Premier Dunkley On Deferring The 2015 Census

May 15, 2015

The total cost incurred to conduct the 2010 Census amounted to $2.9 million, and it was “determined that deferring the Census in 2015 would allow the Government to allocate the funds to more pressing initiatives,” Premier Michael Dunkley said in the House of Assembly today [May 15].

The Premier tabled the Statistics Amendment Act 2015 which he said he ”intended to amend Section 5 of the Statistics Act 2002 to provide the Government with the ability to conduct future censuses of population and housing from time to time. ”

“The 2015/ 2016 budget was a difficult one as we had to prioritise the urgent needs of the community while, at the same time, further reducing our deficit,” the Premier said. “Therefore it was determined that deferring the Census in 2015 would allow the Government to allocate the funds to more pressing initiatives.

“In addition, postponing the Census would allow the Department of Statistics more time to conduct further investigations into new on-line data collection initiatives.

“Historically, data collection in Bermuda’s censuses involved person-to-person interviews only. In the 2010 Census, the Department of Statistics introduced telephone interviewing as a data collection method.

The Premier added, “The total cost incurred to conduct the 2010 Census amounted to 2.9 million dollars. 72% was attributed to the recruitment of temporary staff, of which 46% was paid to temporary field workers; 26%was paid to temporary census clerical workers.

“The remaining 28% of the total cost was incurred for publicity and awareness; training of census workers, facility rental to house the temporary staff; census supplies; printing; and equipment maintenance.

“The quote of 1.7 million dollars for the now deferred 2015 Census represents a reduction of 1.2 million dollars from the 2010 Census. The estimated decrease resulted from:

  • [1] a reduction in the number of questions that would be asked in the interim census;
  • [2] the increased investment in technology that would reduce the total cost allocated to hiring field workers and clerical workers.

“The Department of Statistics intends to continue to explore technological solutions in order to streamline the data collection process and reduce the cost even further,” the Premier said.

“I would like to assure Honourable Members that the delay of the census will not be indefinite. In fact, the Government is committing to conduct a census in the 2016/17 financial year.”

The Premier’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker,

I rise to announce that I have, today, tabled in this Honourable House a bill entitled the Statistics Amendment Act 2015.

This bill is intended to amend Section 5 of the Statistics Act 2002 to provide the Government with the ability to conduct future censuses of population and housing from time to time. Honourable Members should note that this amendment is consistent with the wording of Section 1 of the United Kingdom’s Census Act 1920 which states: “… it shall be lawful for his Majesty by Order in Council from time to time to direct that a census shall be taken for Great Britain ….”

Mr Speaker,

Section 5[1] of the Statistics Act 2002 currently requires that a census of the population of Bermuda be taken in the year 2010 and every fifth year thereafter. This amendment was incorporated to facilitate more accurate planning by capturing changes more frequently. However, the benefit of obtaining more frequent data comes at a significant cost currently estimated at 1.7 million dollars.

Mr Speaker,

Honourable Members will be aware that the 2015/ 2016 budget was a difficult one as we had to prioritise the urgent needs of the community while, at the same time, further reducing our deficit. Therefore it was determined that deferring the Census in 2015 would allow the Government to allocate the funds to more pressing initiatives.

In addition, postponing the Census would allow the Department of Statistics more time to conduct further investigations into new on-line data collection initiatives. Historically, data collection in Bermuda’s censuses involved person-to-person interviews only. In the 2010 Census, the Department of Statistics introduced telephone interviewing as a data collection method.

Mr Speaker,

The total cost incurred to conduct the 2010 Census amounted to 2.9 million dollars. Seventy-two percent [72%] was attributed to the recruitment of temporary staff, of which forty-six percent [46%] was paid to temporary field workers; twenty-six percent [26%] was paid to temporary census clerical workers. The remaining twenty-eight percent [28%] of the total cost was incurred for publicity and awareness; training of census workers, facility rental to house the temporary staff; census supplies; printing; and equipment maintenance.

The quote of 1.7 million dollars for the now deferred 2015 Census represents a reduction of 1.2 million dollars from the 2010 Census. The estimated decrease resulted from: [1] a reduction in the number of questions that would be asked in the interim census; and [2] the increased investment in technology that would reduce the total cost allocated to hiring field workers and clerical workers. The Department of Statistics intends to continue to explore technological solutions in order to streamline the data collection process and reduce the cost even further.

Mr. Speaker,

I would like to assure Honourable Members that the delay of the census will not be indefinite. In fact, the Government is committing to conduct a census in the 2016/17 financial year.

Mr. Speaker, I must applaud the Department of Statistics for their continued efforts in exploring cost-effective data collection options to realise savings and increase efficiency.

Thank you, Mr Speaker

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Comments (24)

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  1. tobehonest says:

    Worst Idea Ever, This is a great way to “save money” or a better way to hide real facts and data that can help to bring a better Bermuda. We need this data to know about our community, this is an “INVESTMENT” in the people of bermuda….It’s pretty much the least this government can do for it’s people since they’re giving away this island.

  2. tobehonest says:

    This pretty much sums up this governments interest in deciding future policy and planning for the people of this island. How can we not want comprehensive facts on the social and living conditions of our people. Not cool.

  3. Rhonda says:

    What country delays their census, which is suppose to act as a guild for going future…..

    • elvis aaron says:

      didnt the plp do this via mis management?

    • 32n64w says:

      The PLP delayed the last census and then proceeded to overspend on the data collection process.

  4. CBAcademy says:

    Again, they DON’T care. What do all the OBA supporters have to say about this one

    • People of Bermuda says:

      Er, that this makes financial sense.

      Then again, you wouldn’t understand that concept.

  5. Tolerate says:

    Don’t get me wrong, the Census is a valuable tool and I would never agree with its removal.
    But upgrading and improving an application to not only save money, but make the experience enhanced for the person sitting the survey sounds like a no brainier.
    “I would like to assure Honourable Members that the delay of the census will not be indefinite. In fact, the Government is committing to conduct a census in the 2016/17 financial year.”
    Read the story people and stop getting your panties in a twist….
    Oh, wait CensusGate; there said it first.
    lol,

  6. Politricks says:

    OMG you guys and your silly hyperbole.

    Saving the island from bankruptcy is much more of an investment.

    And as the Premier said it will be completed next year. A one year delay will do no harm and save us much needed monies to cut the $400mn deficit that your beloved PLP saddled the island with.

    Jesus, you guys are such drama queens.

    Each and every cost reduction and revenue raising proposal the usual suspects complain. It is almost if you want to see Bermuda financially implode.

    Oh and your isolationist approach to the world is so 20th century and has no place in a 21st globalized world. Welcome to it.

  7. TonyC says:

    Great idea. There’s $2.9million which could be better put towards educating our kids, paving our roads etc etc.

    There will be a census in 2016/17 when hopefully the plan put in place by the OBA to stem the flow of losses incurred as a direct result of the PLP “spend what we don’t have policy” takes effect.

  8. Coffee says:

    What is he hiding ? I’ll tell you ! The UBP /OBA doesn’t want the Bermudian public to know the full extent of how many foreigners received PRC to Status . Like everything they do , they do it with a hidden handed agenda !

    • jt says:

      When did the 2010 census actually finish? 5 years from that date sounds fine.

    • jt says:

      …and total BS on the Status…that information is easily attainable.

    • Christopher Notorius says:

      People received status because of a law that PLP passed. It wasn’t a ‘loo-poyal’ it was the law the dopey PLP put in place.

      What goes around huh.

  9. serengeti says:

    The previous census was delayed by a year because it took so long to get it done. So what’s the difference?

    • People of Bermuda says:

      About $3m in a needy budget. This is the right decision.

  10. just wondering says:

    I suspect that this idea will find great favour with the PLP/Zane Desliva crew – didn’t they want to take money from one sector to use for the BTA ??!!!

  11. Just a matter of time says:

    The invaluable data from a national census is vital for future policy making that affects all Bermudians. Not only is it a job creator providing some stimulus creating these positions even if it’s a temporary reprieve for many. It’s not a full paycheck but it’s something. This Government refuses to do the right thing for the people. The cost of the census is a drop in the bucket compared to the $77 million that can be thrown down easily for the AC and controversial business dealings risking reputation for a quarter of a mil airport are all ok. Land give aways and freer access to Bermudian jobs also ok. Multimillion dollars are given as concessions to private entities every year and in perpetuity..ok. Shows the priorities of this Government time and again. Smh.

    • Onion says:

      Every job “created” with borrowed money means two jobs lost in the future.

  12. Just a matter of time says:

    Since there have been so many broken promises, I am not trusting this Government to conduct the census when they say they are. It will be spun away somehow.

    • Damn says:

      the civil service conduct the census along with PAID members of the public.

  13. Pastor Syl says:

    The 2010 census was, for want of a better word, a fiasco. Waiting a year for better, more streamlined, more efficient methods of reporting make sound sense to me.
    Did I miss the 2005 census? I thought we only took census every 10 years anyhow.

  14. Ian says:

    This government wants to delay disclosure of how many foreigners they’re giving prc and status to. The oba move like snakes on the grass