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Statistics Act


BELIZE

STATISTICS ACT

CHAPTER 158

REVISED EDITION 2000

SHOWING THE LAW AS AT 31 ST DECEMBER, 2000


This is a revised edition of the law, prepared by the Law Revision Commissioner under the authority of the Law Revision Act, Chapter 3 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 1980-1990.


This edition contains a consolidation of the following laws-

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

STATISTICS ACT

Amendment in force as at 31st December. 2000.


CHAPTER 158

STATISTICS

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Functions.
4. Appointment of the Chief Statistician
5.Power to direct that a population census be taken.
6. Collection and compilation of statistics.
7.Power to obtain information.
8. Powers of entry.
9. Restriction on publication.
10. Major offences.
11. Miscellaneous offences.
12. Penalties.
13.Regulations.
14. Oath of Secrecy.
15. Power to revoke or amend Schedule.


FIRST SCHEDULE

SECOND SCHEDULE

CHAPTER 158

STATISTICS

1. Short title -
This Act may be cited as the Statistics Act.

2. Interpretation -
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

"Chief Statistician" means an officer appointed under section 4 of this Act;

"local authority" means the Belize City Council, Belmopan City Council or any town council established under the Town Councils Act;

"Minister" means the Minister for the time being responsible for statistics;

"person", where it is used in relation to a person furnishing or required to furnish particulars or information under this Act, includes all or any of the individuals constituting a household or a firm or the person having the control or management of a partnership business, and, in the case of a company or corporation, association or body or society of persons, includes any director, manager or secretary of the company or corporation or head (by whatever name called) of the association or body of persons or society;

"statistics" means information in connection with or incidental to any census or survey or all or any of the matters specified in the First Schedule to this Act; (First Schedule)

"undertaking" means any undertaking by way of trade or business whether or not the trade or business is carried on for profit.



3. Functions -

For the purposes of this Act, the duties of the Chief Statistician shall Functions. Include a duty-

(a) to take any census or survey in Belize;

(b) to collect, compile, analyse, abstract and publish statistical information relating to the social, agricultural, mining, commercial, industrial and general activities and conditions of the inhabitants of this country;

(c) to collaborate with departments of Government and with local authorities in the collection, compilation, analysis and publication of statistical records of administrations and departments; and

(d) generally to organise a coordinated scheme of social and economic statistics relating to Belize.

4.

(1)Appointment of Chief Statistician -

For the purposes of this Act, there shall be a Chief Statistician who shall be a public officer appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, as provided in section 107 of the Constitution.

(2) Delegation of Functions -

The Chief Statistician may delegate in writing his powers and functions under this Act.


5. Power to direct that a population census be taken -

The Minister may by Order published in the Gazette, direct that a census or survey shall be taken for Belize or any part thereof, or any class inhabitants thereof and any such Order may prescribe -

(a) the date or dates on or between which such census or survey is to be taken;

(b) the information to be obtained in such census or survey.


6. Collection and compilation of statistics -

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Chief Statistician may, and on the direction of the Minister the Chief Statistician shall, collect, whether in conjunction with any census or survey or not, statistics relating to all or any of the matters set out in the First Schedule to this Act either in Belize generally or in any part thereof.

(2) The Chief Statistician shall cause the statistics collected under this Act to be compiled, tabulated and analysed and, subject to the provisions of this Act, may cause such statistics or abstracts thereof to be published, with or without comments thereon, in such a manner as he may determine.


7. Power to obtain information -

(1) It shall be lawful for the Chief Statistician or any person acting on his behalf to require any person-

(a) (First Schedule) to furnish, in such form and manner and within such time as may be specified by any notice in writing, such periodical or other information, estimates or returns, concerning such of the matters set out in the First Schedule of this Act as may be so specified; and

(b) to supply him with particulars either by interviewing such person personally or by leaving at the last known address or by posting under registered cover to the last known address of such person a form having thereon a notice requiring such a form to be completed and returned in the manner and within the time specified in the notice.

Any such notice under this subsection shall state that it is served in exercise of tile powers conferred by this subsection.

(2) Any person, having the custody or charge of any public records or documents, or of the records or documents of any local authority, corporation, person, partnership, firm, company, society or association from which, in the opinion of the Chief Statistician, information in respect of the matter in relation to which the collection of statistics is required can be obtained or which would aid in the completion or correction of such statistics, shall, notwithstanding the provisions of any other law enjoining secrecy, grant to the Chief Statistician or any officer acting on his behalf access to such records or documents for the purpose of obtaining therefrom such information.

(3) The Chief Statistician may, by advertisement in the Gazette and in such newspaper as may appear to him to be sufficient for notifying the persons concerned, publish a list of any classes or descriptions of businesses or callings in relation to which particulars or information will be required for the purpose of any statistical enquiry under this Act and upon such publication it shall be the duty of every person carrying on a business or calling of any such class or description as aforesaid, who has not received a notice under subsection (1) of this section, to inform the Chief Statistician or any person specified in the advertisement within such period, being not less than twenty-eight days after the date of publication of the advertisement, as may be specified therein, that he is carrying on such a business or calling as specified and to give the Chief Statistician such particulars or information of the business or calling as may be so specified.


8. Power of Entry -

The Chief Statistician or any person acting on his behalf may, after giving such notice as may be prescribed, upon production of his authorisation, for any purpose -

(a) connected with the taking of a census or survey;

(b) connected with the collection of other statistics;

enter, at such times as may be prescribed, any dwelling-house or any premises where persons are employed or any premises where it appears to him likely that persons are employed; and in either such case may make such enquiries as may be necessary for the performance of his duties.



9. Restriction on publication-

Except for the purposes of a prosecution under this Act-

(a) no individual return, or part thereof, made for the purposes of this Act;

(b) no answer given to any question put for the purposes of this Act;

(c) no report, abstract, or other document, containing particulars comprised in any such return or answer so arranged as to enable identification of such particulars with any person, undertaking or business.

shall be published, admitted in evidence, or shown to any person not employed in the execution of a duty under this Act unless the previous consent in writing thereto has been obtained from the person making such return or giving such answer or, in the case of an undertaking or business, from the owner for the time being of the undertaking or business:

Provided that nothing in this section shall prevent or restrict the publication of any such report, abstract or other document without such consent where the particulars in such report, abstract or other document enable identification merely by reason of the fact that the particulars relate to an undertaking or business which is the only undertaking or business within its particular sphere of activities, so however, that in no case shall such particulars enable identification of the costs of production, the capital employed or profits arising in any such undertaking or business.


10. Major offences -

(1) Any person being a person employed in the execution of any duty under this Act who-

(a) by virtue of such employment becomes possessed of any information which might exert an influence upon or affect the market value of any share, interest, product or article, and before such information is made public in accordance with the provisions of this Act, directly or indirectly uses such information for personal gain;

(b) without lawful authority publishes or communicates to any person otherwise than in the ordinary course of such employment any information acquired by him in the course of his employment;

(c) knowingly compiles for issue any false statistics or information;

shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and shall be liable on conviction thereof to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or to both such fine and term of imprisonment.

(2) Any person, being in possession of any information which to his knowledge has been disclosed in contravention of this Act, who publishes or communicates such information to any person shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and shall be liable on conviction on indictment thereof to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or to both such fine and term of imprisonment.



11.Miscellaneous offences -

Any person who-

(a) hinders or obstructs the Chief Statistician or any person duly authorised in the execution of any power conferred under this Act;

(b) refuses or neglects to fill up and supply the particulars required in any schedule, form or other document lawfully left with or sent to him, or who refuses or neglects to answer any question or inquiry addressed to him under the authority of this Act or to supply the information required in accordance with subsection (3) of section 7 of this Act;

(c) knowingly makes, in any schedule, form or other document filled up or supplied pursuant to this Act or in any answer to any question asked him under the authority of this Act, any statement which is untrue in any material particular;

(d) without lawful authority, destroys, defaces or mutilates any schedule, form or other document containing particulars collected under this Act, or writes or makes on any schedule, form or other document issued for the purposes of this Act and furnished to the Chief Statistician any indecent, obscene, blasphemous or insulting remarks, drawing or other matter;

commits an offence under this Act.

12. Penalties -

Subject to the provisions of this Act, every person who is guilty of an offence under this Act for which no penalty is specially provided shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars for each such offence and in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, and if the offence is continued after the conviction, then to a further fine not exceeding ten dollars for each day on which the offence is continued after conviction.

13. Regulations -

The Minister may make regulations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act and, in particular, but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, may make regulations prescribing-

(a) the particulars and information to be furnished on the taking of a census or survey or concerning any matter in respect of which statistics may be collected under the provisions of this Act;

(b) the manner and form in which, and the times and places at which, such particulars and information shall be furnished;

(c) the manner in which notice shall be given to persons on whose premises entry is desired;

(d) the times at which entry may be effected on premises.


14. Oath of Secrecy -

(1) (Second Schedule) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, every person employed in the execution of any duty under this Act shall, before entering on his duties, take an oath or make an affirmation in the form in the Second Schedule to this Act and such oath or affirmation shall be administered by the Chief Statistician.

(2) The Chief Statistician shall, before entering on his functions or duties under this Act, take an oath or make an affirmation in the form in the Second Schedule to this Act and such oath or affirmation shall be administered by a justice of the peace.

15.Power to revoke or amend First Schedule -

The Minister may from time to time by Order published in the Gazette revoke or amend the First Schedule to this Act or substitute a new Schedule therefore.



FIRST SCHEDULE

[Sections 2,6 (1), 7(1) and 15]

1. Population and housing.

2. Vital occurrences and morbidity.

3. Immigration and emigration.

4. Internal and external trade.

5. Primary and secondary production.

6. Agriculture, including dairying, horticulture, pastoral and allied industries.

7. Fishing and forestry.

8. Factories, mines and productive industries generally.

9. Employment, unemployment and underemployment.

10. Salaries, wages, bonuses, fees, allowances and any other payments and honoraria for services rendered.

11. Income, earnings, profits and interest.

12. Social, educational, labour and industrial matters including co-operative groups and societies, associations of employers, employees and other persons generally.

13. Industrial disturbances and disputes

14.Banking, insurance and finance generally.

15.Commercial and professional undertakings.

16. Distributive trades.

17. Health.

18. Transport and communication in all forms by land, water and air.

19. Wholesale and retail prices of commodities, rent and cost of living.

20. Injuries, accidents and compensation.

21. Stocks of manufactured or unmanufactured goods.

22. Sweepstakes, lotteries, charitable and other public collections of money.

23.Land tenure, and the occupation and use of land.

24. Local government.

25. Orders, work in progress, outgoings and costs (including work given out to contractors) and details of capital expenditure.

26. Debts outstanding, fixed capital assets and plant (including the acquisition and disposal of those assets and plant).



SECOND SCHEDULE

[Section 14]

FORM OF OATH
I, ______________________________________ solemnly Swear that I will faithfully and honestly fulfill my duties as _______________________ in conformity with the requirements of the Statistics Act and that I will not without due authority in that behalf disclose or make known any matter or thing which comes to my knowledge by reason of
my employment as such.


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