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Improving Official Statistics

In Memoriam: Dr Jorge Todesca

Dr Jorge Todesca, at the service of statistics and of democracy Our sister society, IASI (the Inter-American Statistical Institute), announced in the March issue of its newsletter that Dr. Jorge Todesca passed away on 21 February at the age of 73, just two months after the end of his four-year term as director of the Argentinean INDEC (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos).

He was appointed on 21 December, 2015 by the newly elected President of the Nation, Mauricio Macri, after eight years of manipulation of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) by INDEC under governmental pressures. These manipulations affected by a domino effect all of INDEC’s statistical production: growth of real GDP was largely overestimated and the evolution of the number of people living below the poverty line was underestimated. During these eight years, Dr. Todesca’s consultancy firm Finsoport remained firm in the decision to publish figures that belied official data. As a result, Finosport was fined and Dr. Todesca himself suffered a criminal complaint.

The main task assigned to Dr. Todesca upon his appointment was therefore to recover the credibility of Argentine’s official statistics and reintegrate INDEC at international level. During his successful term, the international statistical community supported Dr. Todesca in this difficult but important task. For instance, Dr. Todesca was one of the invited speakers in the IAOS Special Meeting on “NSOs Professional Independence: Threats and Responses” prior to the IAOS 17th Conference organized at the OECD premises in September 2018.

In the name of its members, the ISI and IAOS assured the Argentine statisticians of their sympathy and expressed their condolences to them and his family.

Dr. Marco Lavagna was appointed Dr. Todesca’s successor on 21 December, 2019. Dr. Lavagna was one of the members of the Congress Committee which published from 2008 to 2015 the so called “Indice Congreso” (one idea supported by Dr. Todesca) in opposition to the fake index published by INDEC at that time. Dr. Lavagna promised to keep his predecessor´s policy. We wish him all the best in this post.


Jean-Louis Bodin