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Accuracy and reliability

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Government Finances, Economic Statistics
Magnus Nørtoft
+45 39 17 34 66

mnt@dst.dk

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Budgets and accounts of municipalities and regions

The statistics have great precision as the municipalities and regions report all the information and no calculations of values are made. In addition, revisions of the published figures are only made in certain circumstances. The figures should be interpreted with caution due to varying accounting methods across municipalities as well as over time.

Overall accuracy

The statistics are based on reports from the budgets and the accounts of the municipalities and regions, and a thorough error search is performed to ensure consistency with the accounting plan. However, the figures must be interpreted with caution due to both changes in the compilation methods and in the municipal/regional accounting system. For example municipalities/regions may use different accounting methods, which may result in comparable costs being placed on different functions/groupings. In addition, changes to the accounting plan are made. It could for example be a function that is split up and defined differently, whereby the development of that function is not comparable over time.

Uncertainty is significantly greater for the provisional accounts, which are not finished accounting figures, but a snapshot from when reported and not subject to the same thorough data validation as the budgets, the final accounts and the balances.

Data for neither the budgets, the provisional and final accounts nor the balances are revised. Later correction can happen, however, if errors in data or treatment of data are discovered.

Some account items are estimated to be more 'safe' than others. This can be due to the fact that they reflect reimbursements from central government and therefore possibly the subject of ministerial interest. In summary it is estimated that

  • Main account 5 of the municipalities (Social works and occupation) is of very high quality

  • Main account 1 (Supply plants etc.) and main account 6 (Joint expenses and administration) of the municipalities is of reasonable quality

  • Main account 1 (Health) of the regions is of very high quality.

Sampling error

Not relevant for this statistic.

Non-sampling error

The statistic covers the entire target population. All municipalities and regions must report their budgets and accounts (with the exception of the provisional accounts), and missing budgets/accounts are thus not permitted. If there are blank or invalid observations or dataset the municipality or region is contacted so new data may be sent.

Quality management

Statistics Denmark follows the recommendations on organisation and management of quality given in the Code of Practice for European Statistics (CoP) and the implementation guidelines given in the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (QAF). A Working Group on Quality and a central quality assurance function have been established to continuously carry through control of products and processes.

Quality assurance

Statistics Denmark follows the principles in the Code of Practice for European Statistics (CoP) and uses the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (QAF) for the implementation of the principles. This involves continuous decentralized and central control of products and processes based on documentation following international standards. The central quality assurance function reports to the Working Group on Quality. Reports include suggestions for improvement that are assessed, decided and subsequently implemented.

Quality assessment

The statistics are based on reports from the budgets and the accounts of the municipalities and regions, and a thorough error search is performed to ensure consistency with the accounting plan. However, the figures must be interpreted with caution due to both changes in the compilation methods and in the municipal/regional accounting system.

Uncertainty is significantly greater for the provisional accounts, which are not finished accounting figures, but a snapshot from when reported and not subject to the same thorough data validation as the budgets, the final accounts and the balances.

Data are not revised. Later correction can happen, however, if errors in data or treatment of data are discovered.

Some account items are estimated to be more 'safe' than others. This can be due to the fact that they reflect reimbursements from central government and therefore possibly the subject of ministerial interest.

Data revision - policy

Statistics Denmark revises published figures in accordance with the Revision Policy for Statistics Denmark. The common procedures and principles of the Revision Policy are for some statistics supplemented by a specific revision practice.

Data revision practice

Provisional figures are published in separate tables.

Neither data of the provisional and final accounts, the budgets nor the balances are revised. Later correction can happen, however, if errors in data or treatment of data are discovered. All correction after publication since December 1st 2020 are documented in this spread sheet on extraordinary corrections since 2021 (Danish).