# Data on time needed to complete statistical forms

```MEASURING OF STATISTICAL RESPONSE BURDEN AT STATISTICS LITHUANIA
In order to reduce the statistical response burden and develop the better partnership with
respondents, a working group was established at Statistics Lithuania (SL) in 2003. It initiated
many activities aimed at reducing the statistical response burden.
Soon it became evident that an instrument was needed to assess the results of the work done
and to make it more effective. In 2005 a methodology of assessment of the statistical
response burden was prepared. Later it was developed and finally adopted at the
Methodological commission of SL and endorsed by the law of the director general of SL.
Starting from 2006 all statistical questionnaires were supplemented by an additional question
on the time respondents needed to prepare the statistical data and to fill in the questionnaire.
This question is optional and respondents are not obliged to answer it.
In case of monthly or quarterly surveys the respondents are asked to provide the data on the
response burden only one time. Statistical units conducting the surveys are free to decide
which period should be reported. (It should be not the first and not the last month or quarter
of the year).
Usually more than 50 percent of respondents point out the time they need to fill in the
statistical questionnaire and to provide data to Statistics Lithuania. This data are collected
into one data base, processed and analyzed in the working group of reducing response
burden.
Naturally the data collected this way carries on a subjective character, which causes high
variability. It has to be taken into account when processing the data. After some pilot calculations it
was decided to delete the outliers according to the Tchebyshow rule, which relates data with its
average and standard error. The value is called an outlier, if it falls out of the interval:
x  2s, x  2s . Where x – average value of the survey variable, s – standard error.
The data allow getting quite detailed information which is very useful for the planning of the
new activities.
For example, it was possible to see the effect of the implementation of electronic
questionnaires. The time the respondents needed to fill in the paper questionnaires was
compared with the time of the same respondents needed when they changed to the electronic
form.
(See the table below).
Average time needed to
questionnaire (in minutes)
Statistical survey
Year 2007 (paper
questionnaire)
fill
in
Year 2008 (el.
questionnaire )
Economy
of
time in percent
Foreign investments
52
41
21
Structural
statistics (Quarterly)
220
168
24
Structural
statistics (Yearly)
560
356
36
42
30
29
Job vacancy survey
51
32
37
Labor survey
192
105
45
As a result the decision was made to implement the electronic forms of all statistical
questionnaires.
This data allows also seeing effect of other measures aimed at the reducing of response
burden.
On the base of this data an indicator of statistical response burden is calculated every year.
See also Swedish Presidency Report (SWPR) – Presentation of practical exercise on sharing
good examples
```