ABS 2021 Census Digital Services Request for Tender (Media Release)

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MEDIA RELEASE
17 September 2018
ABS 2021 Census Digital Services Request for Tender

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has approached the market to engage an external supplier to provide a secure, fast and simple digital service for the 2021 Census.

ABS General Manager Census and Statistical Services Division Chris Libreri said the ABS was seeking highly experienced suppliers to provide the Census digital service.

“The ABS will work closely with interested suppliers to confirm proposed solutions can deliver high standards of security, reliability and capacity required for the 2021 Census.

“The need to keep all Census information secure and confidential is, as always, a primary and paramount factor in designing the digital Census. The ABS is actively managing risks (including cyber) for the 2021 Census and is engaging independent experts to provide assurance on the solution, including the Digital Transformation Agency and the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

“The aim is to design an online service that is simple and safe to use for all Australians. People who want or need paper forms will also have easy access to them,” Mr Libreri said.

Notwithstanding the regrettable period of outage of the online form in 2016, those who used it found it quick and easy, reducing the time taken by households to complete the Census by 70 per cent compared to paper, and at all times data remained secure.

ABS Chief Information Officer Steve Hamilton said the ABS has a strong preference for the Census Digital Service to be hosted in a cloud environment, in line with both the Australian Government’s cloud-first policy and the Digital Transformation Agency’s Secure Cloud Policy.

“We are seeking to provide an engaging and secure service hosted on cost effective and proven cloud infrastructure that delivers the experience, performance and resilience expected by all Australians when transacting online", he said.

Any cloud services will be Australian government accredited through an Information Security Registered Assessor’s Program (IRAP) assessment and any services that handle sensitive data will operate within Australia. This type of service was successfully used for the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey in 2017.

Tenders are due in October 2018 with an industry briefing to follow, and a supplier to be announced in mid-2019. For further information regarding the Census visit http://www.abs.gov.au/census.

Note: The Tender Data Pack (including detailed Statement of Requirement) will only be released to potential tendering organisation that meet the requirements outlined on Austender.

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