Act No. 7, An Act for the Establishment of a Bureau of Statistics for the Philippine Islands

ACT NO. 7
AN ACT FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A BUREAU OF STATISTICS FOR THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS

By authority of the President of the United States, be it enacted by the United States Philippine Commission, that:

Section 1. There shall be established a bureau of statistics for the Philippine Islands, the central office of which shall be located in the city of Manila. The chief officer of this bureau shall be denominated the chief statistician. He shall be appointed by the Commission, under the limitations which are applicable to the appointment of the heads of other departments by virtue of section 20 of the civil service act. He shall superintend and direct the collection, compilation, and publication of such statistical information concerning the Philippine Islands as may be required by law, and shall perform his duties under the general supervision of the Military Governor.

Sec. 2. All appointments in the bureau of statistics shall be in accordance with the provisions of the civil service act.

Sec 3. All information collected by the bureau concerning the affairs of private persons, firms or corporations shall be strictly confidential, and shall not be published or communicated in such a way as to reveal the identity of the persons concerned to any other than the employees of the bureau. The violation of this requirement by the chief statistician, or by any assistant, clerk, special agent, enumerator or other employee of the bureau shall be a misdemeanor, the punishment for which shall be a tine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

Sec. 4. Any assistant, clerk, special agent, enumerator, or other employee of the bureau who shall communicate to any person not authorized to receive the same any information gained by him in the performance of his duties, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in the preceding section.

Sec. 5. The chief statistician, or any assistant, clerk, special agent, enumerator, or other employee of the bureau, who shall wilfully report or publish false statistical information, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in section 3 of this act.

Sec. 6. All public officers of the Philippine Islands are authorized and required to render to the chief statistician, on his request, regular or special reports on all matters coming to their knowledge in the performance of their official duties, in so far as the information possessed by them or contained in their records relates to a subject under duly authorized investigation, and is not of a confidential nature. The regular reports required of public officials shall, as far as possible, take the form laid down in the statutes of the United States for similar reports to the several statistical bureaus of the Federal Government on the same or cognate subjects, or such forms as shall be prescribed by law. When any of the special reports chilled for from any office involve a larger amount of labor than can be performed by the regular force of that office without interference with their regular duties, the chief statistician shall delegate an employee or employees of the bureau to assist in compiling such reports.

Sec. 7. Any public officer wilfully refusing to comply with the requirements of the preceding section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in section 3 of this act.

Sec. 8. Every person more than eighteen years of age residing in these islands shall be required, if thereto requested by the chief statistician or his duly authorized representative, to render a true account, to the best of his or her knowledge, of the various items of information possessed by him or her and required for any authorized statistical investigation; and whosoever shall wilfully fail or refuse to render such a true account shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined in a sum not exceeding one hundred dollars, or imprisoned for a term not exceeding three months, or by both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

Sec. 9. Every president, treasurer, secretary, director, agent, or manager of any corporation or of any establishment of productive industry or commercial organization, whether conducted as a corporate body, limited liability company, or by private persons, from whom answers to any schedules, inquiries, or statistical interrogatories are required as herein provided, who shall, if thereto requested by the chief statistician or an}' of his duly authorized representatives, wilfully neglect or refuse to give true and complete answers to said authorized inquiries, or shall wilfully give false information, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or by both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

Sec. 10. The chief statistician may authorize the expenditure of sum necessary for traveling expenses of the officers and employees of the bureau and the incidental expenses essential to the carrying out of this act, including the expenses of printing the necessary forms, schedules, blanks, circular, envelopes and other necessary items; and for printing, publishing and distributing bulletins and reports of the results of the investigations authorized; and for purchasing or contracting for the use of mechanical or electrical devices for calculating or tabulating: Provided, That no mechanical device of this character shall be adopted until after due notice to the public and tests of its merits in competition with other devices for the same purpose which may be offered, unless the same shall have been previously adopted in some department of the Government of the United States.

Sec. 11. The chief statistician shall provide the bureau with a suitable seal, with such device as he may select, and he shall file a description of such seal with the Commission, together with an impression thereof. Such seal shall remain in the custody of the chief statistician and shall be affixed to all commissions, certificates and attestations that may be required from the bureau.

Sec. 12. This act shall take effect on its passage.

Enacted, September 26, 1900.