2940.0.55.002 - Information Paper: Measuring Overcount and Undercount in the 2016 Population Census, Jul 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/07/2016  First Issue
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The Match and Search System (MSS) is the main PES clerical review facility. The MSS allows processing staff to search, view, compare, record matches, and reject non-matches between PES and Census data. PES processing staff use the MSS to record matches of dwellings and people between PES and Census, and to search for people on Census forms at alternative 'search addresses' specified by a PES respondent.

There are two modes of use for the MSS: evaluation of a candidate link provided by the ADL process (either Platinum or Silver), or clerical search for a link in the absence of a good candidate from ADL (Tin). These are done in two phases, so that any case where an ADL candidate link is rejected can then revert to the full clerical search.

The first phase of MSS processing involves confirming whether the ADL-identified dwelling link is correct. Once a dwelling link is confirmed, the Census person records for that dwelling are compared with the PES person records. The information compared includes name, sex, date of birth, age, marital status, Indigenous status and country of birth. The extent to which each of these items of information is the same in both the PES and the Census determines the ADL match status of the pair and the level of match.

Once all ADL links have been reviewed, the second phase in MSS processing is to conduct an intensive clerical search for persons not matched as a result of ADL information. This is done by searching in geographical areas for addresses provided by respondents during the PES interview, in order to locate possible Census forms.


To ensure the accuracy of MSS processing, quality assurance (QA) procedures are used in the match and search process whereby all PES records that were clerically reviewed once are processed a second time by a different operator. Where the initial and QA processing outcomes correspond, the initial match status is accepted.

Where there is a discrepancy between the initial match status and the QA match status (either on dwelling match or person match code), the records are flagged for adjudication by a senior officer who reviews all information and determines which is correct. If both initial and QA records are deemed to be inaccurate, the adjudicator reprocesses the record.


MSS processing for Discrete Communities will be similar to that for the private dwelling component, with an additional approach that accounts for the fact that some Indigenous Australians are associated with more than one dwelling and move between these dwellings on a regular, seasonal or random basis (Kinfu, 2005). This means that a number of people may not be staying in the same dwelling during the PES that they were during the Census.

For this reason, the matching process in Discrete Communities involves searching the whole community for a person match, rather than just searching within a single dwelling. Person matching in Discrete Communities will use the same rules for determining a match as in the private dwelling component, but will use up to two alternative names by which the person is known when matching on name.