the position to identify emerging data needs. These serve as a basis for future project developments. Meetings with other official agencies are held on an ad hoc basis to discuss specific methodological issues.

The CBR actively participates in the meetings of international working groups on statistical methodology organized by ECB, BIS, and the IMF.

0.4 Other quality management

0.4.1 Processes are in place to focus on quality

The CBR recognizes that official statistics must have the confidence of the users. The CBR management and senior staff concentrate on compliance with the key parameters of quality of statistical information such as integrity, methodological soundness, accuracy and reliability, serviceability, and accessibility as integral part of compiling monetary statistics.

Reported information is subject to validation checks at the collection and processing stages. GED works with the CBR’s Accounting Department, BRSD, the Balance of Payments Department, and other CBR departments and units on data verification and reconciliation before data are disseminated to the public.

Financial statements of the CBR and credit institutions are audited by established external audit companies. Monetary data published in the CBR Annual Report are covered in the annual audit of the CBR.

0.4.2 Processes are in place to monitor the quality of the statistical program

Cross-checks in the course of data collection and processing are routinely performed. In the event problems are identified, their cause and resolution is discussed with the CBR Accounting and the Banking Regulation and Supervision departments. Validation procedures for assessing the plausibility or reasonableness of reported data are undertaken through automated procedures on an institution-by-institution basis.

Methodology for internationally accepted practices for compiling monetary statistics is documented in the IMF’s MFSM 2000 and MFSCG 2008. These documents are consulted, as well as direct communication by GED staff with the IMF staff on outstanding methodological issues.

0.4.3 Processes are in place to deal with quality considerations in planning the statistical program

The CBR management recognizes the trade-off between quality and timeliness of data. Timeliness of information is considered vital. To provide timely information, preliminary data could be published. The BBS informs the users that preliminary data may be subject to revision during the next three months (except for December data, which can be revised during the subsequent 6 months).

1. Assurances of integrity

1.1 Professionalism

1.1.1 Statistics are compiled on an impartial basis

The CBR’s independence as an official entity is stipulated in Article 75 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation as well as in Articles 1 and 2 of the Federal Law On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia). Article 1 of the law states that the CBR exercises the functions and powers provided by the Constitution of the Russian Federation independently from other Federal bodies, government authorities of territories of the Russian Federation, and local governments. Based on its independent legal status, the CBR alone determines the methodological and the dissemination framework for monetary statistics.

Hiring and promotion policies at the CBR are governed by the CBR Provision 235P of July 25, 2003 (with amendments) and are intended to promote professionalism and competence of the bank staff. The Model Qualification Standards of Staff of the Bank of Russia specifies requirements for staff engaged in statistical work. These staff are expected to have earned a university degree in economics, statistics, or information technology and have experience in the banking sector.

For professional development, the GED staff actively participate in international seminars and conferences organized by foreign central banks and international financial institutions. GED holds consultations with other CBR departments and credit institutions, conducts training seminars for staff of other CIS central banks and for CBR staff posted to branches and field offices. GED staff review and provide comments on the draft documents relating to monetary statistics methodology prepared by international financial institutions.

1.1.2 Choices of sources and statistical techniques, as well as decisions about dissemination, are informed solely by statistical considerations

The choice of data sources and statistical methods is determined solely by statistical considerations. The CBR staff take steps to ensure that the data sources and statistical methodology employed for monetary statistics are consistent with the national accounts, balance of payments, and government finance statistics frameworks. At the time of significant changes in methodology, the changes are noted in the metadata published in the BBS and on the Statistics page of the CBR’s website.

Dissemination of monetary statistics is guided by SDDS specifications and the timeliness of the source data.

1.1.3 The appropriate statistical entity is entitled to comment on erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics

GED monitors financial press and mass media for statements of interpretation of monetary statistics. Provision of metadata and explanatory notes in BBS are intended to prevent misinterpretation or misuse of monetary statistics. Cases of misinterpretation or misuse are brought to the attention of the publisher with a request to make appropriate corrections in its publication.

1.2 Transparency

1.2.1 The terms and conditions under which statistics are collected, processed, and disseminated are available to the public

Legal documents that underpin CBR’s data collection, statistical compilation, and dissemination are accessible to the public via the Internet. The terms and conditions for data collection are set out in the CBR directive 2332-U On the List, Forms and Procedure for Compiling and Presenting Credit Institutions Reporting Forms to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation of November 12, 2009.

The CBR’s website contains an advance release calendar for major macroeconomic and financial data dissemination.

1.2.2 Internal governmental access to statistics prior to their release is publicly identified

Access to monetary statistics is provided simultaneously to all users, including ministries and other official agencies, through the posting on the Statistics page of the CBR’s website and in the BBS.

No internal government access is provided to monetary statistics prior to their release.

1.2.3 Products of statistical agencies/units are clearly identified as such

The CBR’s website and BBS present monetary statistics compiled by the CBR and which are identified as having been compiled by the CBR (specifically, by GED). The source of statistics that are provided by other agencies and included in the CBR’s publications is clearly identified.

1.2.4 Advance notice is given of major changes in methodology, source data, and statistical techniques

Major changes in methodology are announced in advance in press releases posted on the CBR’s website and in the BBS.15

1.3 Ethical standards

1.3.1 Guidelines for staff behavior are in place and are well known to the staff

Rules of ethical conduct for the CBR staff are set out in the CBR Provision 235P. Individuals employed by the CBR are required to familiarize themselves with this regulation. Articles 90-92 of the Federal Law On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) regulate the range of activities that CBR staff may undertake so as to rule out conflict of interest.

2. Methodological soundness

2.1 Concepts and definitions

2.1.1 The overall structure in terms of concepts and definitions follows internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

Monetary statistics for Russian Federation are compiled by the CBR and published on its website and in the monthly BBS.16

The structure of the data tables on Central Bank Survey (BBS table 1.15), Credit Institutions Survey (table 1.16), and the Banking System Survey (table 1.17) is consistent with the structure of the MFSM-recommended sectoral surveys for, respectively, the central bank/monetary authorities,17, 18 other depository corporations, and depository corporations.

The Banking System Survey, which is a consolidation of the monetary authorities’ accounts with those of the credit institutions, presents a broad measure of liquidity (broad money liabilities), deposits and securities excluded from broad money,19 shares and other equity, and other items net. Broad money liabilities comprise (i) currency outside banking system (which is currency and coins issued by the CBR minus currency and coin holdings in the CBR and credit institutions’ vaults), (ii) transferable deposits (disaggregated by holding sector), and (iii) other deposits (disaggregated by holding sector). The assets comprise net foreign assets and domestic claims (net of liabilities to general government). Domestic claims are disaggregated into (a) net claims on general government (claims minus liabilities) and (b) claims on other sectors, comprising claims on other financial institutions, public nonfinancial organizations, other nonfinancial organizations, and households.

In addition to broad money liabilities in the Banking System Survey (table 1.17), the CBR compiles Money Supply M2 National Definition (table 1.18), comprising cash in circulation (which is currency and coins issued by the CBR minus currency and coin holdings in the CBR and credit institutions’ vaults) and non-cash funds.20, 21 The non-cash funds comprises balances on the various settlement, current, demand, and time accounts with accrued interest and pre-paid debit card balances held by non-financial and financial (except credit institutions) organizations and individuals. Foreign currency deposits and deposits at credit institutions whose licenses were revoked are excluded from Money Supply M2 National Definition. (The broad money liabilities, on the other hand, include foreign currency deposits.)

The CBR also compiles Other Financial Institutions Survey (table 1.20) covering insurance companies and private pension funds. This survey is consolidated with the Banking System Survey to derive the Financial Sector Survey (table 1.21). The structure of the Other Financial Institutions Survey and the Financial Sector Survey is consistent with the MFSM recommendations for the structure of the sectoral surveys for other financial corporations and the financial corporations, respectively. The coverage of OFC survey and the FC survey is planned for expansion and will then include other types of financial institutions (viz., mutual funds.)

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Data presented in these tables cover end-month positions for the referenced months or quarters.

2.2 Scope

2.2.1 The scope is broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

The scope of the depository corporations/broad money survey (Banking System Survey) compiled by the CBR is consistent with the MFSM principles. The depository corporations survey covers the CBR/monetary authorities and all ODCs, which in Russian Federations comprise all resident credit institutions23, 24 including credit institutions with revoked licenses or in liquidation.25 The survey presents positions of depository corporations with other resident sectors and with nonresidents.

Based on the institutional and instrument coverage of broad money liabilities in the Banking System Survey, the table below presents classification of financial corporations in Russian Federation used in monetary statistics compiled by the CBR. Financial corporations and quasi-corporations, other than the central bank, that issue liabilities included in the nationally defined measure of broad money (broad money liabilities) are classified as ODCs and are included in the institutional coverage of the Credit Institutions Survey (the ODC survey). All other financial corporations and quasi-corporations are classified as OFCs.

Financial Corporations in Russian Federation (June 2010)

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The table below (Russian Federation—Structure of the Financial System, in billions of rubles (June 2010)) presents the structure of the financial system of Russian Federation. It provides indications of the relative size, in terms of assets, of the various types of financial corporations.

The money market funds issue instruments that are close substitutes to deposits, but at present they are very small. In due course, money market funds should be classified as ODCs, included in the institutional coverage of the ODC survey, and their liabilities that are close substitutes to deposits included in broad money. Analogous consideration should be given to other investment funds whose liabilities are similar to those already included in broad money liabilities.

The GED staff are monitoring the development and activities of investment pools and money market funds. As their relative significance increases, decisions will be made to establish a system for collecting their detailed data to meet monetary statistics compilation requirements.

The Russian Federation’s financial system also includes about seven thousand very small credit unions associated with cooperatives and which serve their membership on a “mutual assistance” basis. Credit unions do not offer depository facilities.

Table.

Structure of the Financial System, in billions of rubles (June 2010)

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Source: Central Bank of Russia, except for:Investment Pools (net asset value): data are provided by National League of Management Companies;Financial Leasing and Mortgage Companies: data are provided by Rosstat;Bank-managed mutual funds (net asset value): data are provided by Information Agency Cbonds.ru.

Data on total assets are provided by the reporting institutions.

Includes positions resulting from operations undertaken as agent of the government.

2.3 Classification/sectorization

2.3.1 Classification/sectorization systems used are broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards, guidelines, or good practices

Principles used by financial corporations for classifying their clients by economic sector are set out below. They are largely consistent with the MFSM recommendations, but some deviations have been identified.

Distinction between residents and nonresidents reflects application of center of economic interest principle discussed in the Balance of Payments Manual, 5th edition (BPM5). The definition is contained in Federal law on Foreign Currency Regulation and Control No. 173-FZ of December 10, 2003 (with amendments). In particular, a physical person is classified as resident if he/she has a local address in Russian Federation (as identified in the internal passport or other official document); a foreign person is classified as a nonresident during his/her stay of up to one year, subsequently he/she can obtain a residence permit and then becomes a resident. Foreign students and staff of foreign embassies and international organizations, other than citizens of Russian Federation, are classified as nonresidents. Legal persons are classified as residents based on the registration certificate issued by the Federal Tax Authority, which is necessary to undertake commercial or noncommercial activity in the economic territory of Russian Federation.

In general, financial corporations classify legal persons that are their clients based on information in the Statistical Register of Legal Persons maintained by Rosstat and available to them online.27 Principles used by Rosstat for classifying institutional units by economic sector are based on SNA 1993. Information on ownership structure provided to Rosstat by the registrant is the basis by classifying the legal person as a state or privately controlled institutional unit.28 At the time of opening an account at a financial corporation, a legal person also provides supporting documentation such as the registration certificate and number issued by the Federal Tax Authority.

A “single treasury account” system functions in Russian Federation, whereby all budgetary central government units maintain their accounts with financial corporations under the single Federal Treasury account.29 Separate accounts in the CBR’s and credit institutions’ charts of account are provided for recording positions with the extrabudgetary units.30 There is a separate set of accounts for local authorities including their extrabudgetary funds. Therefore, identification and classification of the financial corporations’ positions with central government (budgetary and extrabudgetary) and local authorities is readily and effectively possible.

Monetary statistics compiled by the CBR present financial corporations’ positions with the general government, reflecting the view that the state/local authorities are substantively an extension of the central government. Since July 6, 2010, the CBR has disseminated monetary statistics with a breakdown of these claims on and liabilities to general government into positions with central government and positions with state/local authorities.

Industrial/trade/agricultural cooperatives are separately recognized legal entities which, in monetary statistics, are included in the data on private nonfinancial corporations. There are a number of nonprofit institutions operating in Russian Federation, but the breakdown between those serving households and the corporate sector is not yet possible. Informal analysis indicated that the largest financial share is that of institutions serving the corporate sector. Based on it, the entire group of nonprofit institutions was classified in other (private) nonfinancial corporations sector.

A standard MFSM-defined range of financial instruments is recognized in monetary statistics compiled by the CBR, except for financial derivatives. These are excluded from the balance sheets and thus from monetary statistics.

Recommendation: Collect and include in monetary statistics data on central bank’s/monetary authorities’ and the other depository corporations’ positions on financial derivatives, at end-referenced period market prices/fair values.

Starting in mid-2004, repurchase agreements are classified as collateralized loans (instead of on a change-of-ownership basis). Monetary data starting in January 1998 were revised to reflect this change.

The contra-entries to data on central government’s monetary authorities’ functions are included in the monetary authorities’ positions with the general government (presently in liabilities only). Paragraph 403 in MFSM 2000 and Table 7.13 in MFSCG 2008 (page 227) recommend that these contra-entries be presented in a separate set of adjustment accounts that are not subsumed in net claims on the government.

Recommendation: Separately identify contra-entries to data on government’s monetary authorities functions (as “of which” lines under the aggregates that include the contra-entries).

The CBR’s valuation adjustment account and current year result are classified in other liabilities, whereas MFSM 2000 and MFSCG 2008 recommend that these be included in shares and other equity.31, 32

Recommendation: Reclassify the CBR’s valuation adjustment and current year result accounts in shares and other equity.

2.4 Basis for recording

2.4.1 Market prices are used to value flows and stocks

The basis for recording for the central bank and credit institutions are governed by, respectively, the Accounting Rules for the CBR No. 66 (January 1, 2006, with subsequent amendments) and Accounting Rules for Credit Institutions based in the Russian Federation No. 302-P of March 26, 2007 (with subsequent amendments). These practices are set out in the table below.

Table.

Basis for Recording

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