Throughout the course of this review, all three Census bodies have been open and forthcoming, which coupled with the voluntary engagement of this review demonstrates a commitment to a transparent and accountable government. All three Census bodies have demonstrated comprehension of the importance of assurance through their objectives and priorities; to protect and to be seen to protect citizens’ personal data.
All stakeholders and personnel have readily given their time and have been responsive to requests for evidentiary material in support of this review. All personnel involved have been receptive to ongoing commentary, observations, and recommendations.
Many of the systems for digital data capture, transfer, storage and processing are still in early design and delivery stages. Some components of the 2021 Census environments are not intended to be operational for the 2019 Rehearsal. As such, some elements of this review assess the principles and procedures for system development, threat identification, and risk mitigation.
The primary areas of review have been the online environments for online questionnaire completion and submission, in-house environments for data hosting and processing, data transfers, system development, risk management and supplier assurance. Areas not assessed in-depth, but which should be scrutinised between 2019 Rehearsal and 2021 Census include postal questionnaire services, fieldwork services and contact centres.
While some deficiencies have been identified throughout the review, the responsiveness and ownership of remediation has been impressive to the extent the review team are satisfied that all such deficiencies have been resolved or that a viable and timely course of resolution has been established.