One of the primary tasks of official statistics, according to the Act, is collecting and gathering statistical data:
- from and about entities of the national economy and their economic activities, and
- from and about natural persons, their lives and situation
- from all accessible sources, described in detail in the programme of statistical surveys of the official statistics or in separate legal acts, i.a.:
- from full surveys, national censuses,
- from representative surveys,
- from administrative sources.
Programme of statistical surveys of official statistics is the list stating the thematic, subjective and objective scope of statistical surveys and obligations related to them.
The following techniques of transmitting statistical data are used:
- Internet (Reporting Portal, e-mail),
- face-to-face interview (paper and pencil interview using a printed questionnaire or CAPI – interview registered on a mobile electronic device),
- telephone interview (traditional or CATI – computer assisted telephone interview).
Since 2000 in all Statistical Offices there are Questionnaire Surveys Departments, dealing with realisation of social and agricultural statistical surveys by the team of interviewers in the field.
The interviewers conduct the following kinds of surveys:
- and commissioned surveys, not included in the programme of statistical surveys of official statistics.
Social questionnaire surveys are conducted using the representative method and participation in them is voluntary.
Monitoring of prices and agricultural questionnaire surveys are conducted using purposive sampling and participation them is obligatory.
In the case of large workload related to the surveys it is possible to engage office staff as so-called replacement interviewers.
On 1 January 2009 the Central Statistical Office introduced a secure electronic form, as the obligatory channel for transmitting statistical data. According to the programme of statistical surveys of official statistics, entities of the national economy, bound by reporting obligation should transmit data in electronic form on the CSO Reporting Portal. In the Portal one can find applications allowing to fill in the forms online. Logging into the CSO Reporting Portal is possible via a previously activated account. For certain reports there are also downloadable offline applications allowing to fill the forms on your computer, without the necessity of direct Internet connection, and subsequently sending them electronically to the official statistical services.
Both national population census and national agricultural census are obligatory surveys, conducted on the basis of a separate legal act - the act on censuses. They are at the same time the biggest statistical undertakings not only in Poland, but also worldwide. Realisation of such projects requires full mobilisation from both the society and the state.
National Population and Housing Census yields the most detailed information on the size of the population, its spatial distribution, socio-demographic and workforce structure, as well as on the socio-economic characteristics of households and families, and their resources and housing conditions on all levels of the territorial division of the country: national, regional and local.
National Agricultural Census has been conducted in order to provide information on agriculture with respect to the general characteristics of an agricultural holding, land use and sown area, livestock as well as on tractors, agricultural machinery and equipment, use of fertilisers, people employed in the agricultural holding, structure of income of the holding, use of programmes supporting agriculture and methods of agricultural production (impact of agriculture on environment).
Governmental bodies and local self-government units, other governmental institutions, authorities running official registers and the National Bank of Poland transmit to the official statistics services administrative data they gather free of charge, in the scope, form and dates stated each time in the programme of statistical surveys of the official statistics, especially in the form of excerpts from registers, copies of: datasets, collected declarations, records and other administrative forms; results of measurements, data from environmental monitoring, and share data from the databases in their IT systems.
Administrative datasets drawn from the central systems, i.a.:
- Ministry of Finance / tax offices – information system run by the fiscal administration;
- Ministry of the Interior – PESEL dataset and Central Vehicles Register;
- Agency for Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture;
- Agricultural Social Insurance Fund;
- National Health Fund – Central Record of Insured People;
- Agricultural and Food Quality Inspection;
- Head Office of Land Surveying and Cartography – national register of borders and area of the units of territorial division of the country and the orthophotomap of Poland;
and from dispersed sources, such as:
- voivodship marshal offices – Database of Topographic Objects;
- powiat administration - land and property register;
- Powiat Employment Offices – information systems;
- gminas’ local administration – real estate tax record and local population registers.