Sourcing the 2021 Census Digital Service

The ABS is seeking a partner to support the ABS in the creation of the 2021 Census digital service.

We will be making an open approach to the market, to engage a Service Provider who will bring a high degree of expertise and proven technologies to support the successful and efficient delivery of a secure, fast and simple digital service.

The purpose of the Census Digital Service is to support the Australian public participating in the 2021 Census. The Census Digital Service will include the online form as well as informational and self-service options, providing the public with the ability to complete their Census online.

The ABS expects that the 2021 Census digital service will be the default and most convenient channel for the public to participate in the Census. Therefore, a trusted, simple, easy to use contemporary experience is required.We will be working closely with The Digital Transformation Agency and the Australian Cyber Security Centre as independent experts to inform and test our solution.

The approach to market is expected to close late October 2019, with more information available on AusTender.

Continuing the digital journey

The ABS is building on our learnings from the 2006 to 2016 Censuses to deliver a 2021 Census that is easy, secure and produces high data quality.

Notwithstanding the unfortunate period of outage of the online form in 2016, those who used it found it quick and easy, reducing the time taken by households by 70% compared to paper.

With nearly two-thirds of the public choosing the online form in the 2016 Census, including 50% of seniors, 45% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and 90% of people born in China, people will again be able to complete their Census online in 2021.

This is consistent with public expectations of interacting with government through digital means. People will also be able to complete their Census using the paper form.

The 2016 digital-first approach made it faster and easier to process data, produced a higher-quality data set, and saved taxpayers over $100 million.

The ABS has been undertaking research to understand public expectations and behaviours to inform our approach to the 2021 Census. This research will inform design of the digital census experience.

The ABS is committed to provide a fast and simple digital service that can deliver exceptionally high standards of security and confidentiality. The ABS will conduct independent assurance, security, performance, stability and accessibility testing. The ABS will continue to work with a range of Australian Government agencies, such as DTA and the Australian Cyber Security Centre, in the development of digital access for Australians.

Image: 36.7% paper form, 6.3% online form, Online response rate 2006 11%, 2021 38%, 2016 63%. Online response rate for 65-69 year olds 6% 2006, 2011 23%, 2016 50%. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 2006 6%, 2011 25%, 2016 45%.