Govt: Errors In Prior Company Registration Stats

March 20, 2015

Minister of Economic Development, Dr.Grant Gibbons said that officials at the Registrar of Companies have “discovered longstanding errors in prior reports of company registrations.”

Dr. Gibbons stated that errors were discovered in the way company registration statistics were being extracted and compiled from the raw data stored in the Registrar of Companies’ database. As a result, the total number of registered companies reported has been overstated for more than 10 years, and a corrected data set for 2004 through 2014 is being issued.

Dr. Gibbons said, “Over the past few months, officials within the Ministry have worked together with subject matter experts to trace the source of the errors and to resolve them. Extracting the necessary data from the Registrar of Companies’ system is a complex process.

“Mistakes in the technical queries used to obtain the required data was the primary cause of inaccurate information being reported. A substantial number of man hours have been dedicated to correcting this issue which has existed for more than 10 years. Following a thorough review, we have made changes to the queries and processes used to extract the data and have produced corrected figures.”

“Various entities including the Ministry of Finance, the Department of Statistics and the Bermuda Monetary Authority all rely on this important data as a source of information to generate their own reports for the public. We have worked very hard to ensure that the information we release going forward is accurate.”

Turning to the registration figures for Q4 2014, the Ministry of Economic Development reports that the number of new registrations totaled 307. Although this was a slight decrease from the 322 new registrations in Q4 2013, the 1,178 total new registrations for 2014 showed a 3% increase over the 1,143 new registrations in 2013 and a 21.5% increase over the 969 new registrations in 2012.

Dr. Gibbons stated, “The corrected data shows positive signs for our economy with continuous growth in the number of registrations since 2012.”

Dr. Gibbons noted that the increase in new registrations since 2012 covered both local and international businesses. Registrations for local businesses increased by approximately 37% from 2012 to 2014 while registrations of international businesses have increased by approximately 19.5% since 2012.

Dr. Gibbons concluded, “Based on the restated figures, the total number of companies on the register increased from 15,988 in 2013 to 16,187 in 2014.”

The complete set of restated figures is below [PDF here]

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Comments (17)

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  1. aceboy says:

    So the errors started in 2005.

    That makes sense.

    • Sad says:

      The exact same time when the deficit and debt exploded as well as the last time the pensions were subject to an audit.

      What happened in 2005?

  2. We, (well most of us) thank you Dr. Grant Gibbons / and all others that are responsible for discovering this so called “error” that goes back a decade :-(

  3. Kangoocar says:

    More FUZZY math surfacing from the plp??? My god, will it ever end???

  4. Creamy says:

    Still correcting mistakes made under the PLP.

  5. Onion says:

    Hm. Why the sudden jump in business confidence after 2012….

  6. Family Man says:

    For ten years the Registrar couldn’t do a simple reconciliation:

    Number of companies at start of year +
    New incorporations -
    Number of companies wound up and struck off =
    Number of companies at end of year.

    It’s just so basic I don’t understand how the error could go on for ten years?

    Isn’t that the Registrar’s job? To keep an ACCURATE record of the companies incorporated and in good standing in Bermuda?

    Of course nobody will lose their job over this will they?

  7. Truth is killin' me... says:

    A head or a few should roll for this. Accountability is non-existant!?

  8. Ringmaster says:

    The next revelation will be that from 2005 the number of tourists, excluding those on business or visiting friends and family will have dropped, despite the $40 million paid to Global Hue. If Global Hue was so great, why didn’t the visitor arrivals get broken out by segment to show their success? Was it because the Platinum Period wasn’t? I await the facts.

  9. Chaos Theory says:

    Let’s see that table before and after the so called “error” to enable us to judge the impact

  10. Double D says:

    Over reliance on Excel.

    IT systems need upgrades apparently.

  11. Former Union Member says:

    One other reality to consider…anyone who is filling out Government ‘forms’ for statistics, Land Evaluation, etc. eventually comes to do so in the fastest way possible. I.E….just fill out the forms with enough reasonable looking information they don’t look at it and give you a hard time. Kick it out the door until they (government) harass you again next year. There has been no real effort from Government Departments to make their data collection efficient, easy to complete and encouraging to the folks who provide the information. Statistics have perfected this non-encouraging route for years. The recent changes to the Immigration process is another glaring example of making an important process even more cumbersome. And the Land Evaluation form that went out in the last couple weeks? Please don’t make me laugh/cry any more…

  12. agatha christie says:

    So it was actually even worse than we thought under the PLP! Good grief.

  13. Ann says:

    How strange is it that the usual PLP die hards aren’t posting on this?

  14. TonyC says:

    This is exactly where the Government have a major problem brewing. Because of the hiring policy under the previous administration, the civil service is full of influential people who are PLP through and through. Advice given by technical officers (the ones with the qualifications and experience, the professionals) are routinely ignored by the Permanent Secretaries and their advisors (not professionals), and the results are there for all to see.

    It will get a lot worse unless someone steps up and removes the inefficient (and downright obstructive) individuals making crucial decisions in the Civil Service.

  15. tom cooke says:

    TonyC I wondered when they were going to catch on to that… give me a break…