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Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 29, 2020 (SKNIS): Residents of St. Kitts and Nevis are strongly encouraged to be cooperative and truthful with enumerators working on behalf of the Department of Statistics whenever surveys are being conducted. Cooperation and confidentiality are key messages being communicated as preparations continue for the conduct of the Population and Housing Census in 2021.

A team from the department appeared on the radio and television programme Working for You on Wednesday (October 28, 2020) to raise public awareness about the work of the government department and next year’s census.

Director of Statistics, Carlton Phipps, said that all information collected is kept strictly confidential. This is a mandate of the Statistics Act of 2002, which outlines legal penalties and fines for any breach of information.

Section 17 (2) (a) of the Act states that “Any person, being in possession of any information which to his or her knowledge has been disclosed in contravention of this Act, who publishes or communicates such information to any person shall be guilty of an offense against this Act and shall on conviction on indictment, be liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding six thousand dollars or to both such imprisonment and fine.”

Director Phipps added that it is virtually impossible to single out any one individual as all of the information is grouped.

“We collect data from households [and] that data is only consolidated and published in an aggregated format so that the manner in which we publish such data it would not be possible to identify any particular person or any particular group within that data set,” he stated.

Additionally, each enumerator must take an oath of confidentiality before he/she is allowed to carry out their duties.

Also appearing on Working for You were Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Elretha Simpson-Brown, Senior Statistician with responsibility for Data Dissemination and Advocacy, Samantha Huggins, and Social Statistician/Demographer, Corneil Williams.

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