National Statistical Office

Shadow Minister calls for independent audit

Ian Ling-Stuckey says there are very serious doubts about whether the people of PNG are being told the truth.

His statement follows an overview of the PNG economy by the National Statistical Office.

The NSO reported on its website that the oil sector led to a growth in the economy of K859 million in 2016.

However, in the same paragraph, it said the oil sector fell by K314 million.

Census 2020 preparations start

An assessment of the last census was conducted last week with stakeholders and challenges, cost and areas of improvement were identified and will be made known to the public – for the first time – in due course.

The consultation was a way of gathering feedback from stakeholders and how processes can be improved to ensure an effective census for 2020.

The review of the last census was the first since Census 1980.

Statistical office looks at data revolution

While manual survey is the tried and true method of collecting data, technology and digital means are rapidly taking over.

Technologies such as biometrics, remote sensors and barcoding all boil down to data revolution and NSO is working towards tapping into this.

“In NSO, in our legislation, we need to insert something to talk about transfer of data from business to us. We are doing it but not effectively and consistently,” emphasized national statistician, Roko Koloma.

Consumer Price Index is just as important: NSO

Despite its significance and many uses, the Price Statistics Division of NSO is not adequately funded and more often than not, the division and its mother agency, NSO, are left to produce quarterly CPI reports with limited resources.

Financial constraint is every government agency’s enemy.

While many may argue that financial constraint related challenges are not a new story, the determination of producing CPI reports quarterly to compensate for the 12 lost years is nothing short of a challenge.

Office notes ‘remarkable growth’ in economy

According to the 2015 and 2016 Gross Domestic Product reports, PNG has a real GDP of 5.3 percent, simply indicating positive activities in the country’s economy.

Gross domestic product is the summary of the total production that took place in an economy in a given period.

Tony Waisa, head of Economics Statistics Division of NSO, revealed that PNG’s economy has performed well with a 5.3 percent growth rate.

“It represents that the country has grown,” explained Waisa.

“That 5.3 percent is good. It’s showing that the country is developing.”

NSO to decentralize data collection

Driving this initiative forward, NSO is developing training programs and as such, a price statistics refresher workshop is currently underway in Lae, Morobe Province, for its 22 price collectors from the 22 provinces.

Consumer Price Index is fundamental as it indicates the purchasing power of the Kina.

It is used to formulate policies and aids the government to make informed decisions that affect the lives of people.

NSO hopes to help improve country

According to the NSO, statistics are one of the most important objectives that will determine the strength of an economy in the country.

National statistician Roko Koloma, although under scrutiny on allegations of misappropriation, says this will not deter him from looking at these important agendas to help boost the country’s economy.

National statistician speaks on near arrest

Last week, police turned up in numbers at the NSO office at Waigani to carry out an arrest on Koloma.

However, they were unsuccessful as the national statistician had refused to come out of the building without proper procedure from the police’s end.

Among the allegations levelled against Koloma was the misappropriation of at least K250 million from the National Statistical Office.

“We are not saying we didn’t do anything wrong but process must be followed,” said Koloma in a press conference today.