Parliament has Thursday passed the 2013 National Statistics Bill. The National Statistics Act of 2013 replaces the Statistics Act of 1967.
Speaking during the presentation of the bill to the August House, Minister of Economic Planning and Development, Ralph Jooma, said that the Act would provide a basis for quality statistics for informed and evidence-based decision making, policy design and monitoring and evaluation in the country.
”This Act will also include emerging issues such as HIV/AIDS, Environment, Gender and ICT, to be covered by statistics activities, something that was not there in the old Act,” said Jooma.
Jooma also said that there were Code of Ethics in the new Act which would regulate the production of statistics, an in the process, increase level of confidence and trust in the statistics.
All opposition parties in the august House including, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) welcomed the bill with honor.
”It has been 46 years since 1967 and the demands for quality statistics have given rise to the development of statistical frameworks at the continental as well as at the world stage, so this is a good development to our nation,” said UDF spokesperson, Dr. Clement Chiwaya.
The Act is in tandem with the recommendations of the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics which Malawi subscribed to and the African Charter on Statistics which Malawi has ratified.
The proposed Act also takes into account the monitoring requirements of the Malawi Growth and Development Goals at the country level and the Millennium Development Goals at the international level.–Malawi News Agency