News Brief: Greece Subscribes to the IMF's Special Data Dissemination Standard
November 13, 2002
On November 8, Greece became the 51st country to subscribe to the International Monetary Fund's Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), marking a major step forward in the development of the country's statistical systems. The Greek authorities view subscription as the culmination of many initiatives on the statistical front. Subscription coincides with Greece's participation in the preparation of the data module of the Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC). Greece has also recently hosted a regional seminar in Athens for potential SDDS subscribers.
The SDDS, established by the IMF in March 1996, is intended to guide members in the provision of their economic and financial data to the public. Subscription to the SDDS is expected to enhance the availability of timely and comprehensive statistics and thereby contribute to the pursuit of sound macroeconomic policies and the improved functioning of financial markets. The SDDS identifies four dimensions of data dissemination-the data: coverage, periodicity, and timeliness; access by the public; the integrity of the disseminated data; and the quality of the disseminated data. Although subscription is voluntary, a subscribing member commits to observe the standard and to provide information (metadata) to the IMF about its data dissemination practices. This information is made publicly available on the IMF's Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) (http://dsbb.imf.org/Applications/web/sddshome/).
Over the past few years, Greece has been working closely with the IMF and the international community to bring its official statistics in line with international standards. Following an initiative launched by the Ministry of National Economy in May 2001 to subscribe to the SDDS, an IMF mission from the Statistics Department visited Athens in June 2002. The mission assisted the authorities in formulating a plan of action and a time frame for formal subscription.
The DSBB now provides comprehensive documentation in English on Greece's statistical practices. The DSBB thereby provides the means to carry out a comprehensive comparison and analysis of Greece's statistical practices vis-à-vis the 50 other subscribing countries.