Latest BPS survey 'difficult'

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) is having problems carrying out its 2006 economic survey on private companies.

"We've found it is difficult to collect data on private companies, especially foreign companies, since their Jakarta offices are only representatives of their main companies abroad," BPS head Rusman Heriawan said in Semarang on Friday.

"They should consult with their principal companies when asked about financial figures and sales."

Rusman said foreign companies tended to pay more attention to regulations in their countries of origin than those here.

"Based on our regulations on statistics, all companies in this country must provide information to the agency," he told Kompas Cyber-Media.

The same problem happened in regions where branch offices needed to ask for approval from their principal companies before giving data to the agency, he said.

To overcome the problem, the BPS has set up a team to approach foreign companies.

Rusman said the data would not be related to tax issues and agency would guarantee confidentiality because the agency would publish the data in aggregate form, without mentioning individual companies.

The BPS is conducting its fourth economic survey this year as mandated by the 1997 Statistics Law.

During the survey, the agency collects detailed and thorough data on businesses -- small, medium and large-scaled enterprises -- which is needed for the country's economic planning.

BPS is conducting the survey in two stages. During the first stage, conducted from May-June, the agency collected company data, including the numbers of employees, assets, sales, and scope of business, using a door-to-door and full-coverage method. In the second stage, to be conducted next year, the agency will collect data using a sampling method.

As of June, the agency had collected data from 25 million business units across the country. It aims to have collated the results of the first survey in early December. (07).
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