Census test in Beechworth a success, Sep 2004

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Census test in Beechworth a success

The census test held in August 2004 was hailed a success by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), due to the enthusiastic participation of the people in and around Beechworth.

The test was instrumental in ensuring that new procedures and processes work smoothly for the next national Census of Population and Housing to be conducted by the ABS in 2006.

Victorian Regional Director of the ABS, Vince Lazzaro said great support was shown by the people of Beechworth for the census test.

"It was a success, in that we were able to rigorously test all aspects of the census process and we obtained constructive feedback from all involved," said Vince.

"What gave us the most encouragement, was the number of people in Beechworth who completed their census form over the Internet," said Vince. "Around 200 households in and around Beechworth used the Internet form and this provided invaluable feedback to help improve the system."

"The aim of the test was to get a high level of quality feedback, and the high level of participation in the Beechworth region really helped us."

"We invited people participating in the test to provide feedback on either the paper or the Internet form. Now that we are about to process the forms, we can start looking at the feedback and may contact people for more information where they agreed to help."

"Some of our initial observations from the test include the identification of issues in the collection and delivery phases, especially in secured building and apartment complexes; what worked and didn't work with the Internet form; and issues surrounding the use of technology to communicate with our field staff."

The information people put on their census test forms will not be published by the ABS.

"Responses will be assessed as part of the test, but once the processing of the forms is complete, all the information will be destroyed as part of our privacy and confidentiality obligations."

All completed census test paper forms should have been collected. If people are still in possession of their completed form, they can send it back by mail to Reply Paid 74445, Belconnen DC, ACT, 2617 [no postage required].