Singapore Statistical System
Singapore has adopted a decentralised statistical system since 1973. Official statistics are collected and compiled by the Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS) as well as Research and Statistics Units (RSUs) in government ministries and statutory boards.
DOS has the widest scope of responsibility in the statistical system in Singapore, being responsible for official statistics on the Singapore economy and population. In a few government ministries and statutory boards, RSUs have been established and gazetted under the Statistics Act to conduct surveys. RSUs in other ministries and statutory boards undertake statistical compilation mainly as a by-product of the administrative and operational functions of the parent organisations. The key responsibilities of DOS and the gazetted and non-gazetted RSUs are summarised in the table below.
|Singapore Statistical System|
The decentralised statistical system meets users’ needs for comprehensive economic and social statistics. It fosters closer contact and greater interaction between statistical personnel and data users in specific ministries and statutory boards, leading to more relevant statistics being collected and analysed. As administrative databases and records are increasingly leveraged on for statistical purposes, this enables a larger range of statistics to be compiled on a more timely and cost-effective basis. With the specialisation of statistical personnel in specific subject matters, DOS and the RSUs are able to stay focused and provide statistics of good quality, contributing to the high standard of professionalism in the Singapore statistical system for official statistics.
The decentralised system is complemented by greater coordination of statistical activities and adoption of common standards. This is addressed by the co-ordinating role played by DOS in the statistical system to minimise duplication of work and reduce respondent burden, and by the legislative and administrative changes which promote the adoption of national statistical standards. There are frequent meetings and discussions with relevant agencies on various issues and statistical matters.