Press release, 10.02.2023.
Communication of the HCSO on the violation of the embargo rules on official statistical data
The Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO) has conducted an investigation into the violation of embargo rules related to the pre-release access to official statistical data. The internal investigation of the HCSO has established that no embargoed data were sent by its officers and staff to an unauthorised person or organisation. The content of the first release 'Retail trade, December 2022' was mistakenly forwarded to the Makronóm Institute before the official publication by an authorised recipient's secretariat, which had pre-release access to the data.
On 4 February 2023, the HCSO became aware that the Makronóm Institute had sent embargoed statistical data and an analysis based on them to the press prior to the official release of the retail trade data to be published on 6 February. In response to the embargo violation, the HCSO issued a communication announcing the immediate opening of an investigation.
The HCSO immediately launched an investigation into the serious breach of the embargo, as a result of which it was established that in accordance with the applicable internal rules, the HCSO had granted pre-release access to the data to the authorised addressees with an access declaration. No embargoed data were sent by the managers and staff of the Office to unauthorised parties.
The investigation found that, prior to the official publication, the secretariat of a recipient having pre-release access to the data and having accepted the embargo rules by declaration had forwarded the data of the first release to the Makronóm Institute. The incident resulted from a mistake acknowledged by the recipient who had pre-release access.
The Dissemination and Communication Policy of the Office states that a breach of the embargo may lead to the withdrawal of the possibility of pre-release access granted by the HCSO. Due to the embargo violation, the HCSO has decided, in accordance with the above-mentioned provision, to withdraw with immediate effect the pre-release access of the recipient concerned to official statistical data.
In order to avoid any breach of the embargo rules and the potential damage that could be caused, the HCSO will shorten the period between pre-release access and publication according to the dissemination calendar. Henceforth, the first releases will be sent to those entitled to pre-release access at 18.00 on the calendar day preceding the day of release.
At the same time, the HCSO has once again strongly reminded all concerned parties to respect the rules on pre-release access, as stated in the declaration they signed, which prohibits the publication or transmission to third parties of the content of the first releases before their official publication.
Hungarian Central Statistical Office
H-1024 Budapest, Keleti Károly u. 5-7. Phone: +36 (1) 345 6000
Postal address: P.O.B. 51 Budapest, H-1525