Online Census to be promoted in 2011

Statistics NZ will be giving more prominence to the online option for the 2011 census, compared with the low-profile online exercise it ran in 2006.

The organization has put out an advance notice of registration of interest (ROI) and request for proposal (RFP) process for selecting a host to support the "Internet Collection System" for the 2011 census. The contract will include application development services, web application hosting services and support services.

The 2006 census was hosted by Datacom and was not extensively promoted, as Statistics did not want to subject the system to a major load.

"This time, our aim is to promote online access," says 2011 Census IT program manager Don Hansen.

The 2006 run was successful and little will be changed for 2011, he says. Statistics will provide more bandwidth to accommodate the expected higher workload and has enhanced the system to handle a range of browsers more efficiently.

Other enhancements will depend on what the successful hosting organization proposes, he says.

"We're not asking for changes in the business functionality and that includes the security provided."

In 2006, users' census information was encrypted for transmission and this worked well, says Hansen. That year, 7% or the population took advantage of the online option, but the proportion is expected to be much higher in 2011.

The ROI request for the project is scheduled to be released by October 1, and the RFP issued to shortlisted suppliers by January 2009.

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