By ALISON ANIS
National Statistician Joseph Aka has advised all census officials, including provincial coordinators nationwide, to report directly to the census director and publicity division at the National Statistical Office in Waigani, The National reports.
An official said Aka met with the census management and coordinating team yesterday and advised them that the two divisions would be the central point for reporting and sourcing information on the population count.
"Aka has advised that any queries or information on the counting from now on would be accessed only through census director Hajily Kele and publicity officer Peter Maime," the officer said when asked to comment on the status of the head count in the Southern region.
"The counting in the Southern region, including NCD, has progressed well while the mop-up will depend on how fast checks are performed and information is finalised."
He said reports from all provinces in the Southern region had been submitted to the two divisions, which would go through the data to make final assessments and see if a mop-up was needed.
Mop-up operations are under way in many parts of the country as reports reaching NSO in Port Moresby indicate an encouraging outcome.
Kele said 94% of training and enumeration had been completed in all the 334 LLGs.
This is despite a few hiccups on accessibility given the remoteness of some parts of the country and slow accounting procedures for allowances.
"These are inevitable in an event as massive as the national census, although they are being addressed," she said.
Deputy census director Boe Douna said everyone in the country would be counted and assured census workers that what was owed to them in allowances "will eventually be paid".
This week the NSO is concentrating on getting materials and workers into at least eight remote and difficult areas – five in West Sepik, two in Gulf and one in Morobe.
It is anticipated that all of them will be covered by the end of the week.
The NSO advised that any queries on the census should be directed to census officials on the toll free numbers: 180 2055, 180 2036 and 180 2093