In response to a request from the authorities and as part of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) Enhanced Data Dissemination Initiative (EDDI) 2 project, a Government Finance Statistics (GFS) mission visited Lusaka, Zambia, during November 19–30, 2018. This was the third mission to Zambia under the DFID EDDI2 project, following the March 2016 and November 2017 missions. The mission worked essentially with staff at the Zambia Central Statistical Office (CSO) Public Finance Unit (PFU), but also had meetings with staff from the Ministry of Finance’s Accountant General, Budget, Investment and Debt Management, and Economic Management departments.
This Technical Assistance (TA) report focuses on four key work areas which may lead to improvement of Government Finance Statistics (GFS) for fiscal analysis, support policy making decisions in Zambia, and improve African Department surveillance. The mission found out that the Coordinating Committee, recommended in the previous TA mission, was not yet established. The mission reviewed progress on the legal and institutional arrangements supporting the compilation of GFS as a follow up from recommendations of the previous GFS TA mission and found that the legislation reforms were on track, especially regarding the Public Finance Act. The report also found that Central Statistical Office (CSO) is working on the revision of the Statistics Act to follow the new strategy for National Development of Statistics. For sustainability and consistency purposes, the mission recommended that the CSO staff produce a GFS manual for compilation and dissemination of GFS data.
This report on the Observance of Standards and Codes data module provides an assessment of Zambia’s macroeconomic statistics against the recommendations of the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), complemented by an assessment of data quality based on the IMF’s Data Quality Assessment Framework. Overall, the lack of effective coordination among all statistical producing agencies and users impedes the quality and transparency of statistics. In addition, no systematic program to assess users’ needs is in place. All agencies have limited practices in informing the public of internal government access to statistics before wider data dissemination.