Central Commission for Statistics (CCS)

Until 1 January 2017, the Central Commission for Statistics (CCS) held the status of autonomous administrative authority (ZBO) without legal personality. Under the Statistics Netherlands Act of 2003 (Government Gazette 516), it was assigned a number of tasks related to Statistics Netherlands and the provision of statistical information to central government.

As part of a government-wide examination of the repositioning of ZBOs under the Civil Service Reform Agenda, the Dutch cabinet decided at the end of 2013 to abolish the CCS’ status as ZBO. A legislative proposal to this end was adopted in 2016. On 1 January 2017, the legislative amendment by which the CCS’s status of ZBO was abolished came into effect, and an Advisory Council was established.

Tasks of the CCS

The CCS evaluated and approved the long-term work programme of Statistics Netherlands. In practice this came down to the evaluation of the coherence and relevance of the intended programme in relation to society’s need for information and the financial and organisational restraints.

The CCS was involved in drawing up the budget and the annual accounts of Statistics Netherlands. The Director-General approved both of these “in agreement with the CCS”. Moreover, the annual report of the Statistics Netherlands had to be approved by the CCS.

The CCS also had a number of supervisory tasks with respect to the Statistics Netherlands:

  • it supervised work done by Statistics Netherlands for third parties, in order to avoid competition with private providers of similar services which is not desirable from the point of view of free market processes;
  • it supervised the collection of information, to make sure that the administrative burden ensuing from this collection is as small as possible for companies and institutions.
  • it supervised the Director-General’s authority to make microdatafiles available for the purpose of statistical and other research.

Tasks related to the provision of statistical information to central government included the advancement of official statistics that meet the demands of users for the purposes of practice, policy and science, and the advancement of accuracy and completeness of statistics published by the government.