CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY SECRETARIAT THIRTY-SECOND MEETING OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF. Paramaribo, Suriname 5-7 November November 2007

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1 CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY SECRETARIAT THIRTY-SECOND MEETING OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF CARIBBEAN STATISTICIANS RESTRICTED SCCS/2007/32/29 Paramaribo, Suriname 5-7 November November 2007 MODERNISATION OF BELIZE STATISTICAL OFFICE Please find attached Paper entitled Modernisation of Belize Statistical Office. *****

2 MODERNISATION OF BELIZE STATISTICAL OFFICE

3 OUTLINE OF PRESENTATION BACKGROUND STEPS TAKEN LEGISLATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS & CORPORATE IDENTITY STAFF MATTERS CHALLENGES BENEFITS OF CHANGE

4 BACKGROUND Agitation for political reform Cabinet reshuffle in August 2004 CSO transferred from Ministry of Finance to Ministry of National Development In first meeting with Chief Statistician and staff of CSO, new minister asked about interest in becoming an independent (statutory) body. Discussions on the matter between minister and then UNICEF representative, who committed her organisation s financial support.

5 BACKGROUND cont d The United Kingdom DFID became very interested and also made a financial contribution Small committee of representatives from government, UNICEF and DFID formed to oversee process

6 STEPS TAKEN Consultant hired in late July 2005 for three months Comprehensive review of CSO and national statistical system Propose three alternative structures for new agency Prepare model legislation Design transition process Prepare 5-year strategic plan

7 STEPS TAKEN cont d Stakeholder consultations in the form of individual and group meetings and telephone communications with international agencies and colleagues abroad Cabinet paper submitted and approved in December 2005 Draft legislation, which was modelled off the Malta Statistics Authority Act 2000, sent to Attorney General s Ministry for vetting in December 2005 Legislation introduced to parliament in June 2006 and passed in December 2006

8 LEGISLATION Institute was officially established on April 1 st 2007 as autonomous national statistical agency It is governed by an 11-member board of directors, comprising 5 representatives from government, 5 representatives from non-government organisations and the Director-General. (ma)

9 LEGISLATION cont d Both the chairman and deputy chairman of the board are elected by the members of the board. The current chairman is from Civil Society. (ma) All board members, except the DG, serve for a term of three years. DG is appointed by the GG on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, given after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. He serves for a term of 5 years. DG s appointment is renewable.

10 LEGISLATION cont d Apart from performing traditional functions, the Institute is empowered to monitor and coordinate the activities of the NSS. It is the only body that can approve the official status of statistics produced by other public bodies Board can appoint advisory committees as the need arise.

11 LEGISLATION cont d Main roles of Minister Appoint members of the board Arbitrate in disputes between Institute and other public bodies when board has failed Give instructions on matters of public interest, provided they are not inconsistent with Act Make presentations on Institute s behalf to Parliament

12 LEGISLATION cont d Technical autonomy the Institute shall not take instructions from the Government or any other authority, political parties, or any other interest groups, in the selection of data sources, statistical methods and procedures, in the contents, form and time of dissemination, and in the application of statistical confidentiality. the Director-General shall perform his functions and discharge his duties independent of the control of any person or authority.

13 MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS and CORPORATE IDENTITY Financial management system Human resource management system Logo design competition

14 STAFF MATTERS STAFF HAD BE TO BE INFORMED AND INVOLVED EVERY STEP OF THE WAY OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO STAFF AT TIME OF TRANSITION Option 1: Employment with the Statistical Institute of Belize and carry over of services with full Public Service pension benefits and continuity of service. Option 2: To retire from the Public Service Option 3: To resign from the Public Service and seek employment outside of the Public Service. Option 4: To continue in the Public Service

15 CHALLENGES Before transition Job insecurity Uncertainties about the new body Delay in activities After transition Increase efficiency Raise confidence in official statistics Attracting and retaining high caliber staff

16 OTHER BENEFITS OF TRANSITION Improved staff compensation packages Far less bureaucracy Increase in number of staff New equipment, including vehicles Greater potential for income generation Better relations with media Higher level of support from international organisations

17 THANK YOU

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