2016 Population By-census starts face-to-face interview phase (with photos)

     The fieldwork for the 2016 Population By-census (By-census) will start tomorrow (July 16) and run until August 2. For those households that have not yet submitted the e-questionnaire, the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) will arrange for around 5 000 census officers, working in pairs, to conduct face-to-face interviews.

     Launched on June 30, the By-census has so far received an encouraging response. Up to July 14, over 70 000 e-questionnaires had been received by the C&SD. It is expected that census officers will visit over 220 000 quarters to collect the required information.

     Some households, including those without clearly identifiable postal addresses (such as those in rural areas using communal letter boxes or those in non-residential buildings), may not have received a notification letter. The C&SD will arrange for census officers to visit them to deliver the notification letter directly and conduct face-to-face interviews from July 16 to August 2, 2016.

     Nineteen field centres have been set up for the By-census in various districts. The Commissioner for Census and Statistics, Mr Leslie Tang, today (July 15) visited the field centre at North Point and attended a setting-off ceremony for the fieldwork based there. Mr Tang also called for public co-operation and support for the By-census.

     "All census officers have completed a declaration not to disclose to any unauthorised persons any information that they have become aware of in the course of their duties," he said.

     The census officers made their declarations today at set-off ceremonies at the 19 field centres before starting the fieldwork. This By-census marks the first time that census officers will use mobile tablets to collect the information. The computer system will transmit the information in an encrypted format to the data centre. Thereafter, the transient information stored in mobile tablets will be erased automatically to further strengthen data security.

     "The census officers can be easily recognised as they will wear a purple uniform, a 2016 By-census badge and carry a red satchel with the 2016 Population By-census logo. They will also identify themselves with a Census Officer Certificate of Identity issued by the C&SD," Mr Tang added. He also reminded the public to check carefully the identity of census officers before admitting them to their premises.

     From July 16 to August 2, census officers will normally visit households between 1pm to 10pm from Mondays to Sundays. Household members may verify their identity or make a prior appointment for a face-to-face interview by calling the By-census Service Centre (hotline: 18 2016).

     The By-census is conducted under the Census and Statistics Ordinance (Cap. 316), which states that all persons specified to provide the required information to C&SD are obliged to do so. Information on individual persons and households collected in the By-census will be kept in strict confidence. The information will not be released to any other government departments, organisations or unauthorised persons. All completed questionnaires will be destroyed within 12 months after the commencement of the By-census.

Ends/Friday, July 15, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:15