Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Ceisteanna (6)

Brendan Smith


6. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Taoiseach the preparations to date for the holding of a census in 2021. [12020/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

CSO has a legal obligation under EU law to conduct a census of population in 2021. Planning and preparation for Census 2021 which is due to take place on Sunday 18th April 2021 is well advanced across all areas of the project.

Preparation for the census involves achieving a series of important milestones. Several of the key milestones which have been completed or are on track for completion are listed below.

Following an extensive public consultation process that ran between October 2017 and July 2019, the content of the census forms has been finalised. All of the questionnaires are due to be printed and delivered to CSO by the end of September.

IT systems that will facilitate field staff recruitment, field operations and data processing are either developed or on track for completion according to project timescales.

The first of three scheduled recruitment competitions for field staff launched on June 11th This competition is for the recruitment of 52 senior field managers. Interviews are scheduled to take place in mid-August and appointments are due to be made from the end of September.

Designation of the country into regions, field districts and enumeration areas is expected to be complete by the end of July. This will be followed later in the year by the creation of address lists and the printing of maps for the census enumerators.

A public consultation with users on data outputs has been concluded and a dissemination strategy is currently being prepared for publication.

In light of the current national situation, CSO is following Department of Public Expenditure and Reform working guidelines and all other relevant government safety guidelines for existing CSO staff with respect to Covid-19. Currently almost all CSO staff are working successfully from home and CSO will follow the return to work guidelines and all other relevant government health and safety guidelines as they pertain to the conduct of the census.

CSO will also ensure that all necessary steps will be implemented to ensure the safety of the public. Enumerators will be in the field from March to May 2021. Guidelines for public health safety will be adhered to and new practices will be adopted as and when new guidelines are published.

CSO is also currently reviewing processes around recruitment, training etc. to ensure compliance with all guidelines. This will be a continuous process as circumstances evolve.