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Law Of The National Statistical System

Original Language Title: Lei do Sistema Estatístico Nacional

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Exhibition of Motives

The inadequacies revealed by the National Statistical System (SEN) at the date of accession of

Portugal to the then European Communities, made it indefable for the Country to proceed to a

reform that would provide it with greater operationality and consequent capacity to respond

to the needs of official statistical information felt and predictable, both of national order

as a community.

That reform came to fruition with the publication of Law No. 6/89 of April 15, which

approved the Bases General from the System Statistical National , and of the Decree-Law No. 280/89, of 23 of

August, which approved the Statutes from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) , changed by the

Decrees-Law No. 118/94, May 5, and para. 479/99, of November 9.

Past 18 years it is possible to detect substantial changes in the reference normative framework

of the SEN who was present in the preparation of those diplomas. These changes impose the

adoption of a new law for the SEN and essentially stem from the following official texts:

a) Regulation (Euratom, EEC) No 1588/90 of the Council of June 11 on

à Transmission of information covered by the Statistical Secret to Eurostat ;

b) Protocol annexed to the Treaty which Institutes the European Community (EC Treaty),

on the Statute of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB ), approved by the

Treaty of Maastricht, of February 7, 1992, and amended, among others, by the

Treaty of Amsterdam and the Treaty of Nice;

c) Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics adopted by the Statistical Commission

of the United Nations, on April 14, 1994;

d) Council Regulation (EC) No 322/97 of February 17 on the

Community Statistics , which is considered to be the Law of the European Statistical System ;

e) Commission Decision No 97 /281/CE of April 21 on the Role of Eurostat in the

Production of Community Statistics ;

f) Recommendation No. R (97) 18, of the Council of Europe, of September 30, 1997,

on the Protection of Personal Data, Collection and Processing for Statistical Purposes;


g) Law No. 67/98 of October 26 on the Protection of Personal Data , which transposed

for the Portuguese legal order Directive No 95 /46/CE, of Parliament

European and of the Council of October 24, 1995 on the protection of people

singular with regard to the processing of personal data and the free movement of such data ;

h) Decree-Law No. 294/2001 of November 20, which establishes, within the framework of

official statistical activity of the National Statistical System, rules regarding access, collection and

treatment by the INE of personal data of an administrative character ;

i) Code of Practice of European Statistics , approved by the Committee from the Program

Statistics on February 24, 2005 and promulgated by the Recommendation of the

Commission of May 25, 2005 on Independence, Integrity and the

Responsibility of National and Community Statistical Services, which was

object of Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and to the Council.

j) Decree-Law No. 166/2007 of May 3, which approved the Organic Law of the Institute

National of Statistics.

Despite the progress achieved at the level of the national official statistical information provision,

recognized internally and externally, the experience at the level of the operation of the SEN and the

National Statistical Institute came to evidence some dysfunctions in its operationality.

In view of the above, the present proposal of law is based on the following general lines:

i) They go on to integrate the structure of the SEN, the Bank of Portugal, the Regional Services of

Statistics of the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira and the delegated entities of the


ii) The guidelines set out in the Code of Practice of European Statistics are embraced,

which are reflected in the fundamental principles of the Statistical System


iii) The competences of the Higher Statistical Council are reformulated, passing this

organ, specifically, to define statistical operations of a national scope and those of

exclusive interest of Autonomous Regions, as well as the associated official statistics

to the provision of public service;

iv) It is changed the composition of the Higher Statistical Council, seeking to ensure

an appropriate representativeness of producers and users of official statistics;

v) Legal permission is provided for the INE, as a central production body

statistic, proceed to the treatment and interconnection of personal data and create bases of


data, in the terms provided for in the Personal Data Protection Act and in obedience

to the principles enshrined in Recommendation No R (97) 18 of the Council of Europe,

essential condition for the full pursuit of its assignments. This legal authorization,

becomes indispensable for the access by this Institute, the files

administrative for the updating of the data set out in the Ficts of

Statistical units aiming for the sharing of geographical and cadastral information among the

services of the public administration, so as to eliminate the duplication of operations of

collection of data, with the consequent reduction of costs for the public purse;

vi) The procedures inherent in the delegation of competences of the INE are changed in

other statistical producing entities, realizing this through contract

administrative between the INE and the delegated entity, allowing for greater control and

accountability for the exercise of delegated powers;

vii) The counterordinational regime is reshaped, in the sense of assigning competence to

apply sanctions to the entities that go on to integrate the SEN, from matching the criteria of the

determination of the sanction applicable to the specificity of official statistical activity and

predict the punishability of neglect.


Under the terms of the paragraph d) of Article 197 (1) of the Constitution, the Government presents to the

Assembly of the Republic the following proposal for a law:

National Statistical System Law


Object, definitions and structure

Article 1.


This Law sets out the principles, standards and structure of the National Statistical System



Article 2.


For the purposes of this Law, it is understood by:

a) "Official statistical activity", set of methods, techniques and procedures used

in the production and diffusion of official statistics;

b) "Official statistics", statistical information produced, as a rule, in the framework of the implementation

of the programme of the statistical activity of the SEN and the international organisations of which

Portugal is a member, with respect to national and international technical standards and with

observance of the principles set out in Chapter II;

c) "Individual statistical data", data permitting the direct identification of the units

statistics or that by its nature, structure, content, importance, number, relation

with other data or degree of disaggregation allow, without involving an effort and cost

disproportioned, their indirect identification;

d) "anonymised individual statistical data", modified data so as to minimize,

in accordance with the best methodological practice and without involving an effort and cost

disproportionate, the possibility of identification of the statistical units to which if


e) "Administrative data", data that is collected by public sector entities

on natural or legal persons, including individual data, on the basis of

administrative procedures that usually have a primary end that is not


f) "Statistical Metainformation", information describing the characteristics of the series and the

statistical data, as well as the relevant concepts and methodologies involved in its

production and use.

Article 3.


1. SEN comprises:

a) The Superior Council of Statistics;

b) The National Institute of Statistics (INE), I.P.;


c) The Bank of Portugal;

d) The Regional Statistical Services of the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira;

e) Entities producing official statistics by delegation of the INE, I.P.

2. The Superior Council of Statistics is the organ of the State which guides and coordinates the SEN.

3. The INE, I. P., as the central body of production and diffusion of official statistics, assures

the technical-scientific supervision and coordination of the SEN.

4. The INE, I. P., the Bank of Portugal, the Regional Statistical Services of Regions

Autonomous of the Azores and Madeira and the entities with competences delegated by the

directional board of the INE, I. P., as the responsible for the production of the

official statistics, are considered statistical authorities.


Fundamental principles of the national statistical system

Article 4.

Statistical authority

1. The statistical authorities, in the respective scope of acting, may require the

supply, with a mandatory and free character, to all services or bodies,

natural and legal persons, of any elements necessary for the production of

official statistics and establish the collection of data which, even if not relevant to the

specific activity of the entities obligated to their supply, they review importance


2. The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall prevail over any limitations or duties of secrecy

constants of special regimes, considering for all the effects the harnessing

of administrative data for official statistical purposes as one of the purposes

determinants of its collection.

3. Except for the provisions of paragraph 1 the data subject to the security classification, of

secret of state, of secret of justice, data conserved in the data centres of the

Information System Services of the Portuguese Republic, genetic data or data

personal concerning philosophical or political beliefs, party affiliation or trade union, faith

religious, private life and ethnic origin and personal data relating to health and sexual life.


4. Data holders shall be informed as to the purposes for which the data are intended

collected, to the obligatory or optional character of the response, to the consequences of not

response, to the way in which it exercises the right of access and rectification, as well as on the

protective measures adopted to ensure the confidentiality of the data collected.

5. The reporting obligation may be waived if it proves impossible or implies

disproportionate efforts.

Article 5.

Technical independence

The official statistics are produced with technical independence, without prejudice to the

compliance with the standards emanating from the National Statistical System or the Statistical System


Article 6.

Statistical secret

1. Statistical secret aims to safeguard the privacy of citizens and ensure trust in the


2. All individual statistical data collected by the statistical authorities are of

confidential nature, so:

a) They may not be yielded to any persons or entities nor of them being passed on

a certificate, without prejudice to the provisions of Article 18 (3);

b) No service or authority may order or authorize your examination;

c) They may not be disclosed in such a way that they allow direct identification or

indirect of the natural and legal persons to which they respect;

d) They constitute professional secrecy, even after the expiry of the functions, for all the

officials, agents or other persons who, to any title, of them take

knowledge in the exercise or in the reason of their functions related to the

official statistical activity.

3. Unless lawful provision to the contrary, individual statistical data on the Administration

Public are not covered by the statistical secret.


4. The individual statistical data on legal persons, as well as those relating to

business or professional activity of a natural person, they are not covered by the

statistical secret, when they are:

a) Object of publicity by force of legal provision, inter alia, by constarin

of public records;

b) Made available by scales, by variable or set of variables.

5. The individual statistical data relating to natural persons may not be yielded,

unless your holder has given his or her express consent or upon permission of the

Statistical Superior Council, which deliberates on reasoned requests, when

are in the cause of ponderous public health reasons and provided that they have been anonymized.

6. The individual statistical data relating to legal persons may not be ceded,

save if the respective representatives have given their express consent or

upon authorization of the Higher Statistical Council, which deliberates on requests

grounded, when they are in question ponderous public health reasons,

economic planning and coordination, external economic relations or protection of the


7. Out of the cases provided for in the preceding paragraphs, the individual statistical data on

natural and legal persons can only be ceded for scientific purposes, in form

anonymised, by the establishment of agreement between the ceding statistical authority and

the requesting entity, in which the necessary technical and organisational measures are defined

to ensure the protection of confidential data and to avoid any risk of disclosure

unlawful or of use for other purposes when disseminating the results.

8. They are considered to be aiming for scientific purposes, the requests for data cedence

performed within the framework of a concrete scientific project, by researchers of

universities or other legally recognized higher education institutions and

organizations, institutions or departments of scientific research recognized by the

competent services.

9. The individual statistical data conserved for historical purposes, lose the


a) In the case of natural persons-50 years on the date of the death of the respective

holders if this is known or 75 years on the date of the documents;

b) In the case of legal persons-75 years on the date of the documents.


Article 7.


Official statistics must comply with national and international quality standards


Article 8.

Statistical accessibility

1. The statistical authorities have the competence to make available and disseminate the

results of the activity developed in the framework of its assignments, without prejudice to the

respect for the rules of statistical secrecy set out in Article 6 para.

2. Official statistics are considered a public good, and they must meet the

needs of users efficiently and without excessive overload for the

suppliers of the information, notably through the most extensive use of the data


3. The provision of official statistics shall be carried out in an integrated, objective manner,

timely and punctual, accompanied by the respective statistical meta-training and other

support information for the interpretation of results.

4. Access to official statistics associated with the provision of public service shall be

secured free of charge, unless requiring further processing of the information.

Article 9.

Cooperation between statistical authorities

The statistical authorities develop the forms of cooperation deemed necessary to the

cabal performance of its tasks within the scope of the SEN.


Higher Statistical Council


Article 10.


1. The Superior Council of Statistics, abbreviated by Council, shall be chaired

by the minister who tutorates the INE, I.P., or by the member of the Government on whom this delegate

the respective functions.

2. The Council further integrates the following members:

a) The President of the INE, I.P., who exercises roles of Vice-President of the Council;

b) A representative of the Bank of Portugal;

c) A representative of the Regional Statistical Office of the Azores;

d) A representative of the Regional Directorate of Statistics of Madeira;

e) The responsible for each entity producing official statistics by delegation of

competences of the INE, I.P.;

f) A representative of each Ministry considered, by proposal of the President of the INE,

IP, great user of the official statistics, up to a maximum of 5;

g) A representative of the National Data Protection Commission;

h) A representative of the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities;

i) A representative of each business confederation;

j) A representative of each trade union plant;

l) A representative of consumer associations;

m) Two university professors from the area of statistical and econometric methods;

n) Five personalities of recognized reputation for scientific merit and independence.

3. The Council has a Registrar, without a right to vote, appointed on a proposal from the

chairman of the INE, I.P.

Article 11.


1. The members of the Council, except as provided for in ( g) of paragraph 2 of the previous article, are

appointed by dispatch of the Prime Minister on the following terms:

a) The members of the sub- b) a f) and h) a l) of paragraph 2 of the preceding Article, on a proposal from the

ministers and respective entities;


b) The members of the ( m) of paragraph 2 of the preceding Article, on a proposal from the Council of

Rectors of the Portuguese Universities;

c) The members of the ( n) of paragraph 2 of the preceding Article, on a proposal from the President of the


2. The members of the Council in representation of the National Commission for Protection of

Data is named by this entity, including the alternate, at the maximum of two.

3. The alternating members of the INE, I.P., are appointed by dispatch of the Prime Minister

on a proposal from its president.

4. The alternate members of the entities to which the points are referred b) a f) and h) a l) of paragraph 2 of the

previous article, are designated in the order of appointment of the members of the Council, in the

maximum of two per entity.

Article 12.


The term of office of the members of the Council shall have the duration of three years, renewable by equal


Article 13.


The Council has the following competences:

a) Define and approve the general lines of official and respective statistical activity


b) To define annually the official statistical operations of national scope and those of

exclusive interest of the Autonomous Regions, on a proposal from the statistical authorities;

c) Approve technical tools for statistical coordination, mandatory application in the

production of official statistics, and promote their respective knowledge, publicitation and

use, and may propose to the Government the extension of this imperative use to the

Public Administration;


d) Approve and regulate the standards for the prior registration of statistical questionnaires of the

statistical authorities and other data collection supports that may be

used for statistical purposes;

e) Decide on the proposals for the release of data subject to statistical secrecy, from

agreement with the provisions of Article 6 (5) and (6);

f) To ensure compliance with the principle of statistical secrecy with the entities

requesters of confidential information, and may conduct audits and other actions of

monitoring of compliance with its deliberations, as well as compliance with the

remaining fundamental principles of the SEN set out in this Law, formulating

recommendations on the measures to be adopted;

g) Appreciate the plan and the budget of statistical activity of the statistical authorities,

as well as the respective implementation report;

h) Formulate recommendations in the framework of the definition of methodologies, concepts and

statistical nomenclatures for the use of administrative acts for the

production of official statistics and to ensure that they are implemented;

i) Pronouns on the proposals of delegation of competences of the INE, IP in other

entities for the production and diffusion of official statistics, for the purpose of the envisaged in the

article 24;

j) Define the official statistics associated with the provision of public service;

l) Participate in the competent statistical authorities, for instruction and possible application

of sanctions, the facts likely to constitute counter-ordinance in the terms of the article

26., which arrive at the knowledge of the Council by virtue of its functions,

in particular of the provisions of paragraph f) ;

m) Approve your internal regulation.

Article 14.

Consultation in the framework of the legislative process

The approval of diploma projects that create statistical services or contain standards

on the statistical activity is mandatorily preceded by consultation with the Council.


Article 15.


1. The Council may bring together in plenary or by restricted, permanent or possible sections,

depending on the matter of which it is concerned, pursuant to its internal regulation, and to invite the

participate in the meetings, without the right to vote, representatives of national entities,

foreign and international.

2. The Council may be absent the opinion of experts of recognised competence on the

matters that it considers relevant to the performance of its functions.

3. The recommendations and deliberations of the Council, relating to the powers provided for in the

points a), (b), (c), d), g), h), j) and m) of Article 13, are published in the 2 th Series of the Journal of the

Republic .

4. Until the end of each term, the Council shall draw up an evaluation report of the

state of the SEN.

Article 16.

Support for operation

The INE, I. P., provides the necessary technical, administrative and logistical support to the operation

of the Council.

Article 17.

Financial charges

1. Charges with the operation of the Council shall be borne by the budget of the INE,

I. P.

2. The form of retribution of the members of the Council and payment of the remaining charges is

fixed by joint dispatch of the minister who guardien the INE, I. P., and the Minister of the



Statistical authorities


Article 18.

National Institute of Statistics, I. P.

1. The assignments of the National Statistical Institute, I. P., are those provided for in its law


2. Within the framework of its assignments and for the pursuit of the mission of public interest, the

INE, I. P., may carry out the processing of personal data, including the sensitive ones, well

how to proceed to the interconnection of data, notably with the other authorities

statistics, with a safeguard of the provisions of Article 9 (2) of the Law on Protection of

Personal Data.

3. For the purposes of the preceding paragraph, the governing board of the INE, I.P., has competences


a) Determine which data treatments are necessary for the performance of the activity

of the INE, I. P., as well as carry out the respective processing;

b) Promote, when necessary, the disaggregated treatment of personal data in good reason

of gender;

c) To draw up a record of which they build the purposes of the treatment, categories

of holders and of personal data treated, recipients or categories of recipients to

who the data can be communicated and under what conditions, the eventual transfer

of data for third countries, pursuant to the terms set out in Articles 19 and 20 of the Law

n ° 67/98 of October 26 and the planned period of conservation;

d) Carry out interconnections of personal data, when necessary to the production of

official statistics;

e) Carry out the processing of sensitive data, with the express consent of your

holder and within the conditions of safety, provided for in Law No. 67/98, 26 of


f) Disclose the form of access of the holder, for correction or deletion of the data which

say respect;

g) Authorizing the transfer of confidential data to the Member States of the Union

European, in the context of the production of European statistics;


h) Destroy, under special security measures, the personal data used for the

elaboration of statistics.

Article 19.

Bank of Portugal

The assignments of the Bank of Portugal under the SEN are those provided for in its organic law and

consists, specifically, in the collection and elaboration of monetary, financial statistics,

currency and the balance of payments.

Article 20.

Participation in the European System of Central Banks

The Bank of Portugal's participation in the SEN does not undermine guarantees of independence

arising from their participation in the European System of Central Banks, in particular in what

respects the performance of its functions of collaboration with the European Central Bank in

statistical matter.

Article 21.

Cooperation with the INE, I. P.

The INE, I. P., and the Bank of Portugal establish the means of collaboration considered

appropriate to the performance of its tasks within the scope of the SEN, as well as to the

development of joint statistical operations, the sharing of unit files

statistics, quality control of basic information and external representation to the

level of community statistics.

Article 22.

Regional Statistical Services of the Autonomous Regions

The Regional Statistical Services of the Autonomous Regions work, in relation to the

official statistics of national scope, such as delegations of the INE, I. P., and in relation to the

official statistics of exclusive interest of the Autonomous Regions, according to the


assignments defined in their respective organic laws.

Article 23.

Tasks of a national scope

1. The national scope assignments of the Regional Statistical Services of the Regions

Autonomas are exercised under the exclusive technical guidance of the INE, I. P. and consist of the


a) Collaborate in the design of censitary, basic and current statistical operations;

b) To ensure, within its geographical area of intervention, the collection of the data

basic statistics relating to censuses and basic surveys and currents;

c) Participate in the electronic handling of the basic statistical information collected;

d) Participate in the work on the creation, updating and management of unit files


e) Exercise the functions of regional centres of information and statistical documentation


2. For the pursuit of its assignments, the Regional Statistical Services of the Regions

Autonomas can access all information regarding the respective regions available in the

INE, I. P.

3. The expenditure on the operation of the Regional Statistical Services of the Regions

Autonomies constitute charges of the respective Regions, without prejudice to the compensations

financial due by the INE, I. P., regarding the participation in the production of the

official national scope statistics that are regulated by contract of cooperation

financial, to be celebrated annually with each of the regional governments.

Article 24.

Other statistical authorities

1. The governing board of the INE, I. P., may delegate to organs of other entities as

necessary skills for the production and dissemination of official statistics.

2. The exercise of powers delegated to the terms of the preceding paragraph shall be carried out under the

exclusive technical guidance of the INE, I. P.


3. The terms and conditions of the delegation of competences are published in the Journal of the Republic ,

after homologation of the member of the Government that tutele the INE, I. P,. and of the member of the

Competent government on the grounds of matter.

4. In cases where the delegation is incited over areas in which the Autonomous Regions possess

own competences, the Regional Statistical Services exercise the functions of

delegated entity, and the INE, I. P., in articulation with these services delegated

skills in other regional services.



Article 25.

Responsibility for the practice of counter-ordinations

1. By the practice of counter-ordinations provided for in this Law may be held liable

natural persons, legal persons, regardless of the regularity of their

constitution, societies and associations without legal personality.

2. Legal persons and entities that are equated to them in the preceding paragraph are

responsible for the counter-ordinances provided for in this Law when the facts have

been practiced, in the exercise of the respective activity, in their name or by their account, by the

holders of their social bodies, mandators, representatives or employees.

Article 26.


1. Constitui counterordinance very serious the violation of statistical secrecy, save the willing

in Article 32 of this Law.

2. Constitute counter-ordinance grave, whenever there is mandatory to provide

information, any of the following behaviors:

a) The lack of response to inquiries within the time limit set by the statistical authority;

b) The response to inquiries that repeatedly is inaccurate and insufficient;

c) The refusal to send the information to the statistical authorities;


d) The response to the inquiries that mislead;

e) The provision of information in various molds of those that are legal or


3. Negligence is punishable.

Article 27.


1. The counterordinance provided for in paragraph 1 of the preceding Article shall be punished with fine of € 500 a

€ 50000 or from 1000 a to € 100000, depending on whether the agent is a natural or a legal person.

2. The counterordinations provided for in paragraph 2 of the preceding Article shall be punished with fine of € 250

at € 25000 or from 500 a to € 50000, depending on the agent whether it is a natural or a legal person.

3. In the event of negligence the minimum and maximum amounts of the fines provided for in the

previous numbers are reduced to half.

4. Whenever the illicit of mere social ordinance results from the omission of a duty, the application

of the penalty and the payment of the fine does not waive the offender of his / her compliance, if this

is still possible.

5. There may be place for voluntary payment of the fine by its minimum value.

6. The product of the fines seized in the counterordinance processes reverses in 40%

for statistical authorities and in 60% for the State or for Autonomous Regions,

depending on the place of occurrence of the action that conforms to the offence.

Article 28.

Criteria for determining the applicable penalty

1. The determination of the concrete fine is made in the function of the concrete ilicitude of the fact and of the

fault of the agent.

2. In the determination of the concrete ilicitude of the fact and the fault of the agent shall be met, between

other, to the following circumstances:

a) Occasional or repeated character of the offence;

b) Insistence carried out for the dispatch of the response;

c) Have the infringement agreed to prevent or delay the publication of the official statistics;


d) Economic situation of the agent;

e) Economic benefit that the agent withdrew from the practice of counterordinance;

f) Turnover of the company;

g) Volume and periodicity of the requested information.

Article 29.

Instruction of processes and application of fines

The competence for the instruction of processes and application of the fines rests with the organs or

maximum leaders of the statistical authorities, without prejudice to the possibility of delegation in the

terms of the law.

Article 30.

Competent court

1. The court competent to know the judicial challenge, review and enforcement of the

decisions of the statistical authorities in counterordinance proceedings, instituted in the

terms of this law, is the Judgment of Small Criminal Instance of Lisbon, save the provisions of the

the following number.

2. In the case of the decisions of the Regional Statistical Services of the Autonomous Regions of the

Azores and Madeira and the delegated entities of the INE, I. P., which are located in the

Autonomous Regions, the competence for the processes referred to in the preceding paragraph results

of the general rules set out in the applicable law.

Article 31.

Subsidiary application

The counter-ordinations and the respective procedure shall be applicable to the general scheme of the

illicit of mere social ordering, constant of the Decree-Law No. 433/82 of October 27,

changed by Decrees-Law No 356/89 of October 17, 244/95, of September 14, and

323/2001, of December 17 and by Law No. 109/2001 of December 24.


Article 32.

Criminal responsibility

Without prejudice to disciplinary liability, the violation of the statistical secret that constitutes

infringement of the duty of professional secrecy is punishable under Articles 195, 196, and 383.

of the Criminal Code.

Article 33.

Disciplinary responsibility

The leaders, officials, agents or other employees of the Public Administration who

violate the provisions of Article 4 (1) of this Law in the performance of their duties

in disciplinary liability under the law.

Chapter VI

Final disposition

Article 34.

Abrogation standard

The Act No 6/89 of April 15 and the Decrees-Law No 124/80 of May 17, and of May 17, are repealed.

294/2001, of November 20.

Seen and approved in Council of Ministers of June 21, 2007

The Prime Minister

The Minister of the Presidency

The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs