Gov’t says census data secure

Lawmakers recently passed
amendments to the Statistics Law assuring data gathered by Census 2010 will
remain confidentially safe and secure.

Economics and Statistics Office
(ESO) director Maria Zingapan said the law strengthens the census process.

“The law recognises that our data
collection is serious business and must be exclusively used for statistical
purposes,” she said.

A census order and regulations were
recently approved by the Cabinet to upgrade the legal framework for the ESO to
conduct the census.  All census workers
coming to residents’ doors must carry the three laws and show them as required.

Census workers also face penalties
if they breach the confidentiality oaths they took to become enumerators.  A breach may result in a $5,000 fine and a
year in jail if convicted in Summary Court. 
Grand court penalties are even more, rising to $10,000 and three years
in prison.

Census workers are made aware that
leaking or misusing any information will result in strict penalties,
particularly in cases where data is released or used for personal gain.

There are further penalties for
issuing false data or seeking information unsought in the questionnaires.

Enumerators will be closely
monitored by field supervisors, who are answerable to area coordinators. The
census manager and her deputy will monitor the area coordinators.

Census manager Elizabeth Talbert
said they are looking at every step.

“That is why so much effort went
into proper training for all, not least for the enumerators who will be
conducting the door-to-door count,” she said.

All completed census forms will be
deposited with the census office to be entered into the census database as raw
statistics.  The preliminary count and
final reports will emerge from this data.

The law also considers anyone who
decides to ignore the census worker’s inquest. 
Penalties have been set up for this legal breach, although the census
staff hopes for and encourages voluntary participation.

“We hope everyone willingly
responds to the census questionnaires when the enumerators arrive at their
doors,” said Mrs. Zingapan.


The amended law, census order and
regulations are posted at