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Reaction to the article published in "Utrinski vesnik" on 2 November 2016 by Dragan Tevdovski

 The State Statistical Office, as an authorised producer of official statistics and coordinator of the statistical system in the country, considers it necessary to respond to the article published in "Utrinski vesnik" on 2 November 2016, titled "What about the data on unemployment and poverty?" by Dragan Tevdovski. The author of the text states: "...Even if we assume that the State Statistical Office is an independent institution..., The State Statistical Office is not transparent about the data obtained through surveys .... The research community in Macedonia is faced with barriers that seriously impede the access to data with low level of aggregation...". In addition, the writer makes reference to the procedures and methods of sample selection, as well as the implementation of the Labour Force Survey and the Survey on Income and Living Conditions. In connection with the allegations in the text, the State Statistical Office provides the following clarification:

1. The State Statistical Office points out that the professional and independent activity of the Office is ensured by the Law on State Statistics, the Five-Year Programme of Statistical Surveys 2013-2017 and the implemented European Statistics Code of Practice. In accordance with the statistical principles, statistical products are disseminated in compliance with the principles of relevance, accuracy, reliability, punctuality, timeliness, consistency, comparability and transparency. During the preparation of Five-Year Programme of Statistical Surveys, all relevant stakeholders - data users are contacted. The programme is approved by the Statistical Council of the Republic of Macedonia and adopted by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia.
The transparency of the State Statistical Office regarding the use of data at a lower level of aggregation that are obtained through surveys is reflected by the fact that the Office allows the use of anonymised microdata for research purposes. They are available and used by both domestic and international researchers.

2. The State Statistical Office selects the survey samples based on technical and scientific methods, defined by the European Commission regulations and Eurostat methodologies that the State Statistical Office fully follows and implements, and which have been confirmed by international experts in the respective fields. The survey sample is usually designed as stratified, in some cases rotational, two-stage and random sample. The methodological bases of the surveys, including the design of the sample, are published on the website of the Office. As regards the sampling frame, it should be noted that, in addition to administrative sources, the State Statistical Office, in cooperation with an expert from the International Labour Organisation, established an activity for updating the sampling frame at the quarterly level. The updated frame is the basis for preparation and implementation of sample-based surveys and is used in the processing, weighting and calibration of data. This statistical operation was explained in detail by the ILO expert in the media.

3. With regard to the use of administrative data, the State Statistical Office actively uses administrative data for statistical purposes from several administrative sources. The use of administrative sources for statistical purposes is regulated in the Law on State Statistics and the signed memoranda of cooperation, and the State Statistical Office has excellent cooperation with the state institutions.

4. The data produced by the SSO are internationally comparable and are transmitted to the statistical office of the European Union - Eurostat, where they are published together with data about the EU Member States. The data of the State Statistical Office are also used by all relevant international institutions such as the United Nations, IMF, World Bank and many others, which further confirms their relevance, accuracy and reliability.

© State Statistical Office