Public Administration Select Committee: Press Notices

14 May 2009


The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) is seeking written submissions to inform an evidence session that has been arranged with the people responsible for conducting the 2011 census in England and Wales.

The census, which takes place every ten years, uses questionnaires to gather detailed information about the whole of the population. The accuracy of this information relies both on the reach of those questionnaires and how they are completed by those receiving them. The total cost of the 2011 census in England and Wales is estimated at nearly half a billion pounds. Its results help to determine how central government allocates more than £100 billion every year to local authorities and the NHS.

PASC will be investigating:

• whether the census project is proceeding in a timely and cost-effective way, and

• whether the process being adopted will produce information about the population which is sufficiently reliable, relevant and useful.

The session will be wide-ranging, but is not intended to explore the future of the census beyond 2011. It is also not intended to focus on the choice of questions to be included on the census, except where this has a direct bearing on whether the information that the census will elicit will be sufficiently reliable, relevant and useful.

PASC took over responsibility for scrutiny of the work of the Office of National Statistics in April 2008, with the establishment of a UK Statistics Authority independent of the Treasury. The evidence session now being arranged will assess progress towards the 2011 Census made since May 2008, when the Treasury Committee’s significant report on Counting the Population was published.  A White Paper published in December 2008 contains the UK Statistics Authority’s proposals for the census.

The session is scheduled to be held on the morning of Thursday 25 June, with witnesses from the Office for National Statistics and also from Lockheed Martin UK, which has been awarded a contract worth approximately £150 million to support the 2011 Census.

Written submissions should be received by Thursday 11 June and should be sent by email to  If you do not have access to email, you may send a paper copy of your response to the Clerk of the Public Administration Select Committee, Committee Office, First Floor, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA.

Please note

Each submission should:

• be no more than 3,000 words in length;

• begin with a short summary in bullet point form;

• have numbered paragraphs; and be in Word format or a rich text format with as little use of colour or logos as possible.

Written submissions will usually be treated as evidence to the Committee and may be published. If you object to your response being made public in a volume of evidence, please make this clear when it is submitted.

For further information about the work of the Committee, visit our website at:  


Committee Membership: Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) (Cannock Chase), Mr David Burrowes (Con) (Enfield, Southgate), Paul Flynn (Lab) (Newport West), David Heyes (Lab) (Ashton under Lyne), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) (Luton North), Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) (Bridgewater), Julie Morgan (Lab) (Cardiff North), Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) (Pendle), Paul Rowen (Lib Dem) (Rochdale), Charles Walker (Con) (Broxbourne), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)

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