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Law on Official Statistics 2004

REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA
THE ASSEMBLY

LAW
No. 9180, date 5.2.2004
On Official Statistics

In virtue of articles 78 and 83, point 1 of the Constitution, on the proposal of the Council of Ministers,

The Assembly of the Republic of Albania,

DECIDED:

Article 1

Object

1.1 The object of this law is the establishment of the legal framework for the collection, organisation, production and dissemination of official statistics in the Republic of Albania.

Article 2

Definitions and Abbreviations

1. For the purpose of this law:

a) "statistics" shall mean information obtained by processing data in order to characterise collective phenomena in a considered population;

b) "official statistics" is the quantitative and represented information on the economic, demographic, social and environment situation in Albania, produced from or under authority of INSTAT, within the framework of the Programme of Official Statistics;

c) "administrative statistics" shall mean the other statistics, different from the official statistics and which are produced by the organs and public agencies;

d) "programme of official statistics" shall mean the programme approved by the Parliament of the Republic of Albania.

e) "population" shall mean any set of statistical units, whether they are physical persons, legal persons, families or any other type of economic units;

f) "production of Statistics" shall mean all the activities necessary for the preparation, collection, storage, processing, compilation, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of the statistical information;

g) "dissemination" shall mean giving to users, regardless of the form and means used, statistical data, but avoiding disclosure of confidential data;

h) "statistical units" shall mean , institutions or physical , legal persons and family that according to this law is obliged to give statistical data to authorised statistical agencies;

i) "statistical agencies" shall mean authorities other than the Institute of Statistics that are specified in the programme of official statistics as authorised to undertake activities relating to the production of official statistics;

j) "other statistical activities" shall mean statistical activity not included in the programme of official statistics;

k) "confidential data" shall mean data obtained by a statistical agency that allow statistical units to be identified, thereby disclosing individual information;

l) "statistical survey" shall mean collection of data from statistical units by asking them to provide information about themselves or their activities for use solely in the production of statistics;

m) "general census" shall mean the survey of every household or economic unit in the Republic of Albania, to which response is compulsory.

n) "minister" is the member of Council of Ministries who is charged for the monitoring of the work at INSTAT;

2. Within this law:
- INSTAT shall mean the Institute of Statistics
- The Programme shall mean the programme of official statistics.

Article 3

General Censuses

3.1 Any General Census shall be included in the programme but the conduct of such a census shall be authorised by a separate law.

Article 4

Principles of Official Statistics

To ensure the quality of the Official Statistics and retain the trust of the public in them, the organisation and implementation of the Programme shall be governed by the following principles:

a) Impartiality which means the objective and independent manner of producing statistics, free from any political pressure or other interested group (stakeholders), particularly as regards the selection of techniques, definitions and methodologies best suited to the attainment of the defined objectives. It implies the availability of statistics with minimum delay to all users.

b) Reliability, is the characteristic of statistics to reflect as faithfully as possible the reality, which they are designed to represent. It implies that scientific criteria are used for the selection of resources, methods and procedures;

c) Professional independence, which means that when implementing the Programme, the staff of INSTAT or the statistical agencies are not allowed to seek nor get to take instructions from Government, other State authorities, political parties or any other interest groups, notably in the selection of data sources, statistical methods and procedures, in the contents, form and time of dissemination, and in the application of statistical confidentiality.

d) Relevance which means that data collection should be limited to what is necessary to achieve the requested result;

e) Cost-effectiveness is the best possible use of all available recourses and the minimization of the burden on respondents. The work and the cost which the production of statistics requires should be in proportion to the importance of the requested result.

f) Statistical confidentiality which means the protection of data related to single statistical units which are collected directly for statistical purposes or indirectly from administrative or other sources against any violation of the right to confidentiality. It implies the prevention of non-statistical utilization of the data collected and unlawful disclosure.

g) Transparency is the right of respondents to have information on legal basis, the purposes for which the data are required and the protective measures adopted.

Article 5

The Publication of Official Statistical Data

1. Official Statistics shall provide quantitative and representative information to the general public, parliament, government, other public authorities, economic, business and social organisations, research and academic institutions, and the media, in all cases both nationally and internationally. They shall reflect the true situation and shall distribute the results in impartial manner.

2. The necessary data to assess the quality of the official statistics, in particular the data on the methods used for producing statistics and on principles applied , shall be publicly accessible.

3. The governmental authorities and other groups mentioned in Article 4 (c) respect
the principles set out in Article 4 and in this Article and these authorities are not allowed to influence the staff of the statistical agencies in in the performance of their tasks.

Article 6

The Programme of Official Statistics

1. The Programme shall cover the statistical information necessary for the observation of the economic, social and environmental situation in the Republic of Albania, focusing on the phenomena which are essential for decision makers and honouring the citizens’ right to official data . To realise the Programme it is necessary to take into consideration the
relation between the costs and burdens on the one hand and the benefits on the other hand.

2. The Parliament approves the official statistical programme which shall cover five calendar years. The Programme shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Albania.

3. The Programme shall include at least:

a) descriptions of the main statistics and indicators to be made available;

b) the institutions responsible for producing and disseminating results;

c) the classifications that will be employed;

d) the level at which the statistics and indicators will be available (national , prefecture, district and so on);

e) the frequency with which the statistics and indicators will be available;

f) the year in which the statistics and indicators will be disseminated;

g) for new statistics and indicators, the year in which they will first be made available;

h) the list of sources used to produce the statistics and indicators, in particular whether administrative data or surveys;

i) the administrative sources, which means the records , the data and results that must be passed to INSTAT and statistical agencies, the institutions responsible for these activities and actions, and the time limits for the actions;

j) the list of surveys that must be conducted, the institutions responsible for designing and conducting them, the completed questionnaires, records, information and results that must be passed to INSTAT and statistical agencies, and the time limits for these actions.

Article 7

Role of the Institute of Statistics

INSTAT shall be responsible for:

a) proposing the Programme to the Statistical Council;

b) securing the implementation of the approved Programme;

c) ensuring that statistics in the Programme are:

- reliable
- impartial
- objective;

d) ensuring that data required for the Programme are collected, processed, disseminated and stored using best professional practice, including scientific principles and professional ethics;

e) facilitating a correct interpretation of data in official Statistics;

f) promoting the role and understanding of statistics in Albania;

g) ensuring that Official Statistics are made available on an impartial basis to all interested users;

h) determining all statistical definitions, classifications and nomenclatures in official statistics, in compliance wherever feasible with international concepts and classifications;

i) maintaining up to date information on all relationships between albanian statistical agencies and international agencies on matters relating to the actual or prospective albanian official statistics; leading Albanian statistical representation in those relationships when requested and in all cases where the implications affect a number of Albanian Statistical Agencies;

j) creating, maintaining and updating any statistical register.

Article 8

Tasks and the rights of the Institute of Statistics

1. In pursuance of its responsibilities under paragraphs 7 (c) and (d) INSTAT shall:

a) issue to all statistical agencies, make public and keep up to date, guidelines on professional standards in the production of official statistics,

b) examine the procedures for the production of statistics adopted by any statistical agency, and by any central and local institution.

c) approve from the beginning any statistical survey. The criteria for approval shall be:

- the survey;
- avoidance, if it is outside the Programme, of any duplication with or adverse effect upon the Programme;
- satisfaction that it will be conducted and the results analysed and disseminated to professional statistical standards;

d) collect, compile, analyse, disseminate and store data in accordance with responsibilities allocated in the Programme;

e) prepare a draft five year Programme

f) prepare a draft five year strategic plan for INSTAT

g)prepare a draft annual budget proposal

h) prepare a draft one year operational plan for INSTAT

i) prepare a draft annual report of INSTAT

j) prepare and submit to the Statistical Council short four-monthly reports of progress in implementing the Programme;

k) propose to the Statistical Council matters which that Council should consider discussing directly with the senior management of Statistical Agencies to ensure that any official statistics meet professional standards;

l) prepare draft reports for consideration by the Statistical Council proposing action or decisions required by the Council of Ministers to ensure that any official statistics meet professional standards;

m) arrange and chair a quarterly advisory meetings , involving heads of statistics departments of all ministries and statistical agencies that produce statistics, to discuss matters of professional interest: an appropriate meeting each year shall discuss desirable developments in the Programme and actions necessary to achieve those improvements;

n ) before the end of the calendar year publish a detailed calendar of dates on which particular official statistics will be disseminated in the following year, and the form of dissemination;

o) seek to conclude memoranda of understanding with all Statistical Agencies and with holders of administrative records that are used in the production of the Programme, covering working arrangements and mutual obligations;

p) to set forth specific criteria for professional skills to select the heads of statistical structures

q) provide the secretariat for the Statistical Council;

r) chair the National Commission on Nomenclature.

2. INSTAT may:

a) request from statistical agencies information on progress with undertaking the tasks allocated to them in the programme;

b) request from ministries , central and local institutions access to administrative and statistics records over and above any rights of access specified in the programme;

c) undertake any other activities that support its capacity to fulfil its responsibilities and tasks as specified in this law;

d) undertake, or contribute to, analysis and research activities to which official statistics are a significant input.

Article 9

Status and Financing of the Institute of Statistics

1. INSTAT is a public juridical person.

2. The steering organs of INSTAT are as following:

a) The Statistical Council
b) The General Director

3. The appointment and dismissal of the General Director proposed by the Statistical Council shall be subject to the approval of the prime Minister.

4. The servants of INSTAT, specialists and the managers enjoy the status of the civil servants, while for the other employees, the provisions of the Work Code should be implemented. The recruitment of the INSTAT’s staff should be done in compliance with the regulates stipulated in the law on “Status of the civil servants” Nr. 8549 date 11.11.1999.

5. The existing employees of Institute of Statistics, who work in the working positions
considered as a part of civil service, shall be subject to a probationary period lasting one year from the date of this law comes into force.

6. INSTAT is finances by the State Budget, through charges for publications, services and projects, as well as through any other legally income which may serves as a source to raise the funding.


Article 10

The Statistical Council

1. The Statistical Council shall have eleven members. They shall be appointed by the Council of the Ministries.

2. The details regulates for the criteria and the procedures of the representative, selection, appointment and dismissal of the members as well as the functioning regulates of the Statistical Council shall be subject to the approval of the Council of the Ministries.

Article 11

Role and tasks of the Statistical Council

1.1 The role of the Statistical Council is to supervise INSTAT and to support INSTAT in its role of ensuring that the Programme is produced in accordance with UN Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics. To fulfil that role it shall undertake the following activities, in addition to its activities specified elsewhere in this law:

a) decide on the Programme of Statistics, the modifications made and through the Prime Minister or Minister submit it to the Parliament for approval;
b) decide on a five year strategic plan for INSTAT, which shall include plans for the implementation of the Programme;
c) decide on a one year operational plan for INSTAT
d) decide on the annual budget plan
e) approve the organisational structure plan of INSTAT
f) decide on an Annual Report of INSTAT
g) receive from the General Director and discuss short quarterly reports of progress in implementing the Programme.

2. The Statistical Council may, as needed to fulfil its role:
a) discuss directly with senior representatives of the management of Statistical structures in the Ministries and other statistical agencies issues requiring the support or action of those agencies to ensure that any official statistics meet professional standards;
b) prepare or endorse reports to the Council of Ministers which require that Council’s decision to ensure that any official statistics meet professional standards;
c) request an independent evaluation, assessment or audit, from outside experts, on a specific area of official statistics. The cost of this evaluation to be met from INSTAT’s budget.


Article 12

Task of the General Director

The General Director personally shall:

a) prepare proposals for the organisational structure of INSTAT or for changing that structure, for approval by the Statistical Council, as required by paragraph 1 (e), of the article 11of this law;

b) propose the appointement at the level of the directors which are approved by the Statistical Council

c) act as the representative of INSTAT in discussions and negotiations with third parties.

d) prepare the proposal on an annual update to the Programme and submit it to
the Statistical Council for approval;

e) decide on the appointment of staff at Director level to any statistical agency; All
appointments shall be made on the basis of the professional competence of the proposed person;

f) attend all meetings of the Statistical Council and to participate in discussion but shall not participate in any vote.

g) implement other tasks defined in the acts of the Council of the Ministries


Article 13

Duties and Tasks of Other Agencies

1. All Albanian Statistical Agencies, central and local institutions contributing to statistics to be included in the Programme shall provide INSTAT all the documents and records necessary to allow INSTAT to fulfil its obligations under paragraph 1 (b), article 8.

2. All Statistical Agencies shall:

a) give to INSTAT any information requested under paragraph 2 (a), article 8;

b) fulfil all obligations placed upon them in the Programme;

c) keep INSTAT informed of their contacts relating to statistics with international agencies.

3. All central and local institutions shall give INSTAT access to registers, data files, and to data collected, processed and stored in the domain of their respective responsibilities, to the extent that it is necessary for the production of statistics , thus avoiding response burdens on the statistical units.

4. No charge shall be made to INSTAT for any of the duties undertaken by other agencies in connection with paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this article.


Article 14

Rights and Obligations of Statistical Units

1. Statistical Units called upon to provide information for producing statistics within the Programme shall be informed about the purpose and scope of the survey, their rights and obligations, and the measures to be taken to ensure statistical confidentiality.

2. Statistical Units, called upon to supply information for the programme as enterprises, institutions, physical and legal persons shall supply the information requested completely and truthfully to INSTAT or other statistical agency, whichever is stated in the programme. The information shall be provided in the form requested, within the time period requested and free of charge.


Article 15

Confidentiality

1. Data taken from publicly available sources shall not be considered confidential.

2. Data collected, processed and stored for the production of official statistics shall be treated by INSTAT, statistical agencies and any organisation or person mandated by them, as strictly confidential when they allow statistical units to be identified, either directly or indirectly, thereby disclosing individual information that has not already been made public on other grounds.

3. A statistical unit is directly identified from its name or address or any officially allocated and commonly known identification number. INSTAT and statistical agencies shall destroy direct identifiers as soon as possible.

4. Indirect identification is the possibility of deducing the identity of a statistical unit other than from the information in paragraph 3 of this article. To determine whether a statistical unit is indirectly identifiable, all means shall be taken into account all measures that might reasonably be used to identify the said statistical unit. To aid protection against identification, aggregates shall normally comprise at least three units and the share of one unit in an aggregate must not normally exceed 85% of the total.

5. All individual data collected from statistical units for the production of official statistics shall be used only for statistical purposes. These data shall be published only when grouped together and shall not be used for taking any administrative decision, including decisions relating to fiscal control or juridical investigations.

6. Access to confidential data shall be limited to persons who in the performance of their tasks contribute to the production of official statistics and to the extent that access to these data is necessary for the production of the said statistics. Access for scientific research purposes shall be limited according to the paragraph 7 of this article .

7. Access to confidential data for scientific and research projects may be granted by the General Director of INSTAT for a limited period, provided that the data concerned do not allow direct identification. The recipient must sign a contract with INSTAT by which:

a) there is an assurance that the envisaged results will not refer to identifiable units or allow indirect identification;

b) the standard of protection of confidential data within the research project is assured;

c) there is an obligation to destroy the data once the project is terminated, with written notification of that destruction to INSTAT.

8. The official Statistics can not be given out to users disclosing this way confidential data. To help the protection toward the identification the total should include at least three units and one unit in total should not normally exceed 85% of the total. Exclusion from this rule has the information on the economic situation collected by enterprises and economic agencies which can be distributed even when the results do not fulfil the requirements of the second sentence of this paragraph in cases when it is necessary to obtain an important information predicted in the official statistics programme.

9. The institute of Statistics and other Statistical Agencies take all necessary , technical, organizational measures for the security of the protection of the confidential data from every illegal entrance, discover or use of the confidential data.


Article 16

Link of the official statistics with the administrative data

1. INSTAT defines the statistical methodologies to be used for the production of the administrative statistics.

2. INSTAT makes public and functional the guidelines on the professional standards for production of the official statistics

3. INSTAT is given notice on every statistical survey including also those there are out of the programme, which will be undertaken, by any statistical agency or central and local institutions.

4. INSTAT has the right to take and to use the administrative statistics and is obliged to spread them out accordingly with the official statistics programme. Producers of the administrative statistics should transmit these statistics with the request of INSTAT.


Article 17

Dissemination

1. Official Statistics shall be disseminated in such a way that all users have equal and simultaneous access.

2. All appropriate media to reach users may be used.

3. INSTAT and statistical sgencies having responsibilities in the programme for dissemination shall seek to meet requests from any organisation or individual for non-published data or special analyses.

4. Charges may be levied for any dissemination activities. All agencies making charges shall publish their charging schemes.

Article 18

Penalties

1. Non-compliance with the obligations set out in paragraph 2 of article 14 shall be considered an administrative offence subject to a fine, provided that the infraction does not constitute a criminal offence as following:

a) Physical or legal persons and heads of institutions who fail to comply for the first time shall be subject to a fine of up to 5000 Leke. Subsequent offences shall be subject to a fine of from 5000 Leke to 25000 Leke for each offence. The titular of the public institutions shall be subject to the fine for the offence of the confidentiality by them.

b) The offence of the confidentiality by an employee even after the cessation of their employment or by a third party who has been given access to the data for research purposes shall be subject to a fine from 20000 lek up to 25 000 lek

2. The fine shall be imposed by:

a) Head of Division if the information is requested by INSTAT

b) Agency’s Head of Statistics, if the information is requested by a Statistical Agency.

c) Head of Division if the person is an employee or ex-employee of INSTAT or any third party.

d) Agency’s Head of Statistics if the person is an employee or ex-employee of the statistical agency

3. Appeals against the fine may be made to the General Director of INSTAT within ten days of the date of announcement or publication of the penalty, who should be responded within 30 days. Appeals against the decision of the General Director or in the case when he doesn’t give any answer may be made to the Court within 30 days from the day of the decision declared or from the non response.

Article 19

Final Dispositions

Within 1 year from the entry into force of this law, the Council of Ministers shall issue implementing sub-laws in compliance with the general principles provided at article 10, paragraph 1, 2 of this law.

Article 20

The law nr. 7687 dated 16.03.1993 on “Statistics in the Republic of Albania” and any other disposition that is in opposition with this law is abrogated after this law legally comes into force.

Article 21

This law comes into effect on the 15th day following its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Albania.


CHAIRMAN OF PARLIAMENT


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