KPMG to Probe Distributors’ Advance Information Access to Canadian Statistical Economic Data

Lucas Gilmore, “Big 4″ observer
December 20, 2010 /

Canada has appointed KPMG to carry out an investigation into the entities that may have benefited from advance information access to economic data from Statistics Canada in response to the call from opposition lawmakers that blew the whistle on the issue.

The external investigation, which will be completed by March 31, 2011 according to Statistics Canada, will dig out the names of those distributors to the agency that benefited from their early information access, including Bloomberg LP, the Conference Board of Canada, Emerging Markets Economic Data Ltd., FactSet Research Systems Inc., Global Insight (Canada) Inc., Haver Analytics, Nomura Research Institute Ltd. and Thomson Financial Investment Management Group.

Canadian government said the move would aim to protect the credibility of Statistics Canada and uphold the fairness with which distributors gain information access to trade bonds, monetary policy betting trends, and stocks and currency.

Statistics Canada allegedly has been allowing few distributors to gain access to its data “59 seconds” prior to its publication for quite some time, according to the federal agency’s industry minister Tony Clement. The early information access could give unfair advantage to some distributors especially regarding the trend of the bets placed on monetary policy.

Clement said as of these days, evidence pointing to certain entities benefiting from the early information access remains elusive, adding that Statistics Canada must come to terms with the claims from the opposition lawmakers to retain its credibility.

Statistics Canada said it has committed to its responsibility of providing up-to-date, relevant, and equal information access to its users. In 2009, the same allegations of data breach have been brought to its attention. The investigation, however, found nothing anomalous with the advance information access.

The agency replaced Dominion Bureau of Statistics in 1971 as a major provider of economic and other Canada-related information.

 

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