30th anniversary of the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics

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2022 marks 30 years since the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics (FPOS) now a General Assembly-endorsed global standard, were first developed and adopted at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

These principles were devised at a time of immense change and upheaval across the region, when in many member States, statisticians realized more than ever that they needed a shared framework to define the principles that guide what they do.

The 10 Fundamental Principles that help ensure the trust and credibility of official statistics are:

Principle 1: Relevance, impartiality and equal access

Principle 2:  Professional standards and ethics

Principle 3: Accountability and transparency

Principle 4: Prevention of misuse

Principle 5:  Sources of official statistics

Principle 6: Confidentiality

Principle 7: Legislation

Principle 8: National coordination

Principle 9:  Use of international standards

Principle 10: International cooperation.

The principles underlie everything that the producers of official statistics do: from the methods for collecting, processing and storing data to the ways that statistical offices disseminate statistics and communicate with those who use them. The principles ensure independence from political influence and the right and duty to publicly correct misuse or misinterpretation of statistics. They safeguard the trustworthiness of official statistics, enabling them to play a unique role as a public good that underpins sustainable development and democracy.

To celebrate this anniversary, starting on 31 January, selected CES member countries will lead a series of campaigns marking each of the principles in turn. The Statistics Poland, in cooperation with the Central Statistical Office of Ireland, will promote the last - 10th principle: International cooperation. The campaign is scheduled for 6-17 June this year. The celebration will culminate in the 70th plenary session of the Conference of European Statisticians on 20-22 June.

By joining the anniversary celebrations, of promoting the 10th FPOS Principle, we have prepared intuitive games picturing the decalogue of statistical principles.

Please play, celebrate and have fun!

You can also read the spotlight paper prepared by the Central Statistics Office of Ireland together with Statistics Poland.