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OFFICE OF STATISTICS AND INFORMATION ACT

OFFICE OF STATISTICS AND
INFORMATION ACT

Chapter O‑5.5

Table of Contents

                1       Definitions

                2       Office of Statistics and Information

                3       Duties of the Office

                4       Personnel

                5       Rules, schedules, etc.

                6       Agreements — Statistics Canada

             6.1       Agreements — other

                7       Census or survey

             7.1       Collection of information

                8       Protection of identity

             8.1       Limited right of access

                9       Oath of secrecy

              10       Offence and penalty

              11       Regulations


HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, enacts as follows:

Definitions

1   In this Act,

                                 (a)    “Minister” means the Minister determined under section 16 of the Government Organization Act as the Minister responsible for this Act;

                                 (b)    “Office” means the Office of Statistics and Information continued under section 2;

                                 (c)    “respondent” means a person from whom information is sought under this Act.

RSA 2000 cS‑18 s1;2008 c39 s3

Office of Statistics and Information

2(1)  The Alberta Bureau of Statistics is continued within the public service of Alberta under the name “Office of Statistics and Information”.

(2)  The Office shall be attached to and shall form part of the ministry prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

RSA 2000 cS‑18 s2;2008 c39 s4

Duties of the Office

3(1)  The purpose of the Office is to plan, promote, consolidate and develop social and economic statistics or statistical information relating to Alberta.

(2)  The duties of the Office shall include the following:

                                 (a)    to collect, compile, analyze, abstract and publish statistics or other information relating to the commercial, industrial, financial, social, economic or other activities or conditions of Alberta, including but not limited to taking a mandatory census or survey; 

                                 (b)    to collaborate with or assist ministries in the collection, compilation and publication of statistics or other information, including statistics or other information derived from the activities of those ministries;

                                 (c)    to co‑ordinate statistical activities between the Government of Alberta and statistical agencies of other governments;

                                 (d)    to study, investigate, report on and advise on any question relating to social or economic conditions or to any social or economic problem designated by the Minister.

RSA 2000 cS‑18 s3;2008 c39 s5

Personnel

4(1)  In accordance with the Public Service Act, there may be appointed any employees required for the carrying out of the duties of the Office.

(2)  The Minister may use the services of any employee of the public service of Alberta to carry out a duty of the Office.

(3)  The Minister may retain any person under contract, and the employees and agents of that person, to carry out a duty of the Office.

RSA 2000 cS‑18 s4;2008 c39 s6

Rules, schedules, etc. 

5   The Minister may make rules, instructions, schedules and forms as the Minister considers requisite for the carrying out of a duty of the Office.

RSA 2000 cS‑18 s5;2008 c39 s7

Agreements — Statistics Canada

6   The Minister may enter into an agreement with Statistics Canada for the collection, transmission or exchange of

                                 (a)    specific replies to statistical inquiries,

                                 (b)    replies to specific classes of information collected under this Act, or

                                 (c)    tabulations or analyses based on the replies referred to in clause (a) or (b).

RSA 2000 cS‑18 s6;2008 c39 s8

Agreements — other

6.1(1)  The Minister may enter into an agreement with a ministry, municipality, corporation, business or organization, the Government of Canada or the government of a province or territory of Canada for the exchange of information collected jointly and for subsequent tabulation or publication based on that information.

(2)  The agreement must provide that

                                 (a)    a notice is required to be sent to each respondent advising that

                                           (i)    the information is being collected jointly on behalf of the Office and the other party, and 

                                          (ii)    the respondent may object in writing to the exchange of information between the parties that might identify the respondent,

                                     and

                                 (b)    the agreement does not apply to the exchange of information between the parties that might identify a respondent who has objected as referred to in clause (a).

(3)  An exchange of information under an agreement under this section may, subject to subsection (2)(b), include replies to original inquiries and supplementary information provided by a respondent to the Office or the other party jointly collecting the information.

(4)  This section does not apply to an agreement with Statistics Canada.

2008 c39 s8

Census or survey

7(1)  The Office may take a census or survey with regard to mines, quarries, fisheries and forests, and of manufacturing, construction, commercial and service establishments, and of any other industrial, trading, business and professional activities prescribed by the Minister, at the intervals the Minister directs, so as to ascertain with the utmost possible accuracy the products and operations thereof.

(2)  A person who receives a census or survey form for the purposes of subsection (1) shall answer and return it, properly certified as accurate, no later than the time prescribed on the form or any extended time that the Minister may allow.

(3)  Subsection (2) does not apply unless the census or survey form indicates that the census or survey is mandatory.

(4)  The Minister shall, subject to the regulations, determine if a census or survey is mandatory.

RSA 2000 cS‑18 s7;2008 c39 s9

Collection of information

7.1(1)  The Office may collect information, including personal information, directly or indirectly, for the purposes of this Act.

(2)  A ministry, municipality, corporation, business or organization is authorized to provide a record in its custody or control to the Office on request that, in the opinion of the Office, may aid

                                 (a)    in the carrying out of a duty of the Office, or

                                 (b)    in the completion or collection of information obtained under clause (a).

(3)  A person who requests information under this Act must advise a respondent

                                 (a)    of the person’s name and title of office,

                                 (b)    of the purpose of the request,

                                 (c)    whether the respondent is obliged to comply with the request, 

                                 (d)    whether the information collected will be or may be shared pursuant to an agreement under section 6 or 6.1, and

                                 (e)    if the information collected will be or might be shared pursuant to an agreement under section 6.1, of the respondent’s right to object to the exchange of information that might identify the respondent.

2008 c39 s10

Protection of identity

8(1)  No report, summary of statistics or other publication issued under this Act shall contain any of the particulars contained in any individual return so arranged as to enable any person to identify any particulars so published as being particulars relating to any individual person or business except when the previous consent in writing of the individual person or of the person in authority in the business has been obtained for the release of the information.

(2)  No person shall permit the examination of the contents of an individual return received under this Act without modifying the contents to prevent a person from identifying any of the contents so examined as relating to any individual person or business.

(3)  Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to a disclosure permitted under section 6 or 6.1.

(4)  Subsection (2) does not apply to a disclosure

                                 (a)    to a person who has taken the oath of secrecy required by section 9, or

                                 (b)    to an individual person or business of particulars that are about that individual person or business.

(5)  This section prevails over sections 40 to 43 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

RSA 2000 cS‑18 s8;2008 c39 s11

Limited right of access

8.1(1)  An individual person’s or business’s right of access to records in the custody or control of the Office is limited to information about that person or business.

(2)  This section prevails over section 6(1) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

2008 c39 s12

Oath of secrecy

9(1)  Before carrying out a duty of the Office, a person shall take the following oath of secrecy:

                                          “I,                                  , do solemnly swear that I will not, without due authority, disclose or make known any matter or thing that comes to my knowledge by reason of my carrying out a duty under the Office of Statistics and Information Act.”

(2)  The oath must be taken and recorded in the manner determined by the Minister.

RSA 2000 cS‑18 s9;2008 c39 s13

Offence and penalty

10(1)  A person

                                 (a)    who, in the pretended performance of a duty of the Office, obtains or seeks to obtain information that the person is not authorized to obtain, or

                                 (b)    who contravenes section 8(2),

is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of not more than $1000 and in default of payment to imprisonment for a term of not more than 30 days.

(2)  A respondent who, with respect to a person carrying out a duty under this Act,

                                 (a)    wilfully and falsely answers any question,

                                 (b)    refuses or neglects to answer any question the respondent is required to answer,

                                 (c)    refuses or neglects to complete to the best of the respondent’s knowledge and belief any form the respondent is required to complete, or

                                 (d)    refuses or neglects to provide or return any record, form, return, report or answer the respondent is required to provide or return when and as required,

is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine of not more than $500 and in default of payment to imprisonment for a term of not more than 3 months.

RSA 2000 cS‑18 s10;2008 c39 s14

Regulations

11   The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

                                 (a)    respecting the collection, use or disclosure of information under sections 6 to 8.1;

                                 (b)    respecting the taking of a mandatory census or survey;

                                 (c)    governing any matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act.

2008 c39 s15