Friday, April 12, 2024

Access to official info ‘poor’

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BARBADIAN BUSINESSES are crying out for better “official information” from Government institutions and industry associations.

A number of them have reported that they are “generally dissatisfied with available macroeconomic and industry information, both statistical and otherwise”.

They communicated this to local company Antilles Economics as it conducted a Survey Of Use Of Data In Barbadian Organisations: Attitudes Towards External Information.

In the second part of its four-part series summarising the results of the study, Antilles managing director Stacia Howard said respondents “were willing to pay third party providers to improve their access to information”.

“Official information – macroeconomic and industry statistics and reports published by Government institutions and industry associations – form the backbone of the economic and market analysis. On this foundation, they develop their long-term strategies. It therefore follows that if they have any doubts about the credibility of this data, or if the data is insufficient for their planning purposes, their long term strategic planning will be adversely affected,” Howard said.

“The level of dissatisfaction with industry statistics is particularly high, with 58.8 per cent of respondents strongly disagreeing with the statement ‘I am satisfied with the range of available industry statistics’. Of the four types of public information – macroeconomic reports, macroeconomic statistics, industry reports and industry statistics – respondents were most satisfied with macroeconomic reports.”

Howard said while Government and industry associations were the main sources of external information in Barbados and “should be commended for the efforts made thus far to ensure that data and reports are made available to the public”, improvements were needed.

“A great deal of information that would be useful to corporations continues to remain inaccessible to the public. More attention needs to be placed on supporting the very companies that provided much of the data in the first place by putting as much of this information in the public domain as possible, once it does not reveal sensitive corporation information,” she said. (SC)

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