Georgian statistics Organization needs to re-establish trust
03 March, 2011
Georgian statistics Organization needs to re-establish trust

Geostat, official statistics body of Georgia, assesses its yearly work as positive but acknowledges that it still lacks trust and needs to work hard to this end.
Geostat, having changed its status as a governmental body into public law entity a year ago, reported on results of reform undertaken at the official statistic body during a year on February 23, 2011.
According to Zaza Chelidze, Director Executive of Geostat,   a lot of reforms have been implemented at Geostat during a

year.
“The first and most important reform was adoption of the modern standard of information dissemination, as well as sophistication of research methodology. We work with international organizations and statistics bodies very intensively and plan to launch new projects,” Chelidze stated and stressed that the out of problems they faced during the reported year lack of trust is the key point. He accentuated that there was less trust toward the official statistics body for years, and this problem still needs to be solved.  He promised to work hard to this end.
According to Chelidze, during a year a new web-page of Geostat was worked out, also key methodologies of calculation price, employment, subsistence minimum, national accounts and Foreign Direct Investments are worked out and put at the web-page.  Geostat top official assured that the statistic researches became much more sophisticated and operative, and that based on World Bank’s Statistic Capability Indicator  index 2010 Georgia got 94 scores out of 100 while the average data for developing countries is 64. Geostat also joined Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) of the International Monetary Fund.
According to Soso Archvadze, an independent economic analyst and former head of statistics body, the lack of trust toward Geostat is reasoned by lack of comprehensive information, its calculation methodology and lag in time.
“What they calculate is more or less in line with the international standards but there is a deficit of comprehensive information. In some cases they have database of certain information that is important to consumer but Geostat does not work out these data, sometimes they simply do not have due data,” he told Georgian Journal.
For example Geostat still has not provided by data for households-related works and expenses for 2009-10, the data of employment lacks employment structure based on separate sectors of economy.
“We live in the epoch of information and we must not learn information after 6-9 years, provision by operative information is crucial for government and lag in time of information provision should be eliminated. We joined the IMF’s SDDS but do not belong to the number of developed countries from many positions [of SDDS] point of view,” Archuadze elaborated.
Out of about thousand indicators of EU statistics standards Georgia responds to only 45% while one of the key demands of EU toward Georgia that strives to conclude free trade agreement with EU is streamlining with EU statistics and no country is supposed to become serious trade partner to EU without full harmonization statistics standards.
Statistics body is supposed to provide with information that should be interesting to government, potential investors and ordinary people alike so as to create a demand for statistics information.
“Statistics includes potential trends that cannot be discerned on the surface but are crucial and everybody must know what is going on in the country for all what happens is due to lack of objective information provision of which is function of statistics body. It must work out information on regions [that is still mising], and hold seminars for media to raise awareness of the society, if they fulfill everything they will gain trust,” Archuade concluded.

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