Survey Information Strictly Confidential – STATIN

Photo: Dave Reid Director General of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), Carol Coy (right), gives details of the Household Expenditure Survey (HES) being conducted from February 6, 2017 to February 2018, at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’. At left is Project Manager for the HES, Shelly-Ann Chambers.

Story Highlights

  • The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is reassuring persons that information obtained from surveys is strictly confidential.
  • “All of our interviewers and all our employees signed an oath of confidentiality and we take that oath seriously, so we want to reassure Jamaicans that the information that they provide is confidential under the Statistics Act and we cannot provide this to any other party,” Director General of STATIN, Carol Coy, told JIS News.
  • Currently,  STATIN is conducting a year-long household expenditure survey (HES) to collect information on the amount households spend on consumer goods and services such as food, education, health, transportation, recreation and communication.   

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is reassuring persons that information obtained from surveys is strictly confidential.

“All of our interviewers and all our employees signed an oath of confidentiality and we take that oath seriously, so we want to reassure Jamaicans that the information that they provide is confidential under the Statistics Act and we cannot provide this to any other party,” Director General of STATIN, Carol Coy, told JIS News.

Sections 17 & 18 of the Act prohibit the publication or communication of information in any manner that may identify an individual or business.

“STATIN celebrated 70 years last year and in that 70 years, we have never released individual information to anyone, whether Government, private sector or person… we have never had a breach and we intend to keep it that way,” the Director General affirmed.

She noted that the data collected is used for statistical purposes only and added that “when we are doing our analysis and we are entering our data, names do not matter as that is not an interest to us at STATIN…what is important is the data that comes,” Miss Coy emphasised.

The information provided from the surveys assist in producing publications highlighting living conditions; national income and product; the labour force; quarterly gross domestic product; demographic statistics and employment and earnings.

Currently,  STATIN is conducting a year-long household expenditure survey (HES) to collect information on the amount households spend on consumer goods and services such as food, education, health, transportation, recreation and communication.

Miss Coy encouraged persons to cooperate with the interviewers who may visit their homes, and urged them to make contact if there are doubts or concerns.

“If you are concerned about the persons asking questions, feel free to call the offices for clarification on the surveys being administered,” the Director General said, adding that each STATIN representative has the necessary identification as proof.

Explaining the HES process, Miss Coy said there will be an initial visit to the households to introduce the interviewers and explain the survey. A diary will be left with a randomly selected member of the household to collect individual expenses and input other relevant information.

“We want to capture everything that the household spends on…so the diary will be left to record their expenses over a two-week span,” she pointed out.

She added that during the process, a questionnaire will also be administered to members of the household.

“It (the survey) might require more than one visit depending on the accommodation of the householder, but once the questionnaire has been completed, that is the end of the data collection process for that household,” the Director General said.

The HES is being conducted from February 6, 2017 to February 2018. Each month, a sample of approximately 1,200 households are visited by the STATIN interviewers, with about 15,000 households to be reached by the end of the survey.

For further information on the HES or other surveys in the field, persons may call 630-1600 or visit STATIN’s website at: www.statinja.gov.jm.

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