The establishment of a national statistics council is necessary to create a trustworthy, transparent and accurate nationwide statistics system, a recent conference heard.

Speaking at the conference, which was jointly held by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the United Nations Development Programme, many delegates said that the quality of statistical data is an important issue, proven by a series of stories showing doubts over statistics used in different publications.

PhD Bui Tat Thang, head of the Institute of Development Strategy , said the reason for inaccuracies is a lack of cooperation on statistical data between ministries, sectors and localities.

Co-ordination is among the key criteria of statistical work. Poor co-ordination among authorised agencies means inaccurate statistics would be compiled, which fails to meet international standards, he said.

This has led to different statistics announced by different agencies, for example the figure of trained workers or public debt.

PhD Nguyen Sinh Cuc of the General Statistic Office said after ten years of enforcing the Law on Statistics, the authorised agencies still fail to bring together scientists and experts to create a comprehensive statistical system.

The latest study of the agency showed that about 100 countries throughout the world have established their own national statistics councils to provide consulting services and promote national co-ordination in the field.

In Vietnam , there are about 40 units in charge of statistics. However, many have stopped operating, it said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Nguyen Van Trung said the establishment of such a council would help effectively implement the general statistics system between ministries, sectors and localities.

Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Vice chief representative in Vietnam , reiterated that UNDP would support the country in building a national council, which should suit the country's conditions and ensure the quality and effectiveness of its statistical activities, in accordance with international rules.

The establishment of a national statistics council would be part of amendments to laws, which would be submitted to the Government by the middle of next year.-VNA