About Bank of Botswana statistics surveys
The Bank of Botswana conducts two regular surveys for purposes of compiling statistics. This is in addition to the framework for reporting by licensed banks under the Banking Act, 1995, which supplies information necessary for the compilation of monetary and financial statistics. The surveys are the Foreign Assets and Liabilities Survey (FALS; also known as the balance of payments survey) and the Business Expectations Survey (BES). The former is conducted quarterly, with a more extensive annual survey, while the BES is undertaken twice yearly. In addition, together with the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), the Bank is developing a survey of non-bank financial institutions ("Other Financial Coporations").
Obligation to participate and commitment to confidentiality
Participants in these surveys are not volunteers, but are selected in order to cover a relevant sample of businesses operating in Botswana. It is mainly larger businesses that are targeted, recognising both their importance in the economy and their capacity to devote sufficient time to complete the survey. However, in order to get a fuller picture of current developments, it is necessary to include a range of smaller businesses also. While survey participants are reminded that they have a legal requirement to respond (under section 59 of the the Bank of Botswana Act) , the Bank of Botswana is committed to a cooperative approach in the collection of statistics and would only consider resorting to the ultimate recourse of legal sanction in exceptional circumstances.
Surveys are conducted with the aim of compiling key economic and financial statistics. While good quality data is needed for effective policy making by the national authorities, the surveys are of direct benefit more widely, including for survey respondents. The Bank of Botswana frequently receives requests for information on balance of payments and monetary data from outside the government, including both Botswana-based businesses and those considering investing in the country. Those asked to participate in surveys should therefore treat the request positively as a way to contribute to the development of the country.
For its part, the Bank is both legally required and ethically committed to respect principles of confidentiality in using survey responses for preparation of statistics. This requires that statistics do not, without prior permission, identify individual respondents, and that Bank staff must not reveal information on respondents acquired in the course of their duties.
Submission of Returns
It is important to produce statistics on a timely basis; otherwise their usefulness quickly diminishes. Since the quality of the statistics is determined by the underlying data, the desired timelines can only be achieved through prompt responses from survey participants.
For its part, the Bank is committed to assist participants in completing survey forms. This is to both help ensure the accuracy of the responses and to reduce the additional burden on the respondent. As well as explanatory notes that are included with the survey forms, help can also be provided through answering questions (by telephone or email), as well as by making visits to respondents' businesses. For questions regarding the FALS and BES, please contact, respectively, the Balance of Payments Section and the National Economics Unit.
Balance of Payments Section
Tel: +267 360 6242
National Economics Unit
Tel: +267 360 6222