Code of Practice Activities

Documents and events


Code of Practice (First version)


[COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES „RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMMISION on the independence, integrity and accountability of the national and Community statistical authorities” (COM (2005) 217)]

  • The Code of Practice applies to any national or EU institution involved in the production of European statistics.
  • The Code of Practice provides for reporting on the progress of its implementation.

European statistics means statistics needed for ensuring operations of the European Union (EU). European statistics is defined by the European Statistical Programme. The programme is supervised by Eurostat, the European Union Statistical Office.
European statistics is produced by several institutions in Latvia. Eurostat contacts the CSB as the main coordinating statistical body upon identified problems. Therefore if an institution faces any problems to meet the requirements, it shall immediately inform the CSB thereof.


First Peer review


Peer review is an assessment of the statistical systems of the EU Member States in compliance with the principles of the European Statistics Code of Practice (hereinafter – the Code).


In March 2007 group of the EU experts (representatives from EU countries and Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities) visited Latvia with the aim to investigate the situation in the statistical domain in the country and to evaluate the compliance of CSB with the Code Principles 1 to 6 and Principle 15.


During the course of the peer review experts had meetings with management and staff of the CSB, representatives of other institutions, as well as key data users, mass media and respondents. The outcome of the mission was a report that gives an evaluation in the following principles of the Code: professional independence, mandate for data collection, adequacy of resources, quality commitment, statistical confidentiality, impartiality and objectivity, accessibility and clarity.


Download Peer review on the implementation of the European Statistics Code of Practice.


European Statistical Gevernance Advirsory Board (ESGAB)


[Decision No 235/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2008]


The purpose of the ESGAB is to provide an independent overview of Eurostat and of the European Statistical System as regards the implementation of the European Statistics Code of Practice. 


The ESGAB will advise the Commission on appropriate measures to facilitate the implementation of the Code of Practice, on how to communicate the Code of Practice to users and data providers and on the updating of the Code of Practice. 


New regulation on Community Statistics


Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2009 
Article 11

European statistics Code of Practice

1. The Code of Practice shall aim at ensuring public trust in European statistics by establishing how European statistics are to be developed, produced and disseminated in conformity with the statistical principles as set out in Article 2(1) and best international statistical practice.

2. The Code of Practice shall be reviewed and updated as necessary by the ESS Committee. The Commission shall publish amendments thereto.

Article 2

Statistical principles

1. The development, production and dissemination of European statistics shall be governed by the following statistical principles:

(a) "professional independence", meaning that statistics must be developed, produced and disseminated in an independent manner, particularly as regards the selection of techniques, definitions, methodologies and sources to be used, and the timing and content of all forms of dissemination, free from any pressures from political or interest groups or from Community or national authorities, without prejudice to institutional settings, such as Community or national institutional or budgetary provisions or definitions of statistical needs;

(b) "impartiality", meaning that statistics must be developed, produced and disseminated in a neutral manner, and that all users must be given equal treatment;

(c) "objectivity", meaning that statistics must be developed, produced and disseminated in a systematic, reliable and unbiased manner; it implies the use of professional and ethical standards, and that the policies and practices followed are transparent to users and survey respondents;

(d) "reliability", meaning that statistics must measure as faithfully, accurately and consistently as possible the reality that they are designed to represent and implying that scientific criteria are used for the selection of sources, methods and procedures;

(e) "statistical confidentiality", meaning the protection of confidential data related to single statistical units which are obtained directly for statistical purposes or indirectly from administrative or other sources and implying the prohibition of use for non-statistical purposes of the data obtained and of their unlawful disclosure;

(f) "cost effectiveness", meaning that the costs of producing statistics must be in proportion to the importance of the results and the benefits sought, that resources must be optimally used and the response burden minimised. The information requested shall, where possible, be readily extractable from available records or sources.


The statistical principles set out in this paragraph are further elaborated in the Code of Practice in accordance with Article 11.


Article 12

Statistical quality

1. To guarantee the quality of results, European statistics shall be developed, produced and disseminated on the basis of uniform standards and of harmonised methods. In this respect, the following quality criteria shall apply:


(a) "relevance", which refers to the degree to which statistics meet current and potential needs of the users;

(b) "accuracy", which refers to the closeness of estimates to the unknown true values;

(c) "timeliness", which refers to the period between the availability of the information and the event or phenomenon it describes;

(d) "punctuality", which refers to the delay between the date of the release of the data and the target date (the date by which the data should have been delivered);

(e) "accessibility" and "clarity", which refer to the conditions and modalities by which users can obtain, use and interpret data;

(f) "comparability", which refers to the measurement of the impact of differences in applied statistical concepts, measurement tools and procedures where statistics are compared between geographical areas, sectoral domains or over time;

(g) "coherence", which refers to the adequacy of the data to be reliably combined in different ways and for various uses.

2. In applying the quality criteria laid down in paragraph 1 of this Article to the data covered by sectoral legislation in specific statistical domains, the modalities, structure and periodicity of quality reports provided for in sectoral legislation shall be defined by the Commission in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 27(2). Specific quality requirements, such as target values and minimum standards for the statistical production, may be laid down in sectoral legislation. Where sectoral legislation does not so provide, measures may be adopted by the Commission. Those measures, designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation by supplementing it, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 27(3).

3. Member States shall provide the Commission (Eurostat) with reports on the quality of the data transmitted. The Commission (Eurostat) shall assess the quality of data transmitted and shall prepare and publish reports on the quality of European statistics.


Article 8

Cooperation with other bodies

The European Statistical Advisory Committee and the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board shall be consulted in accordance with their respective competence.

April, 2011

 Commitments on Confidence in Statistics (CoC)


[Brussels, 15.4.2011 COM(2011) 211 final COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL Towards robust quality management for European Statistics]


Objective: gradually moving from a mainly corrective approach to a preventive approach to the quality management of European statistics in general.

• The Commission proposes that Member States should formally commit themselves, based on the Code of Practice, to taking all necessary measures to maintain confidence in their statistics and to monitoring the implementation of the Code (‘Commitment on Confidence in Statistics’).

• The Commission will draft an agreed core of basic principles of ‘Commitments on Confidence in Statistics’ in cooperation with Member States with a view to incorporating it in Regulation (EC) No 223/2009. The detailed contents of each commitment will be elaborated with the respective Member States on the basis of the following general components, in order to achieve proper implementation of the Code of Practice at national level:

– Each Member State would define its own quality assurance and improvement programme, reflecting its progress in implementing the Code and identifying priority actions needed to ensure proper implementation of the minimum standards. This programme would be updated as appropriate to accommodate newly identified needs;

On a regular basis, and coordinated by each National Statistical Institute, each Member State would conduct a self assessment of the implementation of the Code, covering the entire National Statistical System. Weaknesses identified and lessons learned would feed into the quality assurance and improvement programme. Critical weaknesses should be remedied without undue delay;

– Building on these ‘Commitments on Confidence in Statistics’, and in particular on national quality assurance and improvement programmes and national self assessments, the Commission would then develop and organise its own programme to assess implementation of the Code of Practice by National Statistical Authorities.

These minimum standards apply to all statistical domains. There would also be specific requirements for the statistical domains that underpin enhanced economic policy coordination, as specified further below..

September, 2011

Code of Practice (Second version)


[Adopted by the European Statistical System Committee on 28 September 2011]


Coordination of terms referring to quality with Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on European Statistics, omission of less important indicators and addition of new indicators,as well as text editing to improve the style and make it more comprehensible.


Examples of new indicators:

  • Statistical institutions shall promote and implement standardised solutions that promote efficiency, as well as effectiveness; continue editing of the text to improve the style, and make it more comprehensible.
  • There are rules to ensure independence of appointment and dismissal of the heads of statistical authorities from political conditions (relating to Principle 1 "professional independence")
  • Quality policy is defined and publicly available. There is the organisational structure and tools implemented to ensure quality management process (refers to Principle 4 "Commitment to Quality");
  • Data users are informed in advance on data revision and changes in methodology (refers to Principle 6 “Impartiality and Objectivity”);
  • Statistical institutions are involved in design and development of administrative data sources in order to achieve better compliance with the statistical purposes of administrative data (refers to principle 8 "Adequate Statistical Procedures");
  • Statistical institutions promote measures that allow linking different data sources in order to reduce respondent burden (refers to principle of 9 "Not Creating Excessive Burden on Respondents");
  • Usersare informed about the quality of statistical data according to the ESS quality criteria (referring to Principle 15 "Accessibility and Clarity").


Second Peer review 


Peer review regards European statistics.

European statistics is the one necessary to perform activities of the European Union and is stipulated by the European statistics programme. European statistics is developed, produced and disseminated in line with the statistical principles outlined under the Paragraph 2, Article 285 of the Treaty establishing the European Community  and elaborated in more detail in the European Statistics Code of Practice (Code) in compliance with the Article 11 of the Regulation 223/2009.


The Code sets requirements for the statistical institutions in respect to the institutional environment, statistics’ production processes as well as statistical outputs.


In Latvia, over the period from 29 September to 3 October 2014, on the initiative of the Eurostat, an independent expert team performed an assessment or a peer review on the compliance of the national statistical system with the principles of the Code.


During the peer review, three international experts and Eurostat observer met with employees of the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (CSB), Latvian State Institute of Agrarian Economics and Center for Disease Prevention and Control, respondents, data users, academics and mass media.


The peer review resulted in two reports:

Peer review report on compliance with the European Statistics Code of Practice

Peer review report on integration with the European Statistical System.


In Latvia the experts did not find any incompliance with the Code requirements, however they suggested 16 recommendations for improvement of the CSB operation. For the implementation thereof, the CSB has defined 24 improvement actions with a deadline in 2019.


Until the end of 2017, the CSB has implemented nine recommendations. A new Statistics Law has been developed and came into force, and Statistics Council has been created and is active. The CSB started organising quarterly meetings and educational seminars for the statistical institutions.


The CSB has set Code-based general quality requirements for the statistical institutions and introduced a process governing implementation thereof. The CSB has drawn up assessment of the statistical institutions producing European statistics on their compliance with the requirements of the Code.


The CSB regularly organizes seminars and other activities on various statistical topics for the users, e.g., conferences, open door days, shadow days and data expeditions.


The CSB has obtained external evaluation on the compliance of its Quality Management System with the standard EN ISO 9001:2015 and is implementing the necessary improvements.


With an aim to improve the knowledge, competences and skills of persons working in the statistical institutions, the CSB in cooperation with the Latvian School of Public Administration worked out a programme for two-level training “Data analysis” the implementation whereof was started in 2017. In 2018, the CSB plans to develop a training module for newcomers, as well as introduce short-term staff rotation in other structural units, thus allowing employees to deepen their knowledge in the related statistical fields.


The CSB keeps implementing seven recommendations, by:

  • developing Official Statistics Portal. It has been intended that the Official Statistics Portal will include official statistics produced by all statistical institutions of Latvia, release calendar thereof, explanatory metadata and information about acquisition of anonymized individual data for scientific use. It has been planned to launch the Portal on 1 January 2020;
  • including quality requirements in the agreements with owners of administrative data, thus improving quality of the data received;
  • evaluating the statistical institutions producing European statistics with an aim to find out whether production of their statistics could be overtaken by the CSB;
  • developing new CSB website which has responsive design.


New Law of Statistics 


Article on Code of practice:

  • CSB coordinates and supervises implementation and adherence to requirements set in the Code of Practice.
  • Statistical institution carries out annual self-assessment regarding official statistics production according to the Code of Practice requirements and submits the assessment to its supervising statistical institution not later than March 1.
  • CSB prepares annual report on adherence to the Code of Practice requirements not later than June 1 and publishes it on its homepage.


Amendment of Regulation (EC) No 223/2009


On 5 March 2015 the Council approved amendments to the Regulation on European Statistics (223/2009), strengthening governance of the European Statistical System (ESS) and professional independence of national statistical authorities. It also stipulates that national statistical institutes (NSIs) must take an active role in defining administrative data source quality requirements and establishing the legal framework, in order to develop and implement the new "commitments on confidence in statistics".

The Parliament will vote on the Regulation approved by the Council on 28 April 2015.