The Auditor General, Mr. Charles Deguara, today presented to the Speaker of the House of Representatives the National Audit Office (NAO) an Information Technology report entitled “Online Malta Census of Population and Housing 2021”. Essentially the Report sought to review the online component of the national survey. This included the evaluation of the planning and implementation phases of the Census, including the collection of data, data integrity and security, the technological challenges, and the costs of this project.

Amongst the key findings and recommendations made by the NAO in this audit report, reference is made to the following:

The submission rate of Census questionnaire responses was 56% of total respondents. This was considered by the NAO as one of the success factors of this exercise. Indeed, this online submission rate exceeds that achieved by other countries on their first attempt of launching online submissions and compares well with that achieved by the same countries on subsequent attempts.

The NAO strongly recommended that the NSO continues in its efforts to introduce the use of administrative registers for Census data collection rather than issuing questionnaires to be filled in by the Census participants. The NAO also commented that such a move can only be considered once it is ensured that the format and quality of data in administrative registers matches that required for the Census. The anticipated benefits of implementing such a move would be the savings in resource costs and greater ease of access to the required data.

Furthermore, the NAO recommended that an inter-Ministerial committee is set up to oversee the above-mentioned move towards implementing a register-based Census and a population register. The committee would be tasked to ensure that:

• all the required changes related to legislation, current data registers and related IT systems are identified, documented and implemented

• the efforts of the key stakeholders providing the data sources required to build the population register are well coordinated.

To view report (.PDF) please follow link.