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Statistical co-ordination among organs of state

14. (1) Despite any other law—
(a) no Minister may authorise an organ of state to undertake a new statistical collection or substantially vary or discontinue any statistical collection; and
(b) no organ of state may undertake a new statistical collection or substantially vary or discontinue any statistical collection—
except with the approval of the Minister given in accordance with subsection
(2), provided that in the case of any state institution referred to in section 181(1) of the Constitution, the state institution does not require the Minister’s approval, but it must consult with the Minister, who must be advised by the Statistician-General.
(2) The Minister may only grant the approval referred to in subsection (1)—
(a) on the advice of the Statistician-General; and
(b) after consultation with the head of the organ of state concerned.
(3) If so advised by the Statistician-General, the Minister may, subject to such conditions as the Minister determines, stipulate that the provisions of subsection (1) do not apply to any specific organ of state in any specific instance or class of instances.
(4) Subsection (1) does not apply to the collection of statistics undertaken in accordance with the work programme of Statistics South Africa contemplated in section
7(1)(e).
(5) As soon as possible after—
(a) the inception, variation or discontinuance of any statistical collection requiring approval in terms of subsection (1) is proposed; or
(b) any document used in such collection is prepared,
the head of the organ of state concerned must inform the Statistician-General accordingly.
(6) The Statistician-General may advise any organ of state regarding the application of appropriate quality criteria and standards, classifications and procedures for statistics—
(a) to improve the quality of statistics;
(b) to enhance the comparability of statistics;
(c) to minimise unnecessary overlapping or duplication with the collection or publication of statistics in that organ of state or by other organs of state.
(7) (a) The Statistician-General may designate as official statistics any statistics or class of statistics produced from statistical collections by—
(i) Statistics South Africa; or
(ii) other organs of state, after consultation with the head of the organ of state concerned.
(b) Such designation must be in accordance with—
(i) the purpose of official statistics and the statistical principles contemplated in section 3; and
(ii) such other statistical criteria as the Statistician-General may determine by notice in the Gazette.
(8) The Statistician-General may—
(a) at his or her own instance or at the request of the Council, the Minister or any other Minister, review and comment on the production, analysis, documentation, storage, dissemination, interpretation and use of official or other statistics of any other organ of state; and
(b) after consultation with the head of that organ of state, publish any such statistics and comments thereon as he or she considers necessary or appropriate.
(9) For the purposes of assisting the Statistician-General in the performance of his or her duties imposed by this Act, the head of any other organ of state must, subject to subsection (10)—
(a) within a reasonable period, supply the Statistician-General with information he or she may request regarding any official or other statistics for which that organ of state is responsible;
(b) advise the Statistician-General from time to time of any substantial changes in the information that has been so supplied;
(c) grant the Statistician-General or any officer of Statistics South Africa authorised by him or her unhindered access, without charge, to such information or data of that organ of state as the Statistician-General requests; and
(d) allow the Statistician-General or any officer of Statistics South Africa authorised by him or her to copy, without charge, any information or data which may be used in producing official statistics.
(10) The Statistician-General may, subject to such conditions as he or she determines, stipulate that any provision of subsection (9)(a) or (b) does not apply to any specific organ of state in any specific instance or class of instances.
(11) Subject to subsection (12), the Statistician-General may enter into an agreement with—
(a) the head of another organ of state in respect of information or data which the latter has the authority to collect;
(b) any body other than an organ of state engaged in collecting such information or data.
(12) The agreement referred to in subsection (11) is subject to the following conditions:
(a) The collection of such information or data must be undertaken either by Statistics South Africa or jointly by Statistics South Africa and that organ of state or body;
(b) the resulting statistics or information must subject to paragraph (c) and section 17(3) be exchanged between the parties or shared with the other party;
(c) if information has been supplied by any respondent who gives notice in writing to the Statistician-General that he or she objects to the exchange or sharing of that information by the parties, that information may not be so exchanged or shared;
(d) every employee within the organ of state or body who is engaged in any such joint collection or to whom such statistics or information is made available, must take an oath of confidentiality similar to that provided for in section 17(7)(a), whether or not he or she has taken an oath of confidentiality in terms of any other law.