In order to avoid some of the issues that occurred with the 2010 census where residents were reluctant to provide certain information Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie took time out to assure residents that the confidential information provided would be kept private.
During a special interview on the matter Hon. Fahie explained that no elected official or other entity unrelated to the census would have access to the information. “The issue with census in any small country – not just the BVI – is that people are concerned and very afraid to give any information because they feel it might not be confidential so I want to assure persons that every step, every measure to ensure confidentiality is being taken by Mr. Phillip and his office.”
The census is being conducted by the Central Statistics Office, under the supervision of Director Raymond Phillips and the Premier assured that the process is independent of any government influence. “Persons should not feel that elected officials have their information for what they want. We would not see it all except for the final analysis of the data that was collected when they do the first statistics of all the data that was collected,” Hon. Fahie noted.
“I want to tell the people of the Virgin Islands not to be afraid, not to be concerned, we are going to guarantee the confidentiality of it. It is being done independently of any political figure, any political interference; although the government of the Virgin Islands will examine the final data to make some decisions to make life better in the Virgin Islands,” the BVI Leader announced.
The Premier therefore encouraged participation in the census stating that the information is necessary for the future development of the BVI. “It is important for us to plan the future of the Territory for present and future governments, for present and future generations to gather this information so we can see trends and be able now to address to our day to day operations to be able to address the trends that we have been seeing.”
“Without looking at the statistics without what the trends are without knowing our weaknesses, our strengths through the statistics we would be causing the Territory to be moving blindly in the future. The future belongs to the prepared. We want to make sure that as a Territory we are prepared and this next census coming up [with]the information will help us to be prepared,” Hon. Fahie explained.