Commission proposes to amend the rules on ICT statistics

The European Commission has put forward on October 31st, a proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EC) Nº 808/2004 concerning Community statistics on the information society – (COM (2008) 677 final).

Regulation (EC) No 808/2004 of 21 April 2004 concerning Community statistics on the information society defines an annual statistical data provision for the two modules of "enterprises and the information society" and "households/individuals and the information society". The European Commission also put forward recently a new Regulation concerning the official indicators for such ICT statistics.

It is recognised among major stakeholders that the key objectives of the current Regulation have been achieved to a great extent. The related process of harmonisation throughout the European Union has strongly influenced the development of ICT statistics worldwide, putting the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat) and the European Statistical System in a leading position.

The objective of the amended Regulation is to ensure the continuation of the existing common framework for the systematic production of reliable, harmonised, timely and high quality Community statistics on the information society and the provision of annual statistical data on ICT usage in enterprises and in households. In addition, the proposal aims to update the Regulation according to the needs of a rapidly evolving statistical domain.

The proposal to amend Regulation (EC) No 808/2004 will ensure the provision of statistical data on ICT usage in households, by individuals and in enterprises for the purpose of the benchmarking framework and its further developments under the Lisbon strategy. At the same time, this amendment aims to update the subjects of statistical data provision to cater for the new developments in the area of ICT.

Additionally, means for data analysis would be improved with the objective of a better use of the statistical data and a reduction of burden on respondents. This will be achieved by introducing new methods of data analysis as part of the proposed Programme for the Modernisation of European Enterprise and Trade Statistics (MEETS).

The proposed Regulation is in accordance with the Commission's new policy approach to the simplification of legislation and better regulation and on reduction of the response burden, simplification and priority-setting in the field of Community statistics. It is one of the fast track actions identified in Annex III to the Communication of 24 January 2007 on an ction programme for reducing administrative burdens in the European Union".