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The Office of the Government Statistician was established in 1948 and its functions, powers and responsibilities were formally incorporated in the Statistics Ordinance of 1950. As the services rendered by the Department increased, it became necessary to reorganize the statistical system and evolve a structure that would give adequate scope to the expansion of its responsibilities. In 1961, therefore, the Statistics Act (Act 37) established the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) as a Department under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

In 1985, the Statistical Service Law (PNDC Law 135) established the Statistical Service, which instrument had the effect of raising the status of the Central Bureau of Statistics from a Government Department under a Ministry to that of an autonomous, independent public service. The Law also established the Statistical Service Board as the governing body that reports to the presidency. The Law specifically:


  • provides for a Board to be the overall governing body to determine the form and nature of statistics to be collected and reported on, promote the effective use of statistics, stimulate research activities in all fields of statistics and advise the government on all matters relating to statistics;

  • vests in the Government Statistician the responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the GSS, the conduct of national surveys including censuses, and organization of a coordinated scheme of economic and social statistics relating to the country;

  • vests in the GSS the responsibility for the collection, compilation, analysis, publication and dissemination of official statistics in Ghana for general and administrative purposes;

  • prescribes for the GSS the role of coordination of all developments in statistics outside the GSS.
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