PUTRAJAYA: The National Statistics and Data Council, set up to strengthen governance in the country's statistical system, had its inaugural meeting on Thursday (Jan 27), chaired by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Prime Minister said data was a national asset that needed to be managed well to provide returns to the country in the form of information to guide the nation towards achieving policy goals and the national vision.
“Coordination of diverse information at the national level is critical.
"The health crisis and natural disasters that hit the country also demand more comprehensive, concise and integrated data availability,” he said after the meeting.
Ismail Sabri said among the decisions made at the meeting include empowering the Statistics Department as a central agency for this coordination and management, through the strengthening and modernising of its statistical services.
“The department will also serve as the council's secretariat. Chief data officers will also be appointed from the ranks of Federal and State agencies, ministries and departments in stages.
“The meeting also agreed to implement an action plan to strengthen the national statistics system,” he said.
Besides the Prime Minister, the council comprises several Cabinet ministers and deputy ministers, the Chief Secretary to the Government, the Chief Statistician, as well as technocrats, academicians and private sector representatives.
The ministries involved are International Trade and Industry, Defence, Finance, Works, Education, Prime Minister's Department, Agriculture and Food Industries, Health, and Women, Family and Community Development.
“An executive committee headed by the Chief Secretary was established to drive collaboration between ministries and agencies as well as the private sector in realising the council's agenda,” added Ismail Sabri.
He said to support the council, state and regional Statistics and Data Councils would also be set up.
“It is hoped that the establishment of the council will provide a positive impact, including ensuring the availability of more holistic data in formulating short-term and long-term national policies for the well-being of Malaysian families,” he said.