The Italian National Institute of Statistics is a public research organisation. It has been present in Italy since 1926, and is the main producer of official statistics in the service of citizens and policy-makers. It operates in complete independence and continuous interaction with the academic and scientific communities. Since 1989 Istat has been performing the role of directing, coordinating, and providing technical assistance and training within the National Statistical System (Sistan). The System was established under Legislative Decree 322/89 in order to rationalise the production and publication of information and to optimise resources allocated to official statistics. Sistanis made up of Istat, central and branch statistical departments of Public Administrations, of local and regional bodies, Chambers of Commerce, other public bodies and administrations providing statistical information.