Designing a Compliance Information System: ESA and the Techniques of Surveillance
This chapter examines the techniques of surveillance employed by Eurostat during the surveillance process to develop a compliance information system, including the development of the member state self-reporting form required by the Treaty, the use of the European System of Accounts (ESA) that served as the Treaty's standard for measuring the member states' deficits and debt, the role of on-site inspections, and the assumption of trust that guided Eurostat's analysis of the member states' budgetary data. It provides an example of ESA's logic in a detailed analysis of a national accounts categorization of public enterprise privatization. This important interpretation of ESA prevented the member states from employing revenues derived from certain types of privatization in the calculation of their deficit figures. These techniques not only enhanced Eurostat's surveillance capacities; they furthered the agency's efforts to obtain independence in its decision-making.
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