STATISTICS WHETHER COMMONWEALTH STATISTICIAN MAY REQUIRE INFORMATION FROM STATE MINISTERS
CENSUS AND STATISTICS ACT 1905, ss.6, 17
The Minister for Home Affairs asks for my opinion whether the Commonwealth Statistician has power to demand information from State Ministers for statistical purposes, and if so whether a regulation could be passed declaring State Ministers to be prescribed persons under section 17 of the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
The Census and Statistics Act 1905 by section 6 prescribes the method by which statistical information is to be obtained from State Government Departments, viz. by arrangement with the Governor of the State concerned.
Parliament having made special provision for the obtaining of statistical information from State Departments, I think that section 17, under which statistical information can be demanded from prescribed persons, would not apply to State Ministers.
I am of opinion therefore that the Commonwealth Statistician has no power to demand information from State Ministers and that a regulation could not be passed declaring State Ministers to be prescribed persons under section 17.
[Vol. 7, p. 132]