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ESS peer review – peer review of the National Statistical System of the SR
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ESS peer review – peer review of the National Statistical System of the SR

Last update: 09.05.2023

What is „the European Statistical System peer review“?

National statistical institutes of all EU member states, EFTA countries and Eurostat (statistical office of the European Union) form a partnership called the European Statistical System (ESS). Together, they develop, produce and disseminate European statistics. It is confirmed that a quality is one of the comparative advantages of European statistics in the world experiencing a growing trend of timely information and new challenges caused by extraordinary circumstances and the continuing need for getting data more rapidly but of high-quality.

The European Statistics Code of Practice (ES CoP) is the basis of the common quality framework of the ESS and the ESS statistical authorities are committed to comply with it.

In this context, it is very important that the ESS has a review system - peer review - which would support this own commitment to the ES CoP based on documented evidence.

Peer reviews are a tool for ensuring the quality of European statistics, in the form of checking the compliance of national statistical institutes and other national authorities producing official statistics with the European Statistics Code of Practice.

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What is the objective of „the ESS peer reviews“?

The objective of the reviews is to strengthen integrity, professional independence and responsibility of all the ESS statistical authorities in order to assure users of the ESS commitment to high-quality statistics and to support their confidence in European statistics.

In the past rounds of peer reviews, the reviews focused mostly on compliance with the European Statistics Code of Practice.

The third round of peer review has taken a step further and has the following two objectives:

  • reviewing the compliance of the ESS with the Code of Practice in order to demonstrate to the ESS and external stakeholders that the ESS is a system based on the principles of the Code of Practice;
  • assisting the national statistical institutes, other national authorities and Eurostat in their further improvement and development by making forward-oriented recommendations; they should also stimulate government authorities to support the implementation of these recommendations.
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What is the European Statistics Code of Practice?

The European Statistics Code of Practice is a set of quality standards which act as a self-regulatory tool based on 16 principles covering the institutional environment, statistical processes and statistics outputs. National statistical authorities shall indicate in peer reviews how they comply with the Code of Practice and provide documented evidence.

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When and how the peer review will take place in the Statistical Office of the SR?

The first round of peer reviews took place between 2006 and 2008, followed by a second round between 2013 and 2015.

In 2017, the Code of Practice was revised and extended and currently includes 16 principles. This revised version launched the third round of ESS peer reviews, which take place from mid-2021 to mid-2023 in all ESS member states.

As for the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, the peer review is an opportunity to demonstrate the quality of official statistics. In summary, it is a complex and demanding review across the Statistical Office of the SR, other members of the national statistical system affecting providers and users of statistical data, e.g. ministries, other central state administration bodies, public institutions, scientific community, business associations, media, etc.

In the first phase of peer review, the national statistical institutes assess itself against the principles of the ES CoP through a questionnaire. These documents (self-assessments) are subsequently checked and analysed by an expert team which then carries out a visit to the statistical authority in a specific country.

The result of the analysis and the visit is a final report with recommendations for improvements for a relevant country. Afterwards, the national statistical institute shall develop improvement actions in order to implement the recommendations which will be monitored annually.

The Statistical Office of the SR has been preparing for the 3rd round of peer review for several months.

An expert team will visit the Statistical Office of the SR from 19 to 23 June 2023.

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You can find more information about European statistics, as well as about ESS peer reviews, on the website Eurostat.

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