The tasks of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) are defined in the Act on the Natural Resources Institute Finland (561/2014) and the Act on food and natural resources statistics (562/2014) (only in Finnish and Swedish). The act on food and natural resources statistics defines that Luke’s task is to compile and publish the following statistics:
1) the structure of agriculture, production methods and inputs, crop, horticultural and livestock production, the impact of production on the environment, and prices of agricultural products;
2) the financial use of forests, the functioning of the wood market, forest management, and forest protection;
3) fishing, aquaculture, fisheries, and markets for fish products; and
4) food safety.
According to the act, Luke has extensive rights to collect data on agriculture and horticulture, fishing and aquaculture, the processing and trade of agricultural and fishery products, forestry, and wood processing and trade.
The compilation of statistics and the obligation to disseminate information are regulated by the Statistics Act (280/2004) (only in Finnish and Swedish). According to the act, the statistical authorities must seek to use existing administrative data in compiling statistics. Data that cannot be obtained from other sources can be collected from data providers, as long as this has been agreed beforehand with the data providers or their interest groups. Any changes in existing data collection processes must be negotiated beforehand. The Statistics Act also lays down provisions on the disclosure of data for research purposes and the confidentiality of data. The requirements of the Act on the Openness of Government Activities and the Data Protection Act must be addressed in statistical activities.
EU regulations on statistics
The regulations, guidelines and decisions of the EU Council, Parliament and Commission steer statistical activities in addition to the national legislation. They concern the harmonisation of statistics in the EU member states, including classifications and other statistics standards, as well as the data provided for the Commission and the schedules to be followed.
The multi-year statistical programme (PDF) approved by the European Parliament and Council is a key document that steers activities. Based on it, the Commission prepares its annual work programme. When compiling statistics in accordance with the statistical programme, the statistical authorities of the EU member states and Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, must comply with the EU statistics regulation (PDF). As a supranational regulation, it overrides the national Statistics Act. In practice, however, there is no conflict between it and the Finnish Statistics Act. Eurostat has prepared the Legal framework for European Statistics – The Statistical Law (PDF), a guide on the EU statistics regulation.
The European Statistical System Committee (ESSC), consisting of the directors general of national statistical authorities, steers statistical activities in the EU. Directors’ groups of different statistical areas operate under it to coordinate the work of working groups in their respective sectors. Luke participates in the preparation and coordination of the statistics regulations of the Standing Committee for Agricultural Statistics (CPSA) and the working groups operating under it, as well as in the preparation of the regulations of the Commission’s statistics working group with regard to agricultural statistics. The directors’ group on agricultural statistics (DGAS) and the directors of sectoral and environmental statistics and accounts (DIMESA) are the most important statistical directors’ groups for Luke.