The ECB Statistics Quality Framework and quality assurance procedures

For the ECB, adhering to high quality standards is a key factor in maintaining public trust in the ECB statistics upon which policy decisions are based. Therefore, since the start of Economic and Monetary Union the ECB has emphasised key aspects of statistical quality, such as relevance, accuracy, reliability, timeliness, consistency, cost-effectiveness, non-excessive burden on reporting agents and statistical confidentiality.

The ECB Statistics Quality Framework (SQF) sets forth the main quality principles and elements guiding the production of ECB statistics. It serves to ensure that ECB statistics remain fit for use by the ECB, its decision-making bodies and other ESCB users, as well as users outside the ESCB, such as financial market analysts, journalists and the general public. The SQF is a statement of intent, although most elements are already fully reflected in current practices. For details, see the Quality assurance procedures within the ECB statistical function, April 2008.

While being fully in line with the ECB’s institutional framework and the ECB’s Mission Statement, the SQF has also drawn on work carried out by other institutions in this field.

The principles included in the SQF encompass those expressed in the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics of the United Nations Statistical Commission and the related Principles Governing International Statistical Activities.

The SQF has many similarities with the European Statistics Code of Practice and the IMF Data Quality Assessment Framework.

Finally, the SQF is fully in line with and builds upon the ESCB’s public commitment with respect to its statistical function.