Commitment to quality

Statistics Austria is committed to ensuring the highest quality with respect to the compilation of statistical information. In accordance with the Federal Statistics Act (§ 24), Statistics Austria must use statistical methods and processes in compliance with internationally recognised scientific principles and standards, conduct ongoing analyses of the statistics with a view to quality improvements and ensure that statistics are as up-to-date as possible. This commitment to quality is also specified in Statistics Austria’s mission statement. In adopting the European Statistics Code of Practice, Statistics Austria has, like the other National Statistical Institutions of the EU member states and Eurostat, committed to adhering to principles and standards for the production and dissemination of high-quality statistics. As part of the European Statistical System (ESS), Statistics Austria recognises the Quality Declaration of the ESS (PDF, 25KB). The Statistics Council has set up a Quality Assurance Committee, a primary focus of which is the ongoing examination of potential quality improvements

To ensure the highest quality, Statistics Austria is managed according to the principles of Total Quality Management (TQM). This comprehensive quality strategy is concerned with quality throughout the entire organisation. The principles and primary objectives of Statistics Austria’s TQM concept are:

  • Product quality and the quality of statistical production processes
  • Customer orientation (quality of services for the users of statistical information)
  • Employee orientation (workforce training and qualifications, motivation and satisfaction)
  • Efficiency (internal productivity)
  • Reducing the workload for respondents (quality of respondent relationships)
  • TQM is seen as an ongoing process with the objective of continuous improvement. Concrete projects and measures for goal achievement are defined and implemented in each of the TQM areas specified.

Statistics Austria uses standard-documentation (in German language only) to provide users with information about the underlying concepts, definitions, methods used and the quality of the statistics (meta-information) in a standardised format.The introduction of this documentation, which is based on a multi-dimensional quality concept compliant with EU standards (relevance, accuracy, up-to-date nature, access, comparability, coherence), has created a basic framework for the ongoing internal and external evaluation of the quality of statistical production processes and products.

In cooperation with the Statistic Committee’s Quality Assurance Committee, feedback meetings concerning the quality of the different statistical products on the basis of the standard documentation are held regularly within the framework of Statistics Austria’s quality management programme.

The content and objectives of the feedback meetings concern critical examination of the quality aspects of statistics with particular consideration of the methods and processes used; identification of quality improvement potential; development of recommendations for improvement measures; and improvement of the standard documentation relating to the statistics in question, with special attention to the views of users and external experts.