Data are a central resource in the age of digitalisation. For the administration, registers are therefore more important than ever as cornerstones of the data landscape. The Interoperability and Registers Division (IOR) is the FSO’s central competence centre for this highly relevant and constantly growing field. Three federal registers (the "Business and Enterprise Register", the "Federal Register of Buildings and Dwellings" as well as the "Unique Business Identification Number Register") have been run successfully for years and their contents continuously developed. The Division also collects data from the official registers of persons for statistical and census purposes and ensures that the data are harmonised at source. The sedex service is another of the IOR’s tasks. This ensures the secure, traceable and standardised processing of sensitive data at all three administrative levels, including in the areas of health, education and economy for over 80 domains with approximately 8000 organisational units.
Recently, exciting projects have been added to the mandate, which highlight the division’s competences. These include the establishment of a national address service – a central service with residents’ addresses – and the creation and expansion of a national interoperability office and platform. The IOR Division thus makes a significant contribution to the reuse of data and the implementation of the once-only principle by strengthening and promoting the interoperability of all stakeholders at all three administrative levels.
In addition, the complete revision of the statistical information system that is embedded in the new national data management programme also managed by the IOR Division, further represents an extensive internal harmonisation project from which many of the FSO’s sections can benefit.
The Division integrates administrative data for statistical production into this context of reusing data. The IOR Division also produces individual data for register-based structural and demographic business statistics.
Other important tasks are the coordination of sampling and international cooperation in the field of economic nomenclatures and their harmonisation and implementation for Switzerland.
The Business and Enterprise Register Section (BUR) is responsible for keeping and updating the Business and Enterprise Register (BER), for the integration into the BER of entity identification data from all administrative sources, particularly those of the primary sector and the food chain, for the implementation of profiling in large enterprises and large public administration units as well as for light profiling of other multi-branch companies, for operating the UID system (business identification) and the system that manages the issuing of LEI (Legal Entity Identifier).
The BER encompasses all local units as well as all enterprises that are economically active in Switzerland. The BER is the statistical basis used to organise and coordinate statistical surveys among businesses. The BER uses administrative data to ensure its continuous updating of entity identification characteristics, which is fundamental to significantly promote the reduction of the burden on enterprises in data delivery.
The Business Registers Data Section (URD) ensures the integration of administrative data into business statistics, and in particular into the Business and Enterprise Register (BER). It manages the General Classification of Economic Activities (NOGA) and ensures the high quality of coding of economic activities for all units in the BER. It conducts surveys to update the BER and provides consolidated data for the Structural Business Statistics (STATENT) and the Statistics on Business Demography (UDEMO).
The Buildings and Dwellings Section (GEWO) runs the federal register for Buildings and Dwellings (RBD).
The federal RBD serves as the central data base for the Construction and Housing statistics and together with communal and cantonal population registers constitutes an important pillar in the register-based population census. On the basis of the RBD, the GEWO section also provides a small-scale geographical reference (geocoding) for population censuses, business surveys and other statistics.
The federal RBD is updated on the basis of notifications from the building authorities, who send information on all construction projects requiring building approval (new builds, renovations, demolitions) using the online application or web services. In addition, information on plot numbers, building coordinates and addresses is updated using official surveying. Other secondary data sources guarantee quality assurance and at the same time widen the range of information available.
The GEWO section is also in charge of the spatial classification service, which is responsible for keeping the Official Register of Swiss communes and for coordinating other spatial classifications (including regions used in analysis and country codes).
The sedex and Register section (SR) is in charge of harmonising and collecting data from the official registers of persons for statistical needs and the needs of the population census. Every quarter, the section organises and coordinates deliveries from the residents’ registration offices of the cantons and communes, as well as from the large federal registers of persons. The section uses the Sedex data exchange platform to ensure that data is transferred to FSO securely. The delivered statistical information is automatically checked as soon as it reaches FSO. The suppliers receive the result of this validation which enables them to record any inconsistencies in the registers where necessary. The SR section manages the ongoing development of sedex and makes the platform available to other internal and external users for the statutory exchange of data.
Furthermore, the Sedex and Register section (SR) is also responsible for coordinating and developing the FSO's register strategy.
The work of the Interoperability Office incorporates the necessary tools and instruments to harmonise and standardise metadata and the corresponding data catalogues. The Interoperability Office operates the basic services of the interoperability platform.
The Interoperability Office provides services to all those working on the agreed proposals and projects. It is divided into three areas of responsibility:
- Coordinating standardisation and harmonisation within the subject areas to be developed (e.g. economy, population, society, mobility).
- Supporting implementation with the appropriate tools / basic services of the interoperability platform.
- Ensuring the operational side of business.
In addition, the Interoperability Office assumes the role of Swiss Data Steward.