Singapore Census 2000 To Use Internet

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) of
Singapore has just signed a S$12 million contract with National Computer Systems Pte Ltd. (NCS), a
wholly owned subsidiary of the Singapore Telecom Group, for the
provision
of a complete Internet, call-center solution for Singapore’s Population
Census 2000
.

In the deal, NCS will provide the Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS),
who will be conducting this census in mid 2000, with a complete solution
for data collection via Internet filing, telephone interviews, and field
interviews, and data processing.

Census 2000 is the first census in Asia to use Internet and call-center
technologies for data collection from the population, said Leow Bee Geok,
director of household and population statistics of DOS.

The Internet filing technology for Census 2000 is the same as that for
income tax submission but technical requirements for the census are
different.

For instance, the income tax form is blank and users need to key in every
bit of their personal information. The census form, on the other hand,
already contains the background information and identity of the individual.
It is customized for the individual.

Leow also said this is the first census in Asia to use a well-developed
population register.

“Taiwan has a population register but it is not fully developed for census
purposes,” she said.

Developed by DOS, the population register for Singapore combines the
population’s information from various administrative sources for
identification in the census.

NCS is currently studying DOS’ needs for conducting the census. The company
is also working with Singapore Telecom to set up and operate a Computer
Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) Center.

Besides providing the technology for customized Internet filing and a CATI
Center, NCS will also provide the technology to convert hardcopy forms from
field interviews to electronic forms.

“We want to upgrade our survey operations [to] help save man-power cost,”
said Fiona Yip, assistant director of household and population statistics
of DOS.

This is the fourth population census since Singapore obtained independence.

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