[CivicAccess-discuss] Abolition of Cost Recovery - StatCan
Tracey P. Lauriault
tlauriau at gmail.com
Wed Jan 5 18:07:14 EST 2011
The figure I provided include raw data related to the Census. Not all data
Census data are downloaded from the net.
There is also the raw data from census geography files included in that
figure. Also, when the Community Data Consortium purchases StatCan data we
are purchasing raw data at different scales, we never download them from the
net but get them shipped to us either on dvds or by email. Our purchase
alone is higher than your number.
On Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 5:54 PM, Jennifer Bell <jenniferlianne at yahoo.ca>wrote:
> Yup. In business-speak: releasing the information for free will lower the
> barriers to entry for private companies to do the analysis, allowing a more
> vigorous market to form.
> You can even make the argument that govt. ought not to compete with
> business by producing the specialized reports at all, unless there is some
> sort of general public good argument for doing so... as attempts to mix
> profit motives & government are prone to all sorts of issues and conflicts.
> Jane Jacobs does a good job of illustrating this principle in her book
> 'Systems of Survival: *A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and
> Politics *, which I read when I was young and impressionable.
>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_of_Survival
> --- On *Wed, 1/5/11, David Eaves <david at eaves.ca>* wrote:
> From: David Eaves <david at eaves.ca>
> Subject: Re: [CivicAccess-discuss] Abolition of Cost Recovery - StatCan
> To: "civicaccess discuss" <civicaccess-discuss at civicaccess.ca>
> Cc: "Tracey Lauriault" <tlauriau at connect.carleton.ca>, "civicaccess
> discuss" <civicaccess-discuss at civicaccess.ca>
> Received: Wednesday, January 5, 2011, 4:05 PM
> Completed agree and tried to make these points in my piece. I think SC
> actually like conflating these numbers as the old mode of thinking is that
> they want to be the only game in town as this helps generate revenue - but
> other models are out there. Hoping that SC will open up to that type of
> thinking and even think there are many who already get it.
> Sent from my iPhone
> On 2011-01-05, at 11:00 AM, Glen Newton <glen.newton at gmail.com<http://email@example.com>>
> > I agree.
> > 1 - I am OK if StatCan wants to charge $$ for custom reports.
> > 2 - But they should release the (properly structured and anonymyzed)
> > raw data free-of-charge and with an Open Data license, instead of
> > selling it.
> > Keeping what SC makes from each of these activities separate is useful
> > as it means they only need to replace the revenue from #2.
> > That said, if #2 were made free with an Open Data license, wouldn't
> > small Canadian companies spring up to do #1?
> > Isn't this a Good Thing(tm)?
> > If SC could facilitate the creation of a small but vibrant data
> > industry around its data, I am sure they could get all kinds of
> > support.
> > Glen Newton
> > http://zzzoot.blogspot.com/
> > On Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 1:46 PM, David Eaves <david at eaves.ca<http://firstname.lastname@example.org>>
> >> hi Tracey,
> >> I think we may talking about different figures. The number I am quoting
> >> (about a half million dollars) is from downloaded data. The 10,000,000
> >> refers (I believe) to all revenue, including reports, custom reports,
> >> of physical copies, etc...
> >> Totally open to the possibility that I'm wrong, but I think it is
> >> to not lump these sums together as the reports and the raw data are
> >> different. I'm only talking revenue generated from the website - which
> >> what I think is relevant in this debate. But again, I haven't seen your
> >> ATIP request and the breakdown of their figures so interesting to see if
> >> that number is different from what appears on the Treasury Board
> >> Cheers,
> >> dave
> >> On 11-01-05 8:03 AM, Tracey Lauriault wrote:
> >> David Eaves wrote the following article:
> >> Making StatsCan Data Free: Assessing the Cost
> >> -
> >> The Civicaccess.ca list was founded on the discussion of making StatCan
> >> free in 2005. Some on the list have been working toward that goal ever
> >> since. The number quoted by David is low, revenu generated by the sale
> >> the Census alone is over $10 000 000. My ATIP requests
> >> Statistics Canada, 2010, ATIP Request A-2010-00067, Census Revenue
> >> June 29. Indicates that for
> >>> StatCan recovered from the 2001 Census $13,642,959
> >> The cycle for 2006 is not yet complete. The figure above includes
> >> fees, the sale of standard products, Custom Products, CD Rom fees, and
> >> Geography products.
> >> David does rightly make the point that this does not cover the overhead
> >> of managing those resources and collecting them.
> >> The cost of the census for 2001 was $432,033,300 or $14.40 per person
> >> according to ATIP request A-2010-00068. The cost recovered reflects
> >> of the actual cost of the Census. Again, we do not know the overhead.
> >> Most of StatCan's special surveys are a complete cost recovery project,
> >> often cost shared between federal departments. As we all know, many
> >> on topics related to Canada's most vulnerable were discontinued, the LF
> >> Census was cancelled and we expect to see more cuts coming down the
> >> It is true, that StatCan uses the revenue generated to fund other
> >> datalibre.ca covers these issues in detail.
> >> The real problem however is not with StatCan but with the Treasury Board
> >> Cabinet. There was a submission to Cabinet under the current government
> >> regime, offering cost savings by StatCan in order to cover the cost of
> >> making the Census Free. The Tory government accepted the cost savings
> >> refused to allow the giving of census data back to Canadians. If the
> >> Treasury were to actually adequately fund Statistics Canada then it
> would be
> >> able to give the data back to us. I am still trying to dig up the paper
> >> trail on the submission, but alas, memorandum to cabinet are
> >> Bref, political pressure needs to be on the current government and also
> >> Treasury. StatCan has little power over its budget beyond the usual
> >> mechanics, especially these days. We also need to keep in mind, that we
> >> have already lost disability surveys, and we have lost the ability to
> >> the country's immigrant, ethno cultural visible minorities, poor,
> >> groups, people with mobility issues because the Census was just
> >> More cuts to StatCan will not be about helping those groups and us
> >> advocating the abolition of cost recovery and not advocating to cover
> >> revenue lost to StatCan by the Treasury will make us complicit in
> >> marginalization. We need to lobby for more resources to StatCan to
> >> the loss of cost recovered funds, and we also need to ensure that it is
> >> autonomous from political interference as recommended by National
> >> Statistical Council of Canada
> >> -
> >> I have not published my ATIP requests yet as I am still trying to
> validate a
> >> few pieces and do the analysis. It is also part of my PHD dissertation
> >> at some point I need to publish officially.
> >> Cheers
> >> Tracey
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Tracey P. Lauriault
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