Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis pledged that she will do what it takes to ensure a smooth transition process as she met with the staff of the Central Statistical Office (CSO) at their 47 Frederick Street Office in Port of Spain.
The CSO’s building at 80 Independence Square was closed down due to Health and Safety issues in May 2013, which resulted in a number of data sets such as Trade, Labour and Tourism being at least three years out of date. In recent months, with the acquisition of the new facilities at 47 Frederick Street in June of 2015, the CSO has begun to overcome many of the challenges to the production of its data.
Cabinet has approved a committee to guide the restructuring and transition of the Central Statistical Office to the National Statistical Institute with an inaugural meeting which is to be held within two weeks’ time. It is expected that many more improvements will take place during 2016. The Canadian Government through its National Statistical Office (NSO); Statistics Canada (STATSCAN) has initiated the Project for the Regional Advancement of Statistics in the Caribbean (PRASC). PRASC is geared towards enhancing the Systems of National Accounts in Trinidad and Tobago as well as the rest of the Caribbean region, improving business statistics by working on a robust business survey infrastructure, improving household statistics, including sex-disaggregated socio-economic indicators. The initial stages of this project has already begun with training currently taking place at the Trinidad Hilton Hotel which started on January 19th and will run through January 29th 2016. The CSO is expected to benefit from the PRASC over the next seven years.
The Ministry of Planning and Development is currently involved in an advanced stage of the modernisation of the Statistics Act and the transformation of the CSO into the National Statistical Institute. This new Institute will be given great autonomy and the authority to coordinate the National Statistical System in accordance with best international standards.