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.
Statutory Function Under the Statistics Service Law, GSS is an autonomous body with a Board of Directors who report directly to the Office of the President. The role of the Ghana Statistical Service is broadly defined as being responsible for the collection and analysis of statistical data. The core functions of GSS remain almost identical to that of its predecessor, the CBS (section 9 of the Act). These core functions are:
- Advise Government and all stakeholders on all matters relating to statistical information;
- Collect, compile, analyse, abstract and publish statistical information;
- Conduct statistical surveys and censuses in Ghana;
- Organise a coordinated scheme of economic and social statistics in Ghana.
In the course of performing its core functions, the following conditions, which existed prior to the establishment of GSS, are still in force:
- Legal powers for the collection of information for statistical purposes;
- Penalty application to any one (individual / institution) refusing to cooperate with GSS in the performance of its functions;
- Limitation on the GSS to disclose unauthorised statistical information; and
- Some statistical works, which continue to be carried out within other MDAs, will continue to be managed by the GSS, as coordinating authority.
The GSS has been consistent in performing its functions as required by law, and over the years, it has demonstrated its ability to provide a wide range of official statistics that serve the needs of individuals, organisations, development partners and the government.
Statistical Service Law PNDC Law 1985.pdf