About Statistics Iceland
Statistics Iceland is the centre for official statistics in Iceland and collects, processes and disseminates data on the economy and society. Statistics Iceland is divided into four divisions – economic statistics, social statistics, business statistics and resources.
The division of economic statistics comprises three departments. The external trade department processes data on imports, exports, and balance of trade. The department on national accounts and public finance is responsible for the annual production and expenditure accounts, quarterly national accounts, income distribution, short term indicators and statistics on public finances and sector accounts. The price statistics department compiles the consumer price index, building cost index, producer price index and related indices. The Director of the division of economic statistics is Björn Rúnar Guðmundsson.
Other parties are not allowed access to the data prior to disclosure except in special circumstances and the respective party is then bound by confidentiality. The Research unit gets access to the results for the quarterly national accounts in June each year prior to publishing due to the preparation of the June economic forecast.
The division of business statistics is responsible for statistics on enterprises and the business register. The division also produces statistics on fish catch, manufactured products, IT use, environment statistics and more.
The division of social statistics comprises two departments. Data on education, culture and media is collected and produced in the department of education and culture. The department of labour market and social statistics deals with statistics on employment, living conditions and social matters, health and gender. The population statistics department produces demographic and population statistics. The department of wage statistics collects and produces data on wages, earnings and labour cost. The Director of the social statistics division is Hrafnhildur Arnkelsdóttir.
The resources division is responsible for support of and services for the operation of Statistics Iceland and is divided into operation and finance, and the deparments of data collection and IT and dissemination. Data collection conducts researches and collects data for the production of statistics within Statistics Iceland. IT and dissemination provides statistical information for the public, is responsible for publishing and web management, and for the operation and the development of the IT-system of the institution. The resources and services division also deals with IT development, methods, standards and classifications. The Director of the resources division is Elsa Björk Knútsdóttir.
Research unit. According to amendments in the Act on Statistics Iceland and official statistics (47th article law no 98/2009) Statistics Iceland shall operate an individual research unit separated from other statistical operations. The Research Unit hast the same access to Statistics Iceland‘s data as external users and is subject to the same rules on access to information as external users. The research unit shall monitor the Icelandic economy and make economic forecasts for public disclosure. The same rules apply in the publication procedure of research unit data as other official statistics. Other parties are not allowed access to the data prior to disclosure except in special circumstances and the respective party is bound by confidentiality. Such exceptions shall be publicly announced. While preparing the fiscal budget, specialists in the Ministry of Finance get access to a draft economic forecast prior to publishing due to iteration of information from the budget affecting the forecast. The Ministry of Finance is bound to confidentiality regarding the draft economic forecast. Should the Research Unit be granted access to undisclosed statistical data the Ministry of Finance does not get access to the forecast until the data in question has been officially published. The research unit appertains to the Director-General.
Human resources appertain to the Director-General and Ólafur Arnar Þórðarson is the human resources manager.
The chief executive officer of Statistics Iceland is the Director-General. The management board is formed by the Director-General and the division Directors.
Statistics Iceland is the National Statistical Institute of Iceland and was founded in 1914. Until the end of 2007, Statistics Iceland was formally a a government ministry. During this time, the main legal basis for Statistics Iceland and its work was an Act of 1913, as well as other acts on official statistics, the Act and statutes on the Central Government Administration.
On 1 January 2008 the ministerial status of Statistics Iceland was abolished and a new Act on Statistics Iceland and official statistics took effect, replacing most of the older legislation. Under this Act Statistics Iceland is a professionally-independent institution under the aegis of the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs. Article 1 of the Act states that Statistics Iceland is the centre for official statistics in Iceland and has the leading role in the organisation, coordination and conduct thereof, and also in cooperation with international organisations concerning statistics.
In addition to the legislation mentioned above and special laws on price and wage indices, Statistics Iceland operates in accordance with the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, theEuropean Statistics Code of Practice as well as the Act on the Protection of Privacy regarding the processing of personal data. Furthermore Statistics Iceland has laid down its own Rules of Procedure for Treating Confidential Data.