​The future of official statistics: independence and accountability in the age of big data




This event will explore the future of official statistics in achieving independence and accountability in the age of big data.

High-quality official statistics are a critical part of evidence-based decision making by governments, businesses, researchers and citizens. They can also promote transparency and accountability.

Following the publication of our special report on the quality of European statistics in , the European Court of Auditors (ECA) will hold an online conference on Tuesday to discuss the future of official statistics from the perspective of independence and accountability. We will also discuss how the statistical landscape will be reshaped by using new data sources such as big data that could lead to a paradigm shift in data collection and analysis.

The conference will feature two panel discussions. Following the keynote address by Professor Enrico Giovannini, former chair of the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board (ESGAB), the first panel will focus on the future of governance, independence and accountability in official statistics. The second panel will move towards the future of statistical product development following the keynote address by Dr Sallie Ann Keller from the US Census Bureau.

ECA reporting Member for the special report on European statistics, Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, will deliver the opening address, which will be followed by a short presentation by Athanasios Koustoulidis, the head of task for the audit. In addition to the two keynote speakers, six senior executives from international organisations (Eurostat and the IMF) and national statistical offices (Sweden and Poland) will participate in the two panels.


Conference agenda
The future of official statistics: Independence and accountability in the age of big data


Opening of the event
Opening of the event
Ms Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, Member of the European Court of Auditors
- Presentation - of the ECA's special report 26/2022 on European statistics
Presentation - of the ECA's special report 26/2022 on European statistics Mr Athanasios Koustoulidis,

Senior auditor, European Court of Auditors

Ensuring the credibility of official statistics through effective governance, independence, and accountability
-keynote speech
Keynote speech Professor Enrico Giovannini,
former Chair of ESGAB and Chief Statistician of Italy
- Panel 1 Panel I Ms Mariana Kotzeva, Director-General of Eurostat

Mr Joakim Stymne Chief Statistician of Sweden

Mr Dominik Rozkrut, Chief Statistician of Poland

Mr Professor Enrico Giovannini, former Chair of ESGAB and Chief Statistician of Italy

From tradition to innovation in official statistics: insights from the US, the EU, and the IMF
Keynote speech 2
Keynote speech Dr Sallie Ann Keller, Chief Scientist of the US Census Bureau
“How the US Census Bureau plans to envision the development of statistical products”
- Panel 2 Panel II Ms Christine Wirtz, Director of Social Statistics, Eurostat

Ms Lilli Japec Senior Scientific Advisor, Statistics Sweden

Mr Bert Kroese, Chief Statistician, Data Officer and Director,


Dr Sallie Ann Keller, Chief Scientist of the US Census Bureau

Closing of the event
Closing of the event

Event moderator:
Damijan Fišer, European Court of Auditors

About the speakers

  • Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz

    Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, the host of this conference, is the Member of the European Court of Auditors working in Chamber IV, responsible for carrying out audit tasks related to the regulation of markets and competitive economy. She is Reporting member for the Court's special report on European Statistics: Potential to further improve quality published in November 2022. Prior to taking up this position, she was a former member and Vice President of the European Parliament.

  • Professor Enrico Giovannini

    Enrico Giovannini, is an Italian economist, statistician, and academic. He was President of the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) from 2009 to 2013, and from 2018 to 2021 he was the Chair of the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board (ESGAB), responsible for supervising the functioning of the European Statistical System. In Italy, Enrico Giovannini has served as Minister of Labour and Social Policies, and Minister of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility.

  • Mariana Kotzeva

    Mariana Kotzeva was appointed Director-General of Eurostat by the European Commission in March 2018. She is the first woman to take the helm at Eurostat. Ms Kotzeva joined Eurostat as a special advisor to the Director-General in 2012. Two years later in 2014, she was appointed Deputy Director-General. Before joining the European Commission, Ms Kotzeva was the Head of Bulgaria’s National Statistical Institute. Ms Kotzeva is Associate Professor of Statistics at the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria.

  • Joakim Stymne

    Joakim Stymne took up his post as Director-General of Statistics Sweden in December 2017. He was previously employed as secretary of state at the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and he has a background as a financial market chief economist. He has degrees in economics from the Stockholm School of Economics and Harvard University.

  • Dominik Rozkrut

    Dominik Rozkrut has been the President of Statistics Poland since 2016. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Szczecin, where he received his PhD in statistics and econometrics. He completed internships at the University of Massachusetts, Lappeenranta University of Technology, and UNU-MERIT in Maastricht. In 2021, he was nominated President-Elect of the International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS) and was in office from 2021 to 2023. He was then nominated President from 2023 to 2025.

  • Dr Sallie Ann Keller

    Dr Sallie Ann Keller is chief scientist and associate director of the US Census Bureau’s Research and Methodology Directorate. She also holds an endowed distinguished professorship in biocomplexity and faculty appointments at the University of Virginia in the School of Medicine, Department of Public Health Services, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Department of Engineering Systems and Environment, and the School of Data Science. Dr Keller graduated with a BSc and an MSc in mathematics from the University of South Florida and obtained her PhD in statistics from Iowa State University.

  • Christine Wirtz

    Christine Wirtz has over 30 years of experience in official European statistics. Over this period, she has held various positions at Eurostat, covering business statistics, macro-economic statistics, sectoral statistics, and IT. As Director of social statistics at Eurostat, her main responsibilities include statistics on population and migration, income and living conditions, labour market and life-long learning, and education, health, and social protection. Ms Wirtz studied economic mathematics at the University of Trier, Germany.

  • Lilli Japec

    Lilli Japec has a PhD in statistics, and over 30 years of experience in producing statistics, survey methodology, and quality management. She has held various positions at Statistics Sweden such as Director of Research and Development and Quality Director. She is currently a Senior Scientific Advisor at Statistics Sweden and the Executive Editor in Chief for the Journal of Official Statistics. Dr Japec has authored and co-authored book chapters and research papers on survey quality topics. In 2021, Dr Japec was one of the recipients of the AAPOR’s Warren J. Mitofsky Innovators Award.

  • Bert Kroese

    Mr. Kroese is Chief Statistician, Data Officer, and Director of the Statistics Department at the IMF. Before joining the Fund, he worked at Statistics Netherlands for 25 years. From 2013 to 2022, he acted as Deputy Director-General and CIO with a special focus on and responsibility for IT and innovation. He was acting DirectorGeneral for a period in both 2014 and 2020. Mr Kroese has a PhD (honours) in mathematical statistics from the University of Groningen.