Statistics under Pressure around the World - Hetan Shah

Dear colleagues, 


We would like to share with you Hetan Shah's comment piece on how the production of independent statistics is coming under pressure around the world, which was recently published in the Financial Times.


Professional independence is a subject of utmost importance for official statistics and, as many of you may know, IAOS prior to its 16th International Conference in Paris, France (19-21 September 2018), organised a full day meeting to highlight it: "NSOs Professional Independence: Threats and Responses"


Hetan Shah is Executive Director of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS). You can read his comment piece below or at

Special Meeting on NSOs Professional Independence - Download the programme and presentations!



Prior to the 2018 IAOS-OECD Conference “Better Statistics for Better Lives” that took place on 19-21 September 2018 in Paris, France, the International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS) organised a Special Meeting on “NSOs Professional Independence: Threats and Responses”.


This Special Meeting discussed at a high level the challenges to the independence of Official Statistics by analysing concrete cases, governance arrangements and the role of the international statistical community. The meeting consisted on three main sessions and a book presentation by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB):



Session 1 - The Challenges to the Independence of Official Statistics: Some concrete cases.


Chair: Jean-Louis Bodin (France) - Presentation



Jorge Todesca (Argentina) - Presentation

Eric Rancourt (Canada) - Presentation

Andreas Georgiou (Greece)

Petteri Baer (Presenting the case of Anar Meshimbayeva from Kazakhztan) - Presentation ; Paper



Session 2 - Institutional Governance and Support to Statistical Independence


Chair: Stefan Scheweinfest (UNSD)



John Pullinger (UK)

Mario Palma (Mexico) - Presentation

Olav Ljones (Norway) - Presentation



Book Presentation - Who cares to know? The Political Economy of Statistical Capacity 


Jose Antonio Mejía (IDB) - Presentation



Session 3 - Discussion: The Role of the International Statistical Community


Moderator: Hermann Habermann (USA) - Questions for Discussion

Rapporteur: Hallgrímur Snorrason (Iceland)



Photos taken during the event can be found in: 

Join the 2018 IAOS General Assembly!





2018 General Assembly Meeting


Thursday, 20 September 2018


OECD Conference Centre

Time: 18:00 - 19:00


The International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS) is pleased to invite you to attend the 2018 IAOS General Assembly Meeting that will be held on Thursday, 20 September 2018 at the OECD Conference Centre (2 rue André Pascal, Paris 75016) from 18:00-19:00 hours.


This year’s General Assembly will focus on what the role of IAOS should be to support Official Statisticians in times of challenge or threat. It will discuss potential mechanisms through which our association could assist in cases where the professional independence of NSOs and official statisticians is threatened. The meeting will also inform IAOS members of the activities and achievements of IAOS during 2017.




  • Welcoming words Mario Palma Rojo (IAOS President 2017-2019)
  • Statistical Journal of the IAOS (SJIAOS) Status Report – Kirsten West (Editor-in-chief)
  • 2018 Young Statisticians Prize (YSP) Report – Gemma Van Halderen (EXCO member)
  • Conclusions


Please note, this General Assembly will be held as part of the 2018 IAOS-OECD Conference that will take place from 19-21 September 2018 in Paris, France. For more information about the conference, its programme and registration, please visit:


According to IAOS Statutes: The General Assembly is composed of the individual members, and one designated member from each institution which is a member. Each individual member shall have one vote. The decisions of the General Assembly are taken by simple majority of the votes cast at a meeting or by electronic means except as otherwise stated by the Statutes. Votes expressed electronically shall be considered as valid as votes in person at the General Assembly. Proxy voting is only allowed in the procedure for changing the statutes.


If you cannot attend, please let us know your comments to any item of the General Assembly by sending us a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Commendation of Andreas Georgiou at IAOS Special Meeting

Andreas Georgiou (Former President of ELSTAT) and Ada van Krimpen (ISI Director).



On 18 September 2018, during the IAOS Special Meeting on "National Statistical Offices’ Professional Independence: Threats and Responses" immediately prior to the 16th  IAOS-OECD  Conference in Paris, a special Commendation was awarded to Andreas Georgiou, former and inaugural President of ELSTAT (the Greek Statistical Authority).


This Commendation was given to acknowledge Andreas Georgiou's upholding of the highest professional standards in his public service in the pursuit of integrity of statistical systems, and it was presented to him by the following major statistical organisations: 


  • The International Statistical Institute (ISI)
  • The Royal Statistical Society (RSS)
  • The American Statistical Association (ASA)
  • The International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS)
  • The Federation of European NAtional Statistical Societies (FENStatS)
  • The Société Francaise de Statistique (SFdS)


Link to the complete ISI Media Release:



For more pictures of this Special Meeting, please visit:

Obituary: Ian Maclean (1930 -2018)

Dear colleagues,  

It is with deep personal regret that I deliver to you today the news of the death of our colleague and friend, Ian Maclean: assiduous attendant to our conferences and supporter of IAOS. On behalf of all of us here at the International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS), I would like to send out to his family, our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.

Ian will be deeply missed, leaving behind now only those fond memories we have of him. We have lost a dear friend and a valued colleague. Please, allow me to share with you a brief testimony note by Jean-Louis Bodin (IAOS President 1989-1991) who had the opportunity to know Ian for many years.


Kind regards,

Mario Palma (IAOS President 2017-2019)



Ian Maclean (1930 -2018)


Ian Maclean passed away in early July this year. He was 87 years old. I learned this sad news with a lot of emotion since Ian was undoubtedly one of the pillars of the IAOS. He has been one of its members since practically its creation. I think he participated in all the fifteen IAOS biennial Conferences.  The first time I met him was during the first Conference held in Roma in 1988 and the last time was during the fifteenth Conference held in Abu Dhabi two years ago. He also participated in several ISI World Statistical Congresses.


Many will remember Ian Maclean for his participation in ISI or IAOS congress social events, during which he wore the traditional “kilt” of the Scottish clan to which he belonged. But for me Ian's presence among the IAOS members was especially important because he was the perfect example of one of the objectives the founders of this association (I was part of) were looking for. Before the creation of the IAOS, there were other ISI associations dealing more or less with official statistics; but these other associations were grouping statisticians interested by the development of methods in their domain. The objective of the IAOS was different: several people, including Ian and myself insisted on giving to the IAOS the name of International Association for Official Statistics and not International Association of Official Statisticians. That means that we hoped that this new ISI section would be open not only to official statisticians but also to the users of official statistics and more generally to all those who are interested by the role of statistics in the society. Ian's role in the UK was precisely to bridge the gap between producers and users of official statistics and help them making the best use of them.


In 1988, when Ian participated to the Rome IAOS Conference, he had created two years earlier a small UK business named ‘Business and Trade Statistics Inc’.  Around his business, he founded a community to promote dialogue, share information and maintain close liaison between the producers and users of official business and trade statistics. This Forum, now supported by the Office for National Statistics, aims to be the strategic voice of users of official statistics. The Forum acts as an umbrella organisation for user groups, each of which covers a particular area across the spectrum of official statistics. It enables open and constructive dialogue between users and producers of official statistics and encourages communication across the user community.


Despite his age, Ian Maclean took care of his business until he left us, thus bearing the flag of one of the raison-d’être of the IAOS. We all miss him.


Jean- Louis BODIN

2nd IAOS President (1989-1991)

Former ISI President (1999 – 2001)