Data in the Quarterly Accounts for General Government news release is an illustration of the quarterly data of both the non-financial and financial accounts of the general government sector, as well as the debt and the government guaranteed debt. General Government Sector (S.13 sector according to the ESA 2010 definitions) is made up of the Central Government Sector (S.1311) and the Local Government Sector (S.1313). The Central Government Sector includes the Budgetary Central Government, made up of Government ministries and departments and the Extra Budgetary Units (EBUs) which are classified as forming part of this sector.
Data is provided according to the European Parliament and Council Regulation (EU) No. 549/2013 and is in line with the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010) Manual and the Manual on Government Deficit and Debt
Administrative sources are used to compile government finance statistics. These are the Departmental Accounting System (DAS) from the Treasury Department, the Financial Data Reporting System (FDRS) from the Ministry of Finance, and the Treasury’s accruals templates from the Treasury Department. Other ad-hoc information is also requested from the Ministry of Finance. Data from the DAS and FDRS is available on a monthly basis, while the Treasury’s accruals templates are available on a quarterly basis.
Data is then compiled in accordance with principles set out in ESA 2010 and the Manual on Government Deficit and Debt. EDP debt is recorded at nominal value while in the financial accounts the debt instruments are recorded at market value. Data for revenue and expenditure are recorded on accruals basis. Revenues from VAT, Income Tax and Social Security Contributions are recorded using the time-adjusted cash method in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No. 2516/2000. Following a study undertaken by NSO in 2008, Eurostat approved a time adjustment of t+1 for VAT and t+2 for Income Tax and Social Security Contributions.
Accuracy and reliability of data
All accounts in the corporate chart of accounts (COA) of DAS are coded in accordance with the requirements of the ESA 2010, and checks with previous years and with the current economic scenario are undertaken.
Further checks are conducted by the Public Finance Unit on the Treasury’s accruals templates. Each quarter any queries observed are sent to the Accounting, Methodology and Compliance Unit (AMCU) in respect of changed in debtors and creditors greater than €1.0 million.
For any queries or clarifications on the FDRS templates, contact is either made directly with the particular Extra Budgetary Unit (EBU) or with the Financial Management and Monitoring Unit (FMMU) at the Budget Office.
Timeliness and punctuality of data
A news release on quarterly accounts for general government data is published quarterly as scheduled in the Advance Release Calendar. Data is published in January (with data for Q3 of the preceding year), in April (with data for Q4 of the preceding year), in July (with data for Q1), and in October (with data for Q2). In April and October, it is published in conjunction with the ‘General Government Balance and Debt under the Maastricht Treaty’ news release.
Data is transmitted to Eurostat three months after the end of the quarter to which the data refers, at the latest. The deadline for the transmission of provisional data is 85 days after the end of the reference quarter. Data found in the news release conforms to data transmitted to Eurostat every quarter in Table 25 for the non-financial account, Table 27 for the financial account and Table 28 for the government debt.
Accessibility and clarity of data
The ‘Quarterly accounts or general government’ news releases are published on the NSO’s website.
Data on quarterly accounts for general government is available also on the NSO’s statistical database (StatDB).
Coherence and comparability/consistency of data
Data are comparable across all European Union member states as harmonised European rules (ESA 2010, and ESA 2010 Manual on government deficit and debt) are adopted for compiling the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) data.
Consistency is ensured within and between the EDP tables and the ESA transmission programme.
Malta’s General Government data is comparable from 1995 onwards. Prior to year 2008 the unit of measure was the Maltese Lira (Lm) and the conversion rate to euro used was the fixed rate of 0.4293.