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Prof. Mohamed Limam

Président de l'Association Tunisienne pour la Statistique et ses Applications

c/o Ecole Supérieure de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information (ESSAI)

6, rue des Métiers

ZI Charguia II
BP 675

10810 TUNIS (Tunisie)



Dear Professor Limam


I am writing concerning the recent dismissal of Dr Slaheddine Saidi as head of the National Statistical Institute. One of the most important elements of an effective democracy is having an independent national statistical agency which can be trusted. This is also important to international lenders –they rely on accurate statistics countries whose official statistics are regarded as being of low integrity pay a significant premium when borrowing funds.


I am Chairman of the Advisory Board of Professional Ethics of the International Statistical Institute (ISI) and we monitor such situations on behalf of the ISI. The ISI will intervene if they believe there has been a significant breach in ethical principles or a statistician is being penalised for complying with ethical principles. There are indications that Dr Saidi may have been penalised for publishing statistics which may have been awkward for the Tunisian government even though they were compiled in accordance with agreed international standards. If you provide any insights into this situation they would be most appreciated.


Kind regards


Dennis Trewin


Advisory Board on Ethics

15 April 2012



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