Official statistics should meet the demands of existing and new users. They should be able to trust official statistics and have their needs for products and services fulfilled. Quality requirements include transparency on methods and production.

Quality Assurance System for Official Statistics

The system for assuring the quality of Norwegian official statistics is based on the Statistics Act and in the European Statistics Code of Practice. Annually, Statistics Norway prepares a report on the quality of all official statistics requested by Ministry of Finance. This report covers:

  • Coordination of official statistics
  • Quality evaluations of official statistics
  • Quality reviews of individual statistics
  • Recommendations for improvements
  • Follow up of quality reporting
  • Quality in administrative information systems
  • User orientation
  • Development of the quality assurance system

  1. Official statistics shall be developed, produced and disseminated in a professional independent, impartial objective, reliable and cost-effective manner.
  2. The development, production and dissemination of official statistics shall be based on uniform standards and harmonised methods. The statistics shall be relevant, accurate, timely, punctual, accessible and clear, comparable and coherent.

National Programme for Official Statistics

The National programme sets the framework for the areas Statistics Norway and other public authorities produce statistics on. The programme defines and outlines official statistics.

The Committee for Official Statistics aims to coordinate the Norwegian official statistics. The Committee, appointed by the Ministry of Finance, consists of public authorities that produce statistics and owners of large administrative information systems.

Quality Evaluation

The evaluation is performed at the institutional level. All producers complete a self-assessment questionnaire based on the Code of Practice. The survey is followed up with an interview. Recommendations and improvement actions in the quality report to the Ministry of Finance are based on a quality evaluation of all authorities, and a European peer review (ESS Peer Review, open, last conducted in Norway in 2021.

Quality Reviews

Quality reviews are a systematic method to enhance the quality of an individual statistic. A quality team reviews the production process with staff responsible for the statistics. The review includes self-assessments based on the Code of Practice and description of the production process based on the UN's "Generic Statistical Business Process Model, GSBPM" (open PDF from, and description of the data quality based on the Total Error model (open The dissemination of the statistics is also reviewed, including a focus group consisting of user representatives. The review results in recommendations for improvements and an action plan.

Administrative Information Systems

The production of official statistics involves extensive use of data from various administrative information systems owned by other authorities. The collaboration between Statistics Norway and the owners of these systems is standardised and formalised through agreements. These agreements regulate requests for data deliveries, frequency of management-level meetings, and structured feedback from Statistics Norway to the system owners. The shared goal is to improve the quality of administrative information systems.

User Orientation

Producers of official statistics interact with their users both when publishing new figures and through other inquiries about the statistics from user groups, such as media, students, and other public authorities. Some statistics have formalised user contact by establishing certain user groups. Additionally, user satisfaction surveys are conducted.


Statistics Norway organizes courses and seminars on quality work available to other producers of official statistics. Participation in the European Statistical Training Programme (ESTP) also contributes to competence and quality in official statistics.

Development of the Quality Assurance System for Official Statistics

To improve the quality system of official statistics further development is planned. To gain a more detailed information of quality, statistics producers will be asked to complete the self-assessment for each statistic. The aim is to increase the number of quality reviews of individual statistics per year.

Quality Indicators in Statistics Norway’s Annual Report

In Statistics Norway’s annual report on its own statistics, quality indicators such as timeliness, response rate, and response burden are presented, as required by the Ministry of Finance. The annual report is available in Norwegian only.