Responsibilities and principles of the institution

At the beginning of 2000, the former Austrian Central Statistical Office was separated from Government Services by a new Federal Statistics Act. It is now an independent and non-profit-making federal institution under public law and is called Statistics Austria (STAT). It is responsible for performing scientific services in the area of federal statistics.

The Federal Statistics Act of 2000 defines federal statistics as a (non-personal) information system of the government providing data on the economic, demographic, social, ecological and cultural situation in Austria. This information helps administrative bodies in planning and political decision-making procedures and in controlling the measures they have taken. Moreover, data are made available to the scientific and economic community and to the general public. Federal statistics comprises the compilation of statistics of all kinds as well as analyses, prognoses and statistical models which reach beyond the interests of an individual Austrian province. The statistics are decreed by international legal acts of the European Community, by federal laws and by regulations.

In the performance of its duties, Statistics Austria must observe a number of principles in the interest of its clients, other users and respondents. The most important of these are

  1. to maintain objectivity and impartiality in the compilation of statistics;
  2. to apply statistical methods and procedures according to internationally accepted scientific principles and standards and to disclose them;
  3. to continuously control quality improvements;
  4. to maintain a high degree of topicality;
  5. to publish statistics and their underlying concepts, definitions and explanations immediately; main results will be available via the Internet free of charge from 2002 onward;
  6. to endeavour to keep the costs to relevant persons and business enterprises as low as possible and to supply the providers of statistical data with sufficient information;
  7. to keep personal data confidential.

Access to the compiled data should be possible not only for administrative purposes but also to the scientific and economic community, to the public and to individual citizens. To enable this access, Statistics Austria provides information and expert services, in particular statistical analyses, as well as statistical data free of charge or at a reasonable cost.