The findings and recommendations of the Barbados Statistical Service???s (BSS) Modernisation Project have been discussed and the island is now closer to its implementation.

Acting Director of the BSS, Aubrey Browne, disclosed that there would be a series of steps to the implementation of the Project and he identified putting the legal framework in place as one of the critical areas.

???That would involve having the drafting instructions sent to Cabinet for approval and then from there going to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel to draft the legislation,??? Mr. Browne explained.

A two-day workshop was held earlier this week to discuss the recommendations of the Modernisation Project, which has as its objectives the proposal of a strengthened legal framework to enable the BSS to perform its duties more effectively and the establishment of a statistics network to produce relevant public data.

Referring to the network system, Mr. Browne said the organisations would have to agree on a work programme for the National Statistical System. ???That would involve setting up a Producers??? Committee to work out the details of a national work programme, in which the different agencies would be responsible for producing statistics in their core area and sharing them in a central repository which we are seeking to create under this project. So, the central repository would have all the statistics on Barbados and it can be made available in a web portal, so that it can be accessible to any user,??? he stated.

He pointed out that the Consultants made recommendations on six components and he listed them as a new or revised legal framework, a proposal for the creation of a statistical network system, an institutional re-engineering of the BSS, the enhancement of statistical products offered by BSS, the development of human capacity and the upgrade of technical infrastructure and public outreach.

The Acting Director noted that funds under the Project would be used to train staff of the BSS and the National Statistical System, as well as procure hardware and software for the establishment of the ICT infrastructure for the System.

Emphasising the importance of the recent workshop, he said the stakeholders were made aware of their role in the implementation process. ???The workshop went well and we had some valuable contributions from various stakeholders on how we can go about implementation,??? he remarked.

Mr. Browne indicated, however, that there would be some challenges implementing some of the recommendations in the current economic climate.

The Modernisation Project was initiated on December 11, 2008, to strengthen the ability of the BSS to provide relevant, timely and quality economic and social statistics, as well as to establish its leadership in this area within the public sector. The project is partly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Government of Barbados.

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