The Maastricht definition of debt is total gross debt at nominal value outstanding at the end of the year and consolidated between and within the sectors of general government. In order to analyse the debt structure, information is analysed by sector of debt holder, by instrument, by initial and remaining maturity, and by currency of issuance. In addition, it includes information on the apparent cost of debt, market value of debt, and the government guarantees by holders.
Data is compiled in accordance with the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010) adopted in Regulation (EU) No. 549/2013. The Maastricht definition of debt is in line with Council Regulation (EC) No. 479/2009 on the application of the Protocol on the excessive deficit procedure annexed to the Treaty establishing the European Community.
Administrative sources are used in order to compile the structure of government debt. These are the Departmental Accounting System (DAS) from the Treasury Department, the Financial Data Reporting System (FDRS) from the Ministry of Finance, the Debt Management Unit within the Treasury Department and the Central Bank of Malta (CBM). European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) re-routed debt data supplied by Eurostat is also used.
Data is then compiled according to the principles set out in the 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.
Accuracy and reliability of data
Structure of government debt is perfectly consistent with the ESA 2010 Transmission Programme Table 27. Data is therefore consistent with both ‘Quarterly general government debt’ and the EDP notification tables.
Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) information on holders of domestic debt is also used in order to verify counterpart data.
Timeliness and punctuality of data
A news release on the structure of general government debt is published annually as scheduled in the Advance Release Calendar. Data for a particular reference year n is published in year n+1.
Structure of general government debt data is collected annually by Eurostat on a voluntary basis via an ad-hoc survey. There is no legal deadline, however countries are asked to send data before a specified time.
Accessibility and clarity of data
‘Structure of General Government Debt’ news releases are published on the NSO’s website.
Data on the structure of general government debt is also available on the NSO’s statistical database (StatDB).
Coherence and comparability/consistency of data
Structure of general government debt data is comparable across all European Union member states as harmonised European rules (ESA 2010, and ESA 2010 Manual on government deficit and debt).
Consistency with quarterly government debt and Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) data is assured.
Data is fully comparable over time 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.