President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has ratified the Maldives Statistics Act, which transfers activities previously carried out by the National Bureau of Statistics to the new Maldives Bureau of Statistics.
The Maldives Statistics Act was drafted in an effort to improve the country’s statistics industry and to collect useful data about the Maldives’ economy, ecological, and social elements, and to responsibly use such data for the benefit of all citizens.
Following ratification of the act, all resources, legal obligations, and staff employed by the National Bureau of Statistics will be transferred to the newly established Maldives Bureau of Statistics, which will independently collect, analyse, use, and publish national statistics in accordance with an established national standard. The legislation also states that the finance minister must answer to the People’s Majlis on topics concerning the Bureau of Statistics.
The legislation also says that the president, with the advice of the cabinet, shall designate a chief statistician to oversee the work of the Bureau for a five-year tenure. It further stipulated that the chief statistician could not be a political or elected official. Furthermore, the applicant must not be a member of any political party and must possess the appropriate education and expertise to successfully do the job.
The law also requires the formation of a Statistical Council of ten members within 60 days of ratification to provide advise on all matters pertaining to statistics. The finance minister will appoint the Council for a five-year term. Members who are appointed must also have the required knowledge and experience to efficiently carry out their tasks.
The Statistical Council will be composed of the chief statistician, a representative from Maldives National University, four members representing government institutions providing statistical services who will be appointed by the finance minister, and four members representing the private sector and civil societies.