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Rules for Provision of Anonymised Individual Data for Scientific and Research Purposes

Section I
Art. 1.  (1) The present Rules for  provision of anonymised individual data for scientific and research purposes of the National Statistical Institute (NSI), hereinafter referred to as the rules, regulate the relations in terms of provision of anonymised individual data by the NSI for scientific and research purposes and the order of their  receipt by the users.
(2) The Rules are based on and in accordance with the requirements of the national legislation and the relevant regulations of the European Union.
Art. 2.  The following parties can apply for access to anonymised individual data:
1. universities and other higher education institutions;
2. organizations and scientific research institutions;
3. other agencies, organizations or institutions that have specific structural units which carry out scientific and research activities;
4. other legal entities that use data for research and analytical purposes;
5. natural persons that need anonymised data for the purposes of scientific and research activities.
Art. 3. The “Relations with Users and e-Services” department within the “Multi-Domain Statistics and User Services” directorate in the NSI maintains and updates a list of users which includes the name of the user, the type of the data provided and the date of data delivery.
Art. 4. The data shall be provided on a data storage device in csv, sav, xls or another format, preliminary specified in the application form.
Section ІІ
Art. 5. Anonymised individual data can be provided from following statistical surveys or statistical data sources:
1. Labour Force Survey;
2. Income, expenditures and consumption of households;
3. Innovation activity;
4. Continuing vocational training in enterprises;
5. Adult education and training;
6. Structure of earnings survey;
7. Statistics on income and living conditions;
8. Farm Structure Survey;
9. European health interview survey;
10. Information and communication technologies (ICT) usage by households and individuals survey;
11. Road freight transport.
Art. 6. Anonymised data may also be provided by other statistical surveys, upon decision of the commission under Art. 9, if applicable and if not in conflict with existing regulations.
Section ІІІ
Art. 7. (1) The procedure for applying and granting access to anonymised data shall start with submission of a written application by the user in the registry office of the NSI, addressed to the President of the NSI and upon completion of a questionnaire - Appendix №1, an integral part of these rules.
(2) The application shall contain a detailed description of the information needed for decision-making: statistical survey, variables, scope, period, special level, classification and other characteristics, as well as the purposes for which the data will be used.
(3) Advising the user on specific methodological issues and opportunities for preparation and execution of the application shall be conducted by the department/departments which is/are competent for the study.
Art. 8. The President of the NSI or a person authorized by the President of the NSI shall direct the application, along with the attached questionnaire for verification and a statement to the head of “Relations with Users and e-Services” department and the director of the statistical directorate in whose responsibilities are the requested data.
Art. 9. Within one week, after preliminary analysis and verification of the questionnaire, the director responsible for the requested data shall prepare a written statement and submit it for consideration by the Commission for access to anonymised data for scientific purposes (CAAD), hereinafter referred to as the commission.
Art. 10. (1) The members of the commission shall be determined by an ordinance of the President of the NSI and it shall include:
1. the national coordinator of statistical confidentiality – chairman of the commission;
2. the directors of the specialised directorates;
3. a legal adviser;
4. a representative of the “General Methodology and Analysis of Statistical Surveys” department;
5. a representative of the “Relations with Users and e-Services” department.
(2) The heads of units, responsible for the particular application, who are not members of the commission, shall participate also in the sessions of the commission with an advisory vote.
Art. 11. (1) The commission shall have sessions whenever necessary up to twice per month and shall review all incoming applications for provision of data for scientific purposes that have a statement from the responsible director.
(2) Within 14 (fourteen) working days after the receipt of the documents, the commission on its session shall discuss the application for access to anonymised individual data and shall make a decision to grant or to deny access.
(3) The decisions of the commission shall be taken by a majority of the members present. In the event of a tie, the chairman shall have the casting vote.
(4) The members of the commission may ask additional questions for clarification on the application of the user.
(5) The main criteria for granting or denial of access are:
1. confidentiality of data under art. 25,26 and 27 of the Statistics Act;
2. provision of protection and ways of data usage;
3. purpose of the research;
4. means for distribution of the results of the research.
Art. 12. The user shall be informed about the decision of CAAD by а letter of the President of the NSI. In the event of denial, the letter shall contain the reasons for that decision.
Art. 13. (1) In case of a positive decision of the commission for access granting, the “Relations with Users and e-Services” department shall prepare a draft of permit by the President of the NSI. The signed permit shall be sent to the user along with a written response – offer which stipulates the conditions for granting of the requested information: methodological clarifications, deadline for completion of the application and preliminary price for the information service if the application concerns data under art.6 of the present rules.
(2) The letter shall be coordinated with the director/directors of the relevant directorate/directorates and the head/heads of department/departments that shall implement the application, as well as the heads of the “Legal Activities” department and the “Financial - Economic Activities” department.
(3). An agreement for information service shall be also sent along with the letter with the offer - Appendix № 2, an integral part of the present rules.
Art. 14. (1) The implementation of the application shall start upon signing of the agreement by both parties and in accordance with the requirements of the Rules for Dissemination of Statistical Products and Services of the NSI.
(2) Before submission the requested information product, the applicant must submit a sworn declaration for statistical confidentiality protection by each researcher who shall work with the submitted data - Application № 3, an integral part of the present rules.
Art. 15. The submission of the final information product shall be carried out within the duration and the conditions of the agreement and an acceptance protocol shall be signed between the authorized by the contractor and the contracting authority persons.
Art. 16. The regional statistical offices are not allowed to independently grant access to anonymised data. Upon application receipt it shall be forwarded to the commission under art. 9 for consideration and making a decision.
Section ІV
Art. 17. In case of data anonymization the following requirements shall be applied:
1. Anonymised individual data cannot be provided if it is in conflict with the provisions of art. 25 of the Statistics Act;
2. The individual records in the databases of the requested survey shall be processed by competent employees as all identifying individual attributes (name, address, publicly accessible identification number etc.) which directly or indirectly a given statistical unit can be identified shall be deleted from the data through.
3. In case of records in which some of the characteristics do not fulfilled these rules, the directorates responsible for the preparation of the data shall decide whether they should be completely deleted or to delete the data only in the cells of these characteristics or to take other appropriate solutions for protection of individual data.
Art. 18. When providing data from surveys for consecutive periods (years, quarters, etc.) the following procedures shall be observed:
1. in cases when for comparative analysis it is necessary to provide anonymised data from several consecutive observations, individual data shall be encoded with the same fictive numbers for each unit in the databases for the different periods;
2. in cases under point 1, information databases can be processed with special software products that prevent potential disclosure of data for the statistical units by methods for comparison of the used identification numbers.
Art. 19. In order to perform risk assessment of disclosure of the prepared for the user databases with anonymised data by matching anonymised individual data in combination with external data, the databases shall be subject to repeated control by the experts responsible for the data. 
Section V
Art. 20.  The prices of the information products containing databases with anonymised individual data shall be settled on the basis of the additional costs for processing of the data, anonymization and control against disclosure. 
Art. 21. Anonymised data from the surveys under art.5 shall not be paid, except in cases when additional processing of databases is necessary.
Art. 22. Anonymised data from the surveys under art.6 shall be paid according to the Price List to the Rules for Dissemination of Statistical Products and Services of the NSI.
Art. 23. In the memorandum, by which the draft permit under art.13 of the rules is submitted, the commission may propose to the President of the NSI a reduction of the cost of the information product for the following groups of users:
1. students and doctoral candidates - up to 100%;
2. academic and scientific organisations with which the NSI has signed agreements for exchange of information - up to 100%;
3. own scientific research of natural or legal persons without external funding - up to 75%.
Art. 24. The price of the final information product shall be paid by bank transfer or at the cash-desk of the NSI according to the contract for data provision.
§ 1. For the purposes of these rules:
1. “Statistical unit” is the observation unit, which can be a natural person, household, economic unit or other organisation to which the data refer.
2. “Individual  data” are data about a specific statistical unit.
3. “Statistical purposes” means the usage of the individual data collected for development and production of statistical information, statistical analyses and forecasts.
4. “Direct identification” means identification of the statistical unit for which the statistical data  refer by its name or address or publicly accessible identification number.
5. “Indirect identification” means identification of the subject to whom the statistical data refer by any means other than the direct identification.
6. “Anonymised data” are separate statistical records which have been amended according to the best existing practices in order to  reduce the risk of direct or indirect identification of the statistical units to which they refer.
7. “Additional data processing” means deletion of names, addresses, identification numbers and all of the characteristics that might lead to a risk of disclosure and misuse of individual records in the databases with individual data. Measures such as suppression of geographical details, age, place of birth, occupation, economic activity, type of ownership, etc. that can be taken in order to ensure that the identification of individuals and economic entities shall be impossible.
§ 2. These rules are issued according to art. 9, point 3, pursuant to art. 26a of the Statistics Act and art. 6, para. 2, point 11 of the Statutory Rules of the NSI, and approved by an Ordinance № РД 05-59/29.01.2015 of the President or the NSI.
§ 3. These rules enter into force from the date of the issuance of the ordinance for their approval.

Published on 23.04.2020