Statistical information is increasingly a way of knowing the economic and social reality of territory at a given time, being an indispensable tool for policy definition and decision-making by the different economic actors and citizens. 

In this context, the Regional Directorate of Statistics of Madeira (DREM) has been increasingly strengthening its activity as a producer and disseminator of official statistics of the Region. 

In fact, its Mission is to produce and disseminate high quality official statistical information, which responds independently and effectively to the information needs of society, always in permanent change, becoming more and more demanding regarding the relevance, quality and timeliness of that information. 

Official statistics are produced in compliance with the standards, guidelines and good practices of national and international statistical quality, issued by the Statistical Council, as the authority that guides and coordinates the National Statistical System (NSS), the European Statistical System (ESS) and in line with the European Statistics Code of Practice.  

Individual statistical data collected from citizens, companies, national, regional and local government services, within the scope of statistical operations of the NSS, are confidential in nature and used exclusively for the production of official statistics, made available simultaneously to all users, in an objective and impartial manner. The role that DREM develops in the Region can also be seen as a guarantor for information transparency since the release of information in an unbiased manner contributes to an enlightened debate and to a developed society. 

It should be noted that DREM has a double status, as provided in the National Statistical System Law as well as in its Organic Law, since, on  one hand, it functions as the central statistical authority in the Region, as the authority on this matter regarding official statistics at a regional level, and, on the other hand, it participates in those at a national level, under the supervision and technical and scientific coordination of Statistics Portugal (INE), functioning as a delegation of this Institute. 

In the development of its activity, statistical cooperation is another of DREM's attributions, and in addition to the close connection with INE, legally framed, there is a relationship with other statistical authorities (Bank of Portugal, Regional Statistical Service of the Azores and entities with delegated powers granted by INE in the production of official statistics), as well as with other organisations that have data that can be used for statistical purposes. At the international level, to be noted  the collaboration with the Canary Islands Statistics Institute (ISTAC), under transnational territorial cooperation programmes, specifically the Madeira-Azores-Canary Islands territorial cooperation programmes, which, in addition to the development of innovative projects of regional interest, enables the sharing of good practices and the exchange of knowledge. 

The recent investment in the adequate training of its technical personnel, in their proper valorisation and the adequate equipping with material and non-material goods have been fundamental for DREM to have the necessary means to perform its role with the necessary quality.

Finally, we cannot fail to highlight the important collaboration of enterprises, public authorities and citizens in providing information that is essential for the production of official statistics. Although the response to surveys is compulsory, DREM tries to make all information providers aware of the importance of such collaboration. More than the fulfilment of a duty, it is fundamental to understand the contribution that is being given to the knowledge of society and the benefit that this brings to all. 

This is the raison d’ être of DREM and it is with this spirit of public service that it will continue to embrace future challenges. 

Paulo Baptista Vieira