Troubled 2016 census gets first airing

Two internet companies have denied claims by IBM about their role in the census shutdown. (AAP) Source: AAP

A preview of the findings from the 2016 census will be released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday.

The Australian census is compiled every five years to gain an insight into what makes the typical Australian tick.

The 2016 version will be remembered as the one that nearly didn't happen as the Australian Bureau of Statistics went online for the first time to survey Australia's 24 million population.

It will be one IT company IBM will want to forget.

A preview of the census findings will be released on Tuesday before the full version on June 27.

The census questions each household on age, gender, incomes, occupations, dwellings, transportation, ancestry, languages spoken, and religion to help with future planning for the nation.

But Federal Labor is questioning the reliability of the findings this time.

The census, mostly conducted online on the night of August 9, was marred by cyber attacks which prompted the bureau to shut it down for almost two days.

It resulted in IT company IBM paying out millions of dollars in compensation for its role in the botched survey.

A Senate inquiry conducted last year concluded the main responsibility for this bungled event lay with the federal government because of reduced funding for the bureau when demands put on it had increased.

Small Business Minister Michael McCormack said the 2016 Census results would be released only after being cleared by an independent panel.

"Thanks to the very high rate of engagement by Australians with the Census last year and ABS's efforts to assure the data through its internal quality checks and the expert panel, I am assured that Australians can trust the quality of the Census data," Mr McCormack said.


Source AAP

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