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Act relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway (the Statistics Act)

Act No. 54 of 16 June 1989

Act relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway (the Statistics Act)

Repeal of:

Act No. 2 of 25 April 1907 concerning the procurement of statements for official statistics.

Chapter 1. Object, definitions and scope

§ 1-1. Object

This Act shall promote the efficient production of appropriate statistics through rules for the collection and use of information for statistical purposes and through rules for the organization and activities of Statistics Norway.

§ 1-2. Definitions

(1) Statistics are numerical data concerning a group or a phenomenon which become apparent through comparing and processing information about the individual units in the group or a selection of these units, or through systematic observation of the phenomenon.

(2) Official statistics are statistics which are made available to the public by Statistics Norway or another state agency.

§ 1-3. Scope

The King (Footnote 1: Ministry of Finance pursuant to Royal Decree No. 387 of 16 June 1989.) shall decide the extent to which which this Act shall be made to apply to the Norwegian economic zone and to Svalbard, Jan Mayen and the dependencies.

Chapter 2. Official statistics

§ 2-1. Decisions concerning the production of official statistics

Decisions concerning the production of official statistics shall be taken by the King. (Footnote 1: Ministry of Finance pursuant to Royal Decree No. 387 of 16 June 1989.)

§ 2-2. Obligation to provide information

(1) The King (Footnote 1: Ministry of Finance pursuant to Royal Decree No. 387 of 16 June 1989.) may by regulation or resolution impose upon any person an obligation to provide the information which is necessary for the production of official statistics in so far as any legally prescribed obligation of secrecy is no obstacle thereto.

(2) A deadline may be set for the provision of information and stipulations may be made regarding the form in which the information shall be given. The obligation to provide information is breached when the information required is not given before the expiry of the deadline.

§ 2-3 (Footnote 1: Amended by Act No. 86 of 26 June 1992 (effective as of 1 January 1993 pursuant to Proposition No. 765 of 23 October 1992), and by Act No. 4 of 18 March 1994 (effective immediately pursuant to Proposition No. 217 of 18 March 1994, and retroactive for compulsory fines fallen due prior to its entry into force).) Compulsory fines

The body which has laid down the obligation to provide information may impose compulsory fines payable to the state upon such person as breaches this obligation. The imposition of compulsory fines shall be grounds for enforcing payment. Such compulsory fines may be collected by distraint. In special cases compulsory fines that have been incurred may be waived wholly or in part. The King (Footnote 2: Ministry of Finance pursuant to Royal Decree No. 387 of 16 June 1989.) may issue more detailed provisions concerning such compulsory fines.

When the State Agency for the Recovery of Fines has been instructed to collect a compulsory fine as mentioned in the first paragraph, it can do so by garnishing wages and other similar payments pursuant to the rules in Section 2-7 of the Creditors Security Act. The Agency may also enforce payment of the fine by establishing an attachment charge in respect of the claim, provided the claim can be given legal protection by being registered in a register or notified to a third party, cf. Chapter 5 of the Mortgage Act, and the attachment proceedings can be conducted on the premises of the Agency according to the first paragraph of Section 7-9 of the Act relating to the Enforcement of Claims.

§ 2-4. Obligation of secrecy

(1) Any person performing work or service for a body which prepares or produces official statistics has a duty to prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access to or knowledge of whatever information he or she obtains concerning personal matters, administrative or business matters, or of technical appliances and methods used during the preparation or production of statistics. The obligation of secrecy applies only to such information as is collected for the purpose of producing official statistics.

(2) The obligation of secrecy also applies after the person concerned has completed the work or service. Furthermore, the person concerned may not use such information as is mentioned in this section in his or her own business or in work or in the service of others.

(3) Section 13 to 13e of the Public Administration Act do not apply.

§2-5. The Use of information

(1) Information collected in accordance with any prescribed obligation to provide information, or which is given voluntarily, may only be used for the production of official statistics or for such other use as is approved by the Data Inspectorate and is not detrimental to the security of the realm. If information is handed over, the obligation of secrecy pursuant to §2-4 shall also apply to the recipient of the information. When particular grounds so indicate, the Data Inspectorate may nevertheless make exceptions to such obligation of secrecy for certain types of information.

(2) Any agency which hands over such information may stipulate conditions inter alia concerning the use of the information and who shall be responsible for the information and have access thereto, concerning the storage and return of borrowed material, the destruction of copies, etc.

§ 2-6. The publication of information

Information collected in accordance with any prescribed obligation to provide information, or which is given voluntarily, shall under no circumstances be published in such a way that it may be traced back to the supplier of any data or to any other identifiable individual to the detriment of the person concerned, or to the unreasonable detriment of the latter if the supplier of the data or the individual is an undertaking of the kind mentioned in § 5-1 third paragraph (Footnote 1: Repealed by Act No. 66 of 20 July 1991.) or a public organization.

§ 2-7. Cessation of the obligation of secrecy

The obligation of secrecy pursuant to this Act with respect to information concerning personal matters shall cease after 100 years. The obligation of secrecy pursuant to this Act with respect to information concerning management and business matters and technical appliances and methods shall cease after 60 years.

Chapter 3. The duties and activities of Statistics Norway

§ 3-1. The duties of Statistics Norway is the central body for production and dissemination of official statistics and bears the main responsibility for ensuring that the object of this Act pursuant to § 1-1 is fulfilled. With respect thereto, Statistics Norway shall:

a) Identify and place in order of priority the needs for official statistics
b) Coordinate comprehensive statistics which are produced by administrative agencies,
c) Develop statistical methods and apply statistics to analysis and research,
d) Provide information for statistical use for research purposes and for public planning within the framework of § 2-5 of this Act,
e) Bear the main responsibility for international statistical cooperation.

§ 3-2. Administrative data-processing systems.

(1) Statistics Norway shall have the right to use administrative data-processing systems in the state administration and in nationwide municipal organizations as the basis for official statistics.

(2) When state bodies or nationwide municipal organizations are to establish or modify a major administrative data-processing system, notice thereof shall be sent in advance to Statistics Norway. Statistics Norway may seek additional information. Statistics Norway may also put forward proposals concerning the manner in which data-processing systems should be designed in order to safeguard consideration for statistics.

(3) The King (Footnote 1: Ministry of Finance pursuant to Royal Decree No. 387 of 16 June 1989.) may issue more detailed provisions concerning the practice of the rules in subsections 1 and 2.

§ 3-3. Coordination of statistics

(1) When an administrative body is to carry out major statistical investigations, notice thereof shall be sent in advance to Statistics Norway. Statistics Norway may seek additional information. Statistics Norway may forward proposals concerning the manner in which information shall be sought and the manner in which statistics shall be produced in order to safeguard consideration for statistics and coordination.

(2) The King (Footnote 1: Ministry of Finance pursuant to Royal Decree No. 387 of 16 June 1989.) may determine that public research institutes shall be considered to be administrative bodies pursuant to the provisions of this section.

Chapter 4. The organization and administration of Statistics Norway

§ 4.1. The administration of Statistics Norway

(1) Statistics Norway is a professionally autonomous institution which shall be placed under such ministry as determined by the King (Footnote 1: Ministry of Finance pursuant to Royal Decree No. 387 of 16 June 1989.)

(2) Statistics Norway shall be administrated by an executive committee and a director general. The director general shall be in charge of administration except in those matters which come under the auspices of the executive committee. The King (Footnote 1: Ministry of Finance pursuant to Royal Decree No. 387 of 16 June 1989.) may issue regulations concerning the duties of the executive committee and of the director general.

§ 4-2. The duties and composition of the executive committee

(1) The executive committee shall discuss and stipulate the long-term programme the draft budget and the annual work programme proposed by the director general, and place these matters and the annual report before the Ministry. Otherwise the executive committee plays a general supervisory role with respect to the development of official statistics and to the activities of Statistics Norway.

(2) The executive committee of Statistics Norway shall have 7 members. The King (Footnote 1:Ministry of Finance pursuant to Royal Decree No. 387 of 16 June 1989.) shall appoint the chairman of the executive committee, its vicechairman, 5 ordinary members and deputies for a period of 4 years. Members may be re-appointed. One member and a deputy shall be appointed on the recommendation of the staff.

Chapter 5. Other provisions

§ 5-1. (Footnote 1: Amended by Act No. 66 of 20 July 1991 (effective as of 15 October 1991 pursuant to Proposition No. 571 of 6 September 1991)) Penalties

(1) Wilful violation of § 2-2 or of an order pursuant to § 2-2 concerning the obligation to provide statements, of § 2-5 concerning the use of information or of § 2-6 concerning the publication of information may be punishable by fines unless the violation falls under more stringent criminal provisions.

(2) Breaches of the obligation of secrecy or of conditions pursuant to § 2-5 may be punishable pursuant to § 121 of the Penal Code.

§ 5-2. Implementation of the Act, etc.

The King (Footnote 1: Ministry of Finance pursuant to Royal Decree No. 387 of 16 June 1989.) may issue regulations concerning the implementation and supplementation of this Act.

Chapter 6. Commencement. Transitional provision. Amendments to other Acts

§ 6-1.

(1) This Act shall come into force from the date determined by the King (Footnote 1: Ministry of Finance pursuant to Royal Decree No. 387 of 16 June 1989.) .

(2) In the course of the first two years this Act is in force Statistics Norway may impose an obligation on administrative bodies to provide information concerning their current statistics, and an obligation on state bodies and nationwide municipal organizations to provide information about their major administrative data-processing systems.

(3) Upon the first appointment of the executive committee, the vice-chairman of the executive committee and 2 of the ordinary members shall be appointed for a term of 2 years.

(4) The King (Footnote 1: Ministry of Finance pursuant to Royal Decree No. 387 of 16 June 1989. Effective as of 16 February 1990, pursuant to regulation No. 104 of 13 February 1990. ) may determine that the rules contained in this Act concerning the duration and cessation of the obligation of secrecy with respect to information shall also apply in the case of information collected for use in official statistics before this Act came into force.

(5) Act No. 2 of 25 April 1907 relating to the procurement of statements for official statistics is hereby repealed.


Regulations concerning the implementation and supplementation of Act No. 54 of 16 June 1989 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway (the Statistics Act)

Laid down by the Ministry of Finance on 13 February 1990 pursuant to § 2-1, § 2-2, § 2-3, § 3-2, § 3-3, § 4-1 (2), § 5-2, § 6-1 (1) and § 6-1 (4), cf. Royal Decree No. 397 of 16 June 1989, of Act No. 54 of 16 June 1989 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway.

Chapter 1. Administrative data-processing systems

§ 1-1

An administrative data-processing system is understood to be information which state agencies and nationwide municipal organizations collect and store in such a manner that the information may be retrieved for use in connection with the activities of the agency or the organization.

The term "main administrative data-processing systems" shall refer to data-processing systems which either are or are intended to be nationwide, or which cover a large part of the country.

§ 1-2

Statistics Norway shall have access to administrative data-processing systems where this may ensure more efficient public use of the data collected for administrative purposes. If, in the judgment of Statistics Norway, information from administrative data-processing systems under an obligation to provide information may afford a suitable database for the compilation of appropriate official statistics, Statistics Norway may impose an obligation to provide information pursuant to § 2-2 of the Statistics Act.

§ 1-3

State agencies and nationwide municipal organizations shall on their own initiative inform Statistics Norway when the establishment of important new administrative data-processing systems is being planned or when there are plans to change such systems. Statistics Norway may issue more detailed provisions concerning the form of these reports.

§ 1-4

Statistics Norway may forward proposals concerning how an administrative data-processing system shall be designed so that it may also be used for statistical purposes; this includes proposals concerning:

- what information it ought to contain
- definitions of units, variables, classifications, etc.
- system structure
- data control
- what information shall be transmitted to Statistics Norway and the time for transmission

Emphasis shall be placed upon cost aspects when administrative data-processing systems are being designed.

Chapter 2. Coordination of statistics

§ 2-1

Major statistical surveys are understood in this context to be nationwide surveys or surveys which cover a large part of the country if the number of informants or the amount of information is large.

§ 2-2

When administrative agencies are planning to carry out major statistical investigations, they shall on their own initiative inform Statistics Norway. Statistics Norway may issue more detailed provisions concerning the form of these reports.

§ 2-3

In order to safeguard consideration for statistics and coordination, Statistics Norway may forward proposals concerning how information shall be collected and the manner in which statistics shall be compiled; this includes proposals concerning:

- the definition of statistical units, variables, classifications, etc.
- collection of data, e.g. the form and content of the questionnaire
- processing of the data
- presentation of the result

Emphasis shall be placed on consideration for the costs to the parties concerned of collecting information and compiling statistics.

§ 2-4

Statistics Norway may decide that the statistical results shall also be published wholly or in part by Statistic Norway.

Chapter 3. Compulsory fines

§ 3-1

Statistics Norway may impose compulsory fines for failure to respect the deadline for the provision of information laid down pursuant to § 2-2 of the Statistics Act.

Compulsory fines may be determined in advance or in connection with the setting of a new deadline for the provision of information.

§ 3-2

Compulsory fines may be stipulated either as flat sum fines or as accruing compulsory fines. A flat sum fine may be repeated when new deadlines are set until the information is provided. In the case of accruing compulsory fines, the amount of the fine will accrue until the information is provided.

§ 3-3

In determining the size of the fine, Statistics Norway shall inter alia take into consideration the costs to the informant of fulfilling the obligation to provide information so that the fine has a sufficient preventive effect. If repeated, compulsory fines may be set at a higher amount.

§ 3-4

In the case of compulsory fines determined in advance, flat sum fines shall be payable from the date on which the obligation to provide information is breached. In the case of compulsory fines determined after the fact, the fines shall be payable on the first working day after a new deadline for the obligatory provision of information has expired.

Accruing compulsory fines shall be payable as they accumulate.

§ 3-5

Statistics Norway may in special cases waive compulsory fine wholly or in part when there are very compelling reasons for so doing.

§ 3-6

Appeals against decisions to impose compulsory fines may be lodged with the Ministry of Finance.

Chapter 4. The executive committee of Statistics Norway

§ 4-1

The executive committee convenes for meetings when summoned by the chairman as often as is necessary with respect to the matters to be dealt with, or at the request of no fewer than three members of the executive committee.

Notice of a meeting shall be writing and shall as far as possible be given 14 days in advance. A copy of the notice and documents shall also be sent to the deputies.

The director general shall attend the meetings of the executive committee.

The chairman of the executive committee shall preside over meetings. If the chairman is absent, the vice-chairman shall preside.

To constitute a quorum of the executive committee, the chairman or vice-chairman and no fewer than three members of the excessive committee or their deputies, and the director general or the person who is acting as director general must be present.

§ 4-2

All members of the executive committee and their deputies shall have access to all documents concerning matters related to the committee’s sphere of activity.

Matters which are the subject of negotiations and/or discussions with the staff shall be taken up with the trade unions in Statistics Norway in accordance with the General Agreement and the special agreement for Statistics Norway concerning codetermination, before being dealt with by the executive committee.

§ 4-3

The executive committee shall keep minutes which shall be to be signed by the members attending and the director general.

The members of the executive committee and the director general may demand to have dissent recorded in the minutes.

A copy of the minutes shall be sent without delay to the Ministry of Finance and to the Office of the Auditor General for information.

Chapter 5. The director general

§ 5-1

The director general shall be responsible for the administration of Statistics Norway except in those matters which come under the auspices of the executive committee.

§ 5-2

The director general shall, in accordance with the provisions of the Statistics Act, prepare and put before the executive committee proposals for

- the long-term programme
- the annual budget
- the annual work programme and
- the annual report

for Statistics Norway.

§ 5-3

The director general is responsible for the activities of Statistics Norway and shall ensure that the prescribed work programme is carried out in the most appropriate and economical manner possible under current legislation and regulations, that the activities of Statistics Norway otherwise follow current provisions, and that annual allocations are used in accordance with the resolutions passed by the Storting and the given budgetary conditions are rules currently in force for financial management and office administration.

§ 5-4

The director general shall put before the executive committee matters which are of major significance or which are in principle of interest for official Norwegian statistics or for the activities of Statistics Norway, including matters which have significant consequences for subsequent budgets.

§ 5-5

The director general shall ensure that matters which are put before the executive committee and the Ministry have been sufficiently studied and documented, and that they are presented at the right time.

Chapter 6. Entry into force

The Statistics Act (Act. 54 of 16 June 1989) and these Regulations shall come into force on 16 February 1990.

§ 2-7 of the Statistics Act concerning the duration and cessation of the obligation of secrecy and also applies to information collected pursuant to the Statistics Act of 1907, information collected pursuant to special legislation, information collected from public bodies and information collected on a voluntary basis before the current Act came into force.


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