'Census workers will be paid in a timely manner'
Leesha Delatie-Budair (left), deputy director general of Statin, says census workers will be paid in a timely manner once they satisfy all requirements. Looking on is Statin Director General Carol Coy. They were speaking at a Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

THE Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin) says it will be taking proper measures to ensure census takers are paid in a timely manner.

Deputy director general of Statin, Leesha Delatie-Budair noted that there was concern amongst people that the volunteer census takers would not be paid in an efficient fashion, stemming from the 2011 census. She said that while these concerns were legitimate and had merit, the payment of census takers that are employed by Statin is far more complicated than many people may think.

"It isn't something where you go to people's houses, fill the questionnaire, go back the same day, hand it in, and get paid," Delatie-Budair told reporters and editors at a Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange.

Delatie-Budair alongside Statin's Director General Carol Coy claim that before an individual can be paid, a process must be undertaken to ensure that the questionnaire sheets filled out and submitted to Statin are legitimate.

They said that of their census takers, they have no one who volunteers to work free of charge, and that all of their takers are deeply interested in making a profit off their work. It is therefore necessary for them to be vigilant of those who may attempt to gain money without doing the work.

"We will not waste taxpayers' money on frauds [unscrupulous persons] so we check and validate each submission, which sometimes delays payment," Delatie-Budair continued.

The census is to occur every ten years, with the last census being in 2011. Plans for it to be carried out in 2021 were delayed until this year as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The 2022 census is slated to get underway in September, running from the 12th of that month to the end of the year. Statin reports that 7,500 census takers throughout Jamaica were recruited to carry out the data collection.

With regards to the salary census takers receive, Statin said it was not a uniform one that applies to all census takers but that it rather varies among them. These variations are dependent on the different conditions and situations that each census taker faces. Stipends are, however, provided to make up for travel costs in cases where the census takers have to cover a wide area.

In the meantime, Coy also noted that the nature of the questions asked also vary, with some apprppriate for children, adults, and other demographics. The difficulty of these questions also plays a part in the salary allocation.

"The primary aim of Statin is to provide information to enable agencies to make evidence-based decisions," Coy said.

BY NATHAN ROPER Observer intern editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

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