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NSI hosts a second OECD mission

Published at: 27.03.2024 - 09:10

In the period 26-28 March 2024, a peer review mission of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is being held at the National Statistical Institute (NSI) as part of the accession procedure for full membership in the Committee on Statistics and Statistical Policy (CSSP), of which the NSI has been an associate member since 2019. Participants in the mission on behalf of the OECD again are Ms. Asa Johansson, Deputy Director of the Statistics and Data Directorate, and Mr. Julien Dupont, Accession Coordinator of the CSSP. Experts from the national statistical institutes and central banks from OECD member states also take part in the peer review mission – Ms. Christina Karamichalakou from the Greek Statistical Office (ELSTAT), Mr. Lindsay Beck (Statistics New Zealand) and Ms. Lotte Van Mechelen (National Bank of Belgium).  

In his welcoming speech, the President of the NSI Assoc. Prof. Atanas Atanasov, PhD thanked his colleagues for the work they have done in the past year and emphasized that OECD membership is among the main priorities of our country. Assoc. Prof. Atanasov also noted what has been achieved by the NSI after OECD’s fact-finding mission which took place in March 2023 and aimed to assess the compliance of the national legislation with OECD Legal instrument “Recommendation of the Council on Good Statistical Practice” (OECD/LEGAL/0417). Among the fulfilled tasks, included in the Action plan developed during last year’s mission, are the signing of an Agreement on Cooperation, Strategic Partnership and Information Exchange between the NSI and the BNB; finalizing the tripartite Memorandum of Cooperation between the NSI, the BNB and the Ministry of Finance in the development, production and dissemination of data in the field of government financial statistics; and developing a transition plan to move to a census based on administrative sources, etc.

Assoc. Prof. Atanasov also pointed out some of the more significant achievements in the work of the NSI during the past year: the development of the national set of indicators for monitoring the progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which was adopted by a Decision of the Council of Ministers; signing agreements with the four largest food store chains to provide the NSI with data on the transactions read by the cash registers, the so called scanner data, for the purposes of the statistical surveys conducted by the NSI; the establishment of an Advisory Council to the President of the NSI with the participation of the nationally representative employers’ organizations for the purpose of cooperation and promoting the regular exchange of information, as well as discussion of current challenges and actions to reduce the administrative burden on businesses. The NSI President also informed the OECD representatives about the country’s progress in the implementation of the Single Entry Point Information System.

Ms. Kamelia Dimitrova from the “Foreign Economic Relations and Cooperation for Development” Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also took part in the opening session and addressed the participants. “The role of statistics for society is extremely important. I believe that good statistics can demonstrate transparency and accountability in policy-making in all sectors, which, along with leadership, are important for good governance and effective decision-making. We rely on the help and the exchange of good practices in all areas of the negotiations, including in the field of statistics," said Ms. Dimitrova. On her part, Ms. Asa Johansson underlined the progress Bulgaria has made over the past year. In addition, Mr. Dupont noted that the fruitful cooperation between OECD and Bulgaria is the key to a comprehensive discussion and ultimately to a full membership of the country to OECD.

During the three-day mission, the representatives of the international organization will discuss with experts from the NSI, the Statistics Directorate of the BNB, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food as well as the Employment Agency the progress achieved since last year’s fact-finding mission in the field of statistics.

We remind you that on 10 June 2022, Bulgaria officially received its Roadmap for joining the Organisation, adopted by the OECD Council during the annual ministerial meeting in Paris. The organization and coordination of the process are regulated by Resolution No. 242 of the Council of Ministers of 11 August 2022, in which NSI is designated as the central institution responsible for the technical review of Legal instrument OECD/LEGAL/0417 – Recommendation of the Council on Good Statistical Practice, which NSI joined in 2018.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organization that has 38 member states, amongst which the most developed economies in Europe, North America, South America and Asia. Therefore, OECD could be considered a forum of representative democracy and market economy that enables comparison between countries in terms of political and economic experience, identification of good practices, policy coordination and more.