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Statistics and Registration Service Bill


Statistics and Registration Service Bill
Part 1 — The Statistics Board

1

 

A

Bill

[AS AMENDED ON REPORT]

To

establish and make provision about the Statistics Board; to make provision

about offices and office-holders under the Registration Service Act 1953; and

for connected purposes. 

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and

consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present

Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1

The Statistics Board

The Statistics Board

1       

Establishment

(1)   

There is to be a body corporate to be known as the Statistics Board (in this Part

5

called “the Board”).

(2)   

In Gaelic the Board is to be known as Am Bòrd an Staitistig.

(3)   

In Welsh the Board is to be known as Y Bwrdd Ystadegau.

2       

Status

(1)   

The Board is to exercise its functions on behalf of the Crown.

10

(2)   

Accordingly, the property, rights and liabilities of the Board are property,

rights and liabilities of the Crown.

 
HL Bill 8254/2
 
 

Statistics and Registration Service Bill
Part 1 — The Statistics Board

2

 

Members and staff

3       

Members

(1)   

The Board is to consist of executive and non-executive members.

(2)   

The non-executive members are to be—

(a)   

the chairman, appointed by Her Majesty, and

5

(b)   

at least five other persons appointed by the Cabinet Office.

(3)   

Before appointing any person under subsection (2)(b) the Cabinet Office must

consult the chairman.

(4)   

The persons appointed under subsection (2)(b) must include—

(a)   

one person who is appointed by the Cabinet Office after consulting the

10

Scottish Ministers,

(b)   

one person who is appointed by the Cabinet Office after consulting the

Welsh Ministers, and

(c)   

one person who is appointed by the Cabinet Office after consulting the

Department of Finance and Personnel for Northern Ireland.

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(5)   

The Cabinet Office may, after consulting the chairman, designate one of the

non-executive members appointed under subsection (2)(b) as deputy

chairman.

(6)   

The executive members are to be—

(a)   

the National Statistician (see section 5), and

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(b)   

two other employees of the Board, appointed by the non-executive

members.

(7)   

A person may not be both a non-executive member of the Board and an

employee of the Board.

4       

Non-executive members

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(1)   

A non-executive member of the Board is to be appointed—

(a)   

for at least one and no more than five years, and

(b)   

on such other terms and conditions as the person making the

appointment thinks fit.

(2)   

A non-executive member is to hold and vacate office in accordance with the

30

terms and conditions of his appointment, subject as follows.

(3)   

A non-executive member may resign at any time by notice in writing to the

Cabinet Office.

(4)   

The person appointing a non-executive member may dismiss him by notice in

writing on the grounds that—

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(a)   

the member has been absent from meetings of the Board without

permission of the Board for a period of more than three months,

(b)   

the member is the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order (or interim

order),

(c)   

the member has had his estate sequestrated in Scotland or, under Scots

40

law, has made a composition or arrangement with, or granted a trust

deed for, his creditors,

(d)   

the member is unfit for office by reason of misconduct,

 
 

Statistics and Registration Service Bill
Part 1 — The Statistics Board

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(e)   

the member has failed to comply with the terms of his appointment, or

(f)   

the member is otherwise unable, unfit or unwilling to perform his

functions.

(5)   

Where—

(a)   

a non-executive member ceases to be a member otherwise than on the

5

expiry of his term of office, and

(b)   

it appears to the Cabinet Office that there are circumstances which

make it right for him to receive compensation,

   

the Board may pay him compensation of an amount approved by the Cabinet

Office.

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(6)   

A person who has ceased to be a non-executive member is eligible for re-

appointment (on any number of occasions).

5       

Executive members and other staff

(1)   

The Board is to have—

(a)   

an officer known as the National Statistician, and

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(b)   

an officer known as the Head of Assessment.

(2)   

The National Statistician is to be—

(a)   

appointed by Her Majesty, and

(b)   

employed by the Board on the terms and conditions of his appointment

(which may include provision relating to dismissal).

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(3)   

The Head of Assessment is to be—

(a)   

appointed by the non-executive members of the Board, and

(b)   

employed by the Board on the terms and conditions of his

appointment.

(4)   

The Board is to have such other employees as it may appoint.

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(5)   

The persons appointed under subsection (4) are to be employed on the terms

and conditions of their appointment.

(6)   

The Board may only appoint persons under subsection (4) with the approval of

the Minister for the Civil Service as to numbers and terms and conditions of

employment.

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(7)   

Service as an employee of the Board is service in the civil service of the State.

(8)   

The employees of the Board who are appointed members of the Board under

section 3(6)(b) are to hold office as members in accordance with the terms and

conditions of their appointment as members.

Official statistics: introductory

35

6       

Official statistics

(1)   

In this Part “official statistics” means—

(a)   

statistics produced by—

(i)   

the Board,

(ii)   

a government department,

40

(iii)   

the Scottish Administration,

 
 

Statistics and Registration Service Bill
Part 1 — The Statistics Board

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(iv)   

a Welsh ministerial authority,

(v)   

a Northern Ireland department, or

(vi)   

any other person acting on behalf of the Crown, and

(b)   

such other statistics as may be specified by order by—

(i)   

a Minister of the Crown,

5

(ii)   

the Scottish Ministers,

(iii)   

the Welsh Ministers, or

(iv)   

a Northern Ireland department.

(2)   

An order under subsection (1)(b) may in particular specify all, or a description

of, the statistics produced or to be produced by a particular person or

10

description of person.

(3)   

Before making an order under subsection (1)(b) an authority referred to in that

provision must consult the Board.

(4)   

The Board must, at least once every financial year, publish a list of statistics

which are at the time of publication official statistics by virtue of subsection

15

(1)(b).

(5)   

In this Part “Welsh ministerial authority” means any of the following—

(a)   

the Welsh Ministers;

(b)   

the First Minister for Wales;

(c)   

the Counsel General to the Welsh Assembly Government.

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7       

Objective

(1)   

In the exercise of its functions under sections 8 to 20 the Board is to have the

objective of promoting and safeguarding the production and publication of

official statistics that serve the public good.

(2)   

In subsection (1) the reference to serving the public good includes in

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particular—

(a)   

informing the public about social and economic matters, and

(b)   

assisting in the development and evaluation of public policy.

(3)   

The Board is accordingly, in the exercise of its functions under sections 8 to 20,

to promote and safeguard—

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(a)   

the quality of official statistics,

(b)   

good practice in relation to official statistics, and

(c)   

the comprehensiveness of official statistics.

(4)   

In this Part references to the quality of any official statistics includes—

(a)   

their impartiality, accuracy and relevance, and

35

(b)   

their coherence with other official statistics.

(5)   

In this Part references to good practice in relation to official statistics includes

ensuring their accessibility.

General functions relating to official statistics

8       

Monitoring and reporting of official statistics

40

(1)   

The Board is to monitor the production and publication of official statistics.

 
 

Statistics and Registration Service Bill
Part 1 — The Statistics Board

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(2)   

The Board is to monitor the arrangements for—

(a)   

the release of official statistics, and

(b)   

any access to official statistics in their final form prior to publication.

(3)   

The Board may report any concerns it has about—

(a)   

the quality of any official statistics,

5

(b)   

good practice in relation to any official statistics, or

(c)   

the comprehensiveness of any official statistics,

   

to the person responsible for those statistics.

(4)   

The Board may publish its findings or any report under this section.

9       

Definitions etc for official statistics

10

(1)   

The Board is to—

(a)   

develop and maintain definitions, methodologies, classifications and

standards for official statistics, and

(b)   

promote their use in relation to official statistics.

(2)   

The Board may in particular for the purposes of this section give guidance and

15

advice to persons responsible for official statistics.

(3)   

The Board may publish guidance and advice given under this section.

National Statistics

10      

Code of Practice for National Statistics

(1)   

The Board is to prepare, adopt and publish a Code of Practice for Statistics.

20

(2)   

The Code shall include rules and principles relating to the access to official

statistics in their final form prior to publication (“pre-release access”),

including—

(a)   

the circumstances in which, or descriptions of statistics in relation to

which, pre-release access may or may not be granted,

25

(b)   

the persons, or descriptions of persons, to whom pre-release access may

be granted,

(c)   

the period, or maximum period, during which pre-release access may

be granted, and

(d)   

the conditions subject to which pre-release access may be granted.

30

(3)   

The Code may make different provision for different cases.

(4)   

The rules and principles for pre-release access required by subsection (2) shall

keep such access to the minimum necessary to meet the needs of Ministers.

(5)   

The Code shall include rules and principles relating to the release of official

statistics, including—

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(a)   

the location from which the release of official statistics may be made,

(b)   

the time at which the release of official statistics may be made, and

(c)   

the identification of the person or persons who are responsible for the

release of official statistics.

(6)   

The Board may at any time revise the Code and, if it decides to do so, must

40

publish the Code as revised.

 
 

Statistics and Registration Service Bill
Part 1 — The Statistics Board

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(7)   

In preparing or revising the Code the Board must consult—

(a)   

the Scottish Ministers,

(b)   

the Welsh Ministers,

(c)   

the Department of Finance and Personnel for Northern Ireland, and

(d)   

such other persons as it thinks fit.

5

11      

Assessment

(1)   

At the request of the appropriate authority the Board must, in accordance with

this Part, assess and determine whether the Code of Practice for Statistics

under section 10 has been complied with in relation to any official statistics.

(2)   

If under subsection (1) the Board determines that the Code has been complied

10

with, it must designate the statistics as “National Statistics”; but otherwise it

must decline so to designate them.

(3)   

A request under subsection (1) may not be withdrawn.

(4)   

The person responsible for any official statistics in relation to which an

assessment is being made under subsection (1) must provide the Board with

15

such information about the statistics as it may reasonably require.

(5)   

The Board must publish the results of any assessment under subsection (1).

(6)   

The Board may in exercising its functions under subsection (1) take into

account information or advice received from any person.

(7)   

In subsection (1) the “appropriate authority” in relation to any official statistics

20

is a Minister of the Crown, subject to the following—

(a)   

the National Statistician is the appropriate authority in relation to

statistics produced by the Board;

(b)   

the Scottish Ministers are the appropriate authority in relation to

official statistics not produced by the Board which are Scottish

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devolved statistics;

(c)   

the Welsh Ministers are the appropriate authority in relation to official

statistics not produced by the Board which are Welsh devolved

statistics;

(d)   

any Northern Ireland department is the appropriate authority in

30

relation to official statistics not produced by the Board which are

Northern Ireland devolved statistics.

(8)   

For the purposes of this Part, any official statistics designated as National

Statistics before the commencement of this section shall be regarded as having

been so designated under this section.

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12      

Duty to continue to comply with Code

(1)   

The person producing any official statistics which are designated under section

11 as National Statistics must ensure that the Code of Practice for Statistics

under section 10 continues to be complied with in relation to the statistics.

(2)   

Failure to comply with subsection (1) in relation to any statistics means that the

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designation of the statistics as National Statistics may not be confirmed under

section 13 (but no action shall lie in relation to any such failure).

 
 

 
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