The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is recommending the establishment of a National Statistics Commission as part of the proposed amendments to the Statistics Act.
Director General of STATIN, Carol Coy noted that the commission would be an advisory group to the Government, consisting of persons who have knowledge and interest in statistics.
“We envisage that this commission will look at statistics generally and advise Government if there are weaknesses in the production and dissemination of data. We also see this commission being an advocacy tool to Government looking at the different ministries and entities involved in statistics,” Miss Coy pointed out.
She noted that the recommendation is for the commission to be appointed by the Prime Minister with separate functions and mandate from STATIN.
The advisory body will also give guidance to Parliament in terms of further developments and investments in statistics.
“So, STATIN will not be an oversight body but a coordinating body and this advisory group/commission would be higher than STATIN and will monitor various entities producing and disseminating data, including the Institute,” the Director General explained.
She said that persons and businesses sometimes complain of challenges in finding information on certain sectors, areas and demographics.
It is expected that with the establishment of the commission, there will be more openness and the increased provision of statistics to the Jamaican populace.
Miss Coy said the hope is that the commission will be established within the next three years.
“The recommendation for the establishment has to go through the various stages and the proposed amendments to the Statistics Act have not yet reached the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, so it will have to go through that process, then the House,” she pointed out.