The peer review in Statistics Poland
In order to ensure efficient preparation of Statistics Poland to the auditors' visit during the peer review, a number of preparatory activities were undertaken within the Office. The national coordinator Ms. Grażyna Marciniak, Vice-President of the Statistics Poland of the peer review in Polish public statistics was appointed. In the work related to the peer review, the national coordinator was supported by the Team for the preparation and conduct of the peer review established by the internal ordinance of the President of the Statistics Poland No. 8 of 14 February 2014 on the organization of the peer review.
This team coordinated work related to the preparation and sending to the auditors of the required documentation, which consisted of:
- Self- assessment questionnaire on the implementation of the European Statistics Code of Practice;
- Questionnaire on the coordination role of NSIs;
- Questionnaire on cooperation/level of integration achieved by the ESS;
- Questionnaire for the implementation of the ES CoP principles for other producers of European statistics (ONAs);
- Description of the national statistical system called "the core document".
In addition, due to the breadth and complexity of the subject matter and the need to ensure participation in meetings with auditors not only of statisticians, but also stakeholders representatives were involved. In January and February 2015 information meetings were organized by Statistics Poland preparing the participants of the peer review to the auditors' visit.
As part of the next phase of the long peer review process, on 23-27 February 2015, thematic meetings with auditors who are independent experts selected through a competition took place. The auditor team was composed of:
- Mr. Hallgrimur Snorrason – peer reviewers chair,
- Mr. Jagdev Virdee – peer reviewer,
- Mr. Jan Byfuglien – peer reviewer.
The peer review was also attended by an observer from Eurostat - Ms Claudia Junker, whose task was to ensure that the peer review was carried out in accordance with the adopted methodology, uniform for all ESS participants (it is worth adding that Eurostat was also reviewed).
Individual sessions of the meetings concerned the review of subsequent principles of the ES CoP, the assessment of the coordination role of the Statistics Poland in relations with users and data providers as well as other producers of European statistics (ONAs), cooperation with the scientific community and communication with the media. The auditors were also interested in assessing the functioning of the national statistical system from the point of view of young statisticians with a seniority not exceeding 5 years.
The basis for the assessment and explanations submitted during the interviews were the ES CoP and the documentation prepared by the Statistics Poland and ONAs, provided to the auditors before the visit.
The meetings were attended by representatives of the Statistics Poland and 3 regional statistical offices, persons representing other producers of European statistics (ONAs), data providers and recipients of resulting information (scientific community, media). In total, 115 people took part in talks with auditors. The composition of individual meetings is included in the report assessing the implementation of the ES CoP principles in the national statistical system.
What is the difference between the 2014-2015 round and the previous round of reviews?
The second round of peer reviews was a much broader undertaking than the one that took place in 2006-2008. Firstly, the review covered all the principles of the ES CoP. This means that, for example, the auditors focused both on issues related to statistical employees, their number, qualifications and job characteristics, as well as on the information published by official statistics, their substantive quality, but also visual attractiveness and adaptation to individual groups of recipients.
Secondly, for the first time, peer reviews in the ESS Member States have included in such a wide range other producers of statistical data, apart from national statistical institutes, as well as the providers of this information and their recipients. All those for whom statistical information is necessary in everyday work, i.e. journalists, representatives of the scientific community, social organizations, public institutions, were invited to meetings with auditors. The auditors also talked to people representing companies and institutions of the public and private sectors participating in surveys of official statistics.
After the peer review
As a result of the peer review of the Polish statistical system, the auditors prepared two reports:
- Peer Review Report on compliance with the Code of Practice and the coordination role of the national statistical institute.
The document is available on the Statistics Poland website and on the Eurostat website, where reports for other EU Member States and countries of the EFTA are also published. The report for Poland contains 17 recommendations aimed at improving the implementation of the ES CoP principles in the Polish statistical system.
In response to the auditors' recommendations, the Statistics Poland developed a plan of improvement actions along with the proposed deadlines for their implementation. It was accepted by Eurostat on 03.07.2015. The document is available on the Statistics Poland website, as well as on the Eurostat website indicated above. Progress in the implementation of the improvement actions and the implementation of their effects was subject to annual monitoring under the direction of Eurostat.
- Peer Review Report on cooperation/level of integration within the European Statistical System
This document was used by Eurostat to prepare a summary report assessing the functioning of the European Statistical System in terms of its integration and ability to respond coherently to the changing and growing needs of EU policy on high-quality statistical information.
In accordance with the adopted procedure, Eurostat annually monitored the implementation of improvement actions after the peer review in the Member States of the European Union. Information on the progress of work carried out by the Statistics Poland in the scope of formulated recommendations is provided to Eurostat in the document “Improvement actions peer review-final”.