Before 1999, the branch offices in the four states (Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae) had been operating independently from each other. They were regulated and budgeted by the respective state governments and each collecting and producing their own statistics. As such, it was often difficult to aggregate these state figures to a "national" figure. The governments recognized the need for single national indicators. This need was further compounded by international requests for such information.
In 1999 a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by the national government and the state governments, centralizing statistical operations under the national office. The statistics offices in the 4 states are now operating under the national budget, statistics collected by these states get sent to the National Statistics Office for compilation, thus producing statistics representing both the States and National Government.
The National Statistics Office is based at the capital (Palikir) with 8 staff, while branch offices in the 4 states are manned with 3 working staff each.
The Statistics Office is presently known as the "Statistics Unit" within the Department of Economic Affairs. With the new administration, the Unit will become a part of a the newly-formed Office of Statistics, Budget, Overseas Development Assistance and Compact Management. This change does not affect the unit's roles and responsibilities as stated in the Statistics and Census Act of 1988. However, it is hoped that this change raises the profile of the unit.
We are FSM's official statistical information agency with a mission to:
promote, develop and provide relevant and timely statistics on the socio-economic activities, as the basis for information, decision making, research and discussion, to all persons and organization; therefore contributing to improving the welfare of the people of FSM.
As the demand for timely and good quality statistics from national, states government and international organisations increased, this poses great challenges for the FSM Statistics Unit, taking into account the limited resources the Office will continue to experience. Despite this, the Office will continue to strive to ensure its goals are met. These include:
- Design of Data Quality Framework to be used in attempt to improve the quality of the Office's outputs
- Expand coverage of the Office's Internet website
- Ensure all staff attend appropriate training, both national and international levels relevant to subject matter areas for which they are responsible