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Accuracy and reliability

Contact info

Government finance statistics, Economic department
Magnus Jeppesen
+45 29 77 24 34

mnj@dst.dk

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Government Finance , Quarterly Accounts

There is no estimation on the uncertainty. Error accounting records are much more frequent in the quarterly accounting reports than in annual accounting reports. The quarterly accounting reports for the central government, regions and municipalities are not represented a final accounting for the quarter. They rather represent a snapshot of the expenditure and revenue recorded at the end of the quarter.

Overall accuracy

The overall accuracy is considered to be relatively high, because the statistic is based on accounting data.

First of all the statistic is based on many different accounting data and primary statistics. Second of all the comparability with other statistics is contributing with a reduction in inaccuracy. Finally an ongoing balancing of the numbers to the annual government finance is performed. Inaccuracy and errors in the accounting data and primary statistics affect the reliability of the statistic.

Sampling error

The sampling error is zero because the data collection covers all sub sectors.

Non-sampling error

There are no other errors than mistakes in the bookkeeping and time adjustment problems.

The central government accounting data is received from the Agency for Modernization Ministry of Finance. All municipalities and regions report their quarterly accounts to Statistics Denmark. As the accounting data are delivered directly from the municipalities and regions' own financial management systems and compared with data from prior years, it is assumed that no major measurement errors exist. If there are blank or invalid variables 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 quality is estimated to be good, because there is primary accounting data available for all subsectors. First of all the statistic is based on many different accounting data and primary statistics. Second of all the comparability with other statistics is contributing with a reduction in inaccuracy. Finally an ongoing balancing of the numbers to the annual government finance is performed. Inaccuracy and errors in the accounting data and primary statistics affect the reliability of the statistic.

There is no estimation on the uncertainty, but there is conducted a revision analysis of the statistics. The revision analysis considers two items - general government consumption and net lending/net borrowing. The purpose of the revision analysis is to find out how much the two sizes is changing from the first release of data to the release of data a year later. The revision analysis looks at how accurately general government consumption and net lending/net borrowing hit the first release in conjunction with the release one year after where the final level is largely determined. The revision analysis will also explore whether there is a tendency for general government consumption or net lending/net borrowing to be over- or underestimated in the initial release.

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

Expenditure and revenue (taxes and duties) are calculated in accordance with the principles of the national accounts, and the methods are consistent with the calculation of annual accounts of government finances. It should be noted that there are greater data and time adjustment problems in connection with compiling quarterly statistics than annual statistics. The consistency is ensured by continuously verifying the short-term indicators with the annual and final version. When the annual statistics are declared as final, approximately three years after the end of a financial year, the equivalent quarterly versions are considered final as well.