The Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas is an independent administrative body, with its own legal status and funding, dependent on the Ministerio de la Presidencia, whose purpose is to conduct scientific studies of Spanish society. Its status as an Independent Body was granted by Law 4/1990, dated 29th June, and its organisation and functions were regulated by Royal Decree 1526/1990, dated 8th November.
Later, Law 39/1995, dated 19th December, on the Organisation of the Sociological Research Centre, was passed. This Law maintained the nature and functions of the centre outlined in Law 4/1990 and in Royal Decree 1526/1990, guaranteeing full transparency and public access to the results of the centre's scientific work, in addition to greater ties between the centre and Parliament. Its first final provision allows the Cabinet to modify the organisational structure of the body and to enact any necessary provisions to apply and carry out the Law.
The passing of Law 6/1997, dated 14th April, on the Organisation and Functions of the General State Administration, represented a new regulatory structure for independent bodies, establishing in the third transitory provision, the adaptation of those existing prior to the enactment of this Law.
Royal Decree 1214/1997, dated 18th July, adapts the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas as an independent body regulated by the aforementioned Law 6/1997, and at the same time applies the legal provisions established in Law 39/1995 and substitutes Royal Decree 1526/1990, including most of its provisions, which empowers the administratively independent body to carry out the scientific study of Spanish society, wholly subject to the regulations of any democratic Administration and, in particular, to the principles of objectivity and neutrality in its actions, equal access to its data and respect for statistical privacy and the rights of the citizens.
This entailed modification of the activity framework of the Centre, to incorporate the legal provisions regarding submitting a report to Parliament on the execution of the programme for the preceding year. Likewise, it explains the principles of action in research by survey, aimed at guaranteeing research transparency, use of the information to fulfil the objectives defined and privacy protection for those surveyed.
It also sets out the new legal provisions related to accessing the Database, which was previously regulated by an Order dated 31st March 1993, guaranteeing personal privacy protection, regulating access by MPs and Senators in the performance of their parliamentary duties, and establishing monitoring mechanisms by Parliament and the Autonomous Communities in whose territory the research is carried out.
Finally, this Royal Decree sets out the organisational structure of the Centre, based on the one established by Royal Decree 1526/1990, with the incorporation of the Advisory Board indicated in article 11 of Law 39/1995, which includes people of recognised prestige in the area of social sciences, with consultative and advisory functions with respect to the research projects.
Royal Decree 923/2009, dated 29th May, changes the organisational structure of the CIS, in compliance with Law 30/2007, dated 30th October, on Public Sector Contracts. The CIS thus becomes an independent body providing technical services to the general state administration and its associated or dependent bodies, in relation to the Centre's main activities.
The Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas works under the principles of objectivity and neutrality in its actions, of equal access to its data and of respect for the rights of the citizens and statistical privacy, taking into account the provisions set forth in Law 12/1989, dated 9th May, on the Public Statistics Function, and in Organic Law 15/1999, dated 13th December, on Personal Data Protection, regarding the limits to the use of information technology and other techniques and means of automated handling of personal data, to guarantee the honour and personal and family privacy of individuals and free exercise of their rights.