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Country Profile of Sierra Leone

Main statistical agency
Main statistical agency name
Statistics Sierra Leone
Web address
Position in the government
Head of the Statistical Office reports to the Statistics Council.
Organizational structure and finance
A 14-member Council supervises Statistics Sierra Leone. Six of the members (Chairman, Regional Representatives and the Statistician General) are nominated by the President and approved by Parliament. The other positions are filled by ex-officio members.

Management is headed by the Statistician General and below him is the Deputy Statistician General and Directors of Divisions. The administrative divisions are directly under the Statistician General.

Statistics Sierra Leone has increased the three regional offices (Bo, Kenema, Makeni) to fourteen district offices to be managed by the Deputy Statistician General.

There are currently three technical divisions:

* Economic and Social Statistics
* Censuses and Surveys
* Data Processing

There are currently 80 permanent staff (60% are graduates) and over 200 temporary/project staff.
Multi-annual or annual work program
Annual work programme submitted to Budget Bureau during budget discussions.
Main duties
The mission of the Statistics Sierra Leone is to coordinate, collect, compile, analyze and disseminate high quality and objective official statistics to assist informed decision-making, and discussion within the government, business and the media, as well as the wider national and international community. Statistics will be relevant, have integrity and be easily accessible.

The SSL is steadily evolving into an independent organization at the center of the country's statistical system. It is mandated to provide an important official statistical service to the government and the wider national and international user community. Possibly the most important and challenging objective is a coordinated and improved national statistical system, which recognizes the important role played by other government statistical units in providing useful statistics. The SSL, when successful in this endeavor, will be a very different organization, providing a much more valuable statistical service for future generations.

It shall be the responsibility of Statistics Sierra Leone to-

(a) supervise and manage a national population census to be conducted every ten years or at such shorter interval as may be determined by the President;

(b) review and approve all definitions and classification schemes employed in statistical work with particular reference to issues of labour statistics, gender, disability, regional and similar socio-economic issues in accordance with appropriate national and international standards and classifications;

(c) ensure the efficient and comprehensive collection, processing, analysis, documentation and storage of statistical information throughout Sierra Leone;

(d) compile, report and document statistical data as well as maintain libraries or archives of statistical publications and make them accessible to the public;

(e) impartially disseminate statistical information to government departments, other institutions and the general public;

(f) establish and maintain such offices in Sierra Leone necessary for the operations of Statistics Sierra Leone;

(g) promote co-ordination and integration of statistical activities of data collecting agencies including the Bank of Sierra Leone and the Ministry of Finance in accordance with recognised international technical standards in order to advance the quality, consistency, comparability and optimum use of official statistics and to avoid unnecessary duplication;

(h) create public awareness of statistical collection and other activities related to the collection of statistics;

(i) designate statistics produced by Statistics Sierra Leone or other institutions as 'official statistics';

(j) delegate any power conferred or duty imposed on Statistics Sierra Leone by this Act and impose conditions for such delegation;

(k) furnish the Minister each year with a report in respect of the activities of Statistics Sierra Leone during that year, which report the Minister shall table before Parliament;

(l) promote and develop statistical training;

(m) protect respondents from undue burden and breaches of confidentiality; and

(n) do all other things that may promote the object of Statistics Sierra Leone.

Brief history and other relevant background information
Brief history and other relevant background information
Statistics Sierra Leone (SSL) was formally launched on 30th April 2003 by the Honourable Vice President at a State House ceremony. It replaced the former Central Statistics Office, which had been in operation since independence in 1961.

Legal basis
Legal basis
The statistics and census act (Statistics Act 2002 and Census Act 2002) were enacted by the Parliament of Sierra Leone in September 2002 and signed by His Excellency the President in October 2002.

Other producers of official statistics
Other producers of official statistics
The Central Bank, The Ministry of Finance

Statistical advisory bodies
Statistical advisory bodies
From the Statistics Act:

The governing body of Statistics Sierra Leone shall be a Council which shall, subject to this Act, have the control and supervision of Statistics Sierra Leone, provide strategic guidance to the Statistician-General in all areas of statistics, in particular in the area of the quality of the statistics series and on strategies of improving data production as well as advise the Minister on matters concerning government statistical policy.

The Statistical Council has 14 members and should meet at least six times a year.

Data collection
Most recent population census
4 December 2004
Access to administrative data
Administrative data from line ministries is accessible when available.
Data confidentiality
From Statistics Act:

20. (1) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, no return or other information collected by Statistics Sierra Leone for the purpose of official statistics that relates to -

(a) an individual;

(b) a household;

(c) a business; or

(d) any other organisation,

shall, subject to subsections (2) and (3), be disclosed to any unauthorised person.

(2) The return or other information referred to in subsection (1) may, subject to the directions of the Statistician-General, be disclosed -

(a) to the Statistician-General and other officers of Statistics Sierra Leone who have taken the oath of confidentiality referred to in subsection (7);

(b) to the person from whom such return or other information was collected or his representative;

(c) where the information is already available to the public, to the business or other organisation concerned;

(d) to the public in the form of lists of the names and addresses of individuals and organisations and their classifications by function, industry or activity, type of legal entity, and range of numbers of employees or other indicator of size; and

(e) in the form of lists of the kinds of products produced, manufactured, stored, bought or sold, or services rendered, by businesses, or other organisations or classes thereof.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law, an entry made by any person by virtue of this Act, in any document or a return or its contents, is not admissible as evidence in legal proceedings, except for purposes of criminal proceedings under this Act.

(4) Information collected by any person, business or other organisation for his or its own purposes and communicated to Statistics Sierra Leone is subject to the same confidentiality requirements as information collected directly by Statistics Sierra Leone, irrespective of any other confidentiality requirements to which it may have been subject when it was collected.

(5) The results of the compilation and analysis of the statistical information collected under this Act may not be published or disseminated in a manner which is likely to enable the identification of a specific individual, business or other organisation, unless that person, business or organisation has consented to the publication or dissemination in that manner.

(6) The Statistician-General and every officer of Statistics Sierra Leone shall -

(a) before assuming duty, take the oath of confidentiality set out in the Second Schedule, prohibiting disclosure of any information coming to his knowledge by reason of such duty before its release is authorised by the Statistician-General;

(b) preserve and promote confidentiality in respect of all information that may come to their knowledge by reason of their employment.

Data dissemination
Main publications
Sierra Leone Demographic Health Survey Preliminary Report 2008
Core Welfare Indicator Questionnaire 2007
Annual Statistical Digest 2005/2006 Edition
Sierra Leone Multi-Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS-3)2005
Sierra Leone Integrated Household Survey (SLIHS)2003/04
Consumer Price Index (CPI) Monthly
Languages of main publications
How are data disseminated (Paper, CD Rom, Website, online databases, databanks)?
Availability of microdata for research purposes
From Statistics Act:

The Statistician-General may, for statistical purposes, disclose to any person or organisation, information or data gathered in the course of a joint collection undertaken with such person or organisation, on condition that -

(a) the name, address or any other means by which the respondents may be identified is deleted;

(b) any person or organisation who is involved in the collection of, or who may use, that information or data, must first take an oath of confidentiality as provided in subsection (7), irrespective of whether he has taken an oath of confidentiality in terms of any other law; and

(c) the Statistician-General is satisfied that the confidentiality of that information or data will not be impaired.

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