Reply To: Australian Bureau Statistics (Help)

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#3949
Jeff Davidson
Participant

You are not “a person in residence” or “the resident”, so their correspondence has nothing to do with you and there is no way I would be claiming ownership by replying to it or writing to them about it.

When one of their people came to my house and I could not avoid them, I politely informed them that “no persons are living here”. She said thank you, went away and I never heard from them again.

The Census and Statistics Act only gives the Statistician the power to REQUEST that a person fill up a form or answer questions and there are no penalties for refusing a REQUEST to fill out a form.

If you refuse the Statistician’s request he then has the power to DIRECT you to fill out the form or answer survey questions but he can only do that after you have refused his REQUEST per sections 10(4) or 11(3) of the Act.

To direct you to fill out a form there is a strict legal process which the Statistician must comply with. The process is this. The Statistician must serve a formal, legally defined “Notice of Direction” in writing on you if you refuse his request.

• It can be sent by mail but it must be addressed to you, by name at your address. (It cannot be addressed to the Householder or the Resident)
• It must be in writing.
• It must give you at least 14 days to comply with the direction
• It must detail the penalties that can be imposed if you do not comply with the direction, and
• It must DIRECT you to fill out the form or provide answers to survey questions.

If a letter is not a genuine Notice of Direction (i.e. it does not meet all of the conditions listed above) then it can be ignored. If you receive a letter from the ABS, ask them to confirm, in writing, that it is a formal “Notice of Direction” in accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905 Under Subsection 10(4)

A real Notice under the ACT will be in this exact format:

TO: <Name of respondent>
<First address line>
<Second address line>
<Third address line>
Pursuant to subsection 10(4) of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 and for the purpose of enabling the statistics referred to in Part III of that Act to be collected,

I, <name of ABS contact>, the person holding the office of <position held>, <State or Territory in which position is held>, being a person to whom the powers of the Statistician under that sub-section have been delegated in pursuance of section 17 of the Act, hereby direct you –
to fill up and supply, in accordance with the instructions contained in the form entitled <Name of form> accompanying this notice, the particulars specified in that form and to cause the form, so filled up, to be furnished to an authorised officer, in accordance with those instructions, within 15 days after the service of this notice.

Pursuant to subsection 10(5) of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 I draw to your attention the provisions of section 14 of that Act which states:

“(1) A person who, without reasonable excuse, refuses or fails to comply with a direction served on the person under subsection 10(4) or 11(2) is, in respect of each day during which the person so refuses or fails to comply with the direction (including the day of a conviction under this section or any subsequent day), guilty of an offence punishable on conviction by a fine not exceeding $110.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to a refusal or failure by a person to answer a question, or to supply particulars, relating to the person’s religious beliefs.”

Dated this…………day of……………………..20…..

…………………………………………………………………

NOTE:

(1) Subsection 10(4) of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 provides that:
“For the purposes of section 8 or 9, the Statistician may, by notice in writing served either personally or by post on a person, direct the person –
(a) to fill up and supply, in accordance with instructions contained in or accompanying a form accompanying the notice, within such period after the service of the notice, being not less than 14 days, as is specified in the notice, the particulars specified in that form; and
(b) to cause the form so filled up to be furnished to the Statistician, or to an authorized officer, in accordance with those instructions.”

(2) Subsection 10(5) of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 provides that:
“A notice referred to in subsection (4) shall set out the effect of the provisions of section 14”.

The ABS may also resort to harassment tactics and bureaucratic thuggery by sending more senior officers to you home to “persuade” you to give them the information that they want. Ignore these people. If they are are not delivering a (genuine) Notice of Direction then they have no authority to come to your home or to request information from you.

Important: If you don’t give them your Name then they have no way of issuing you with a legal Directive – Checkmate, game over for them!