Guernsey electronic census to save £100,000 a year

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Moving from a traditional census to a rolling electronic version could save Guernsey States more than £100,000 a year, according to the Policy Council.

A traditional census due to take place in 2011 was cancelled in favour of introducing an electronic database.

The council has asked the States to approve changes needed to legislation to allow the database to be set up.

It said these were needed to comply with data protection as various States databases are connected.

Population management

Once completed, the electronic census is expected to provide quarterly figures on a range of population measures and annual data on household incomes.

Results from the 2001 census

  • Population - 59,807
  • 31,293 or 54% of the population was employed or self employed
  • 46,541 or 78% of the population was residentially qualified
  • 10,118 residents were engaged in full-time education, with 1,150 off-island
  • Households - 23,398 (734 unoccupied)
  • Average number of people per household - 2.51
  • 1,327 or 2% of the population spoke Guernsey French

In its report the council said if the work, due to be completed by the middle of 2014, is achieved in budget it should save £50,000 a year from 2015 to 2021 and £100,000 a year after that.

It said £100,000 would also be saved every four years through automatically generating the electoral roll in place of the current registration process.

The council said having a central database would bring further savings, but these had yet to be worked out.

As well as saving money, it said it would also help ensure critical information about the population was updated more often, to help inform decision-making.

The supplier of the IT system to deliver the rolling census is due to be appointed this month with applications closing later.

Previously, the Bailiwick censuses, carried out across Guernsey, Alderney and Herm, were done every five years with the last taking place in 2001.

The proposals are due to be discussed at the March meeting of the States.

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