Statistics Act to be Amended


The Statistics Act is to be amended, to facilitate the establishment of a Statistics Commission to coordinate a national statistics programme for Jamaica.
Director General of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), Sonia Jackson, told JIS News that Cabinet approved the proposed amendments, paving the way for the tabling of a Ministry Paper in Parliament earlier in the year.
The next step, she informed, is to hold consultations with the relevant organizations to develop the requisite framework.
“We now need to begin the work with the ministries and agencies. The international agencies have also indicated that they will give us support in our efforts,” she stated, adding that a timetable for the consultations is to be developed.
According to Ms. Jackson, the need for credible statistics and data of all forms has grown significantly and necessitates the provision of “a platform that will engender public confidence in the statistics released by public sector entities.”
“Every ministry, department, and agency produces information that can and should be official statistics from a government and country perspective, but there’s no co-ordination. Sometimes, there are duplications and sometimes the information that comes does not correlate, so we need to make sure that whatever we release to the country is acceptable and of a high standard,” Ms. Jackson explained.
To this end, she said the proposed national statistics programme will require the establishment of a framework for the compilation and delivery of official statistics in a timely manner.
She pointed out that the Act, in its current form, allows the Institute some degree of latitude for co-ordination, but that this is not explicit.
“The resources and whatever (else) required were not put in place at STATIN. We are hoping that with the amendment to the Act, we will get the resources to lead the co-ordination,” Ms. Jackson said.

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