Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 13, 2016 (SKNIS): The Department of Statistics in the Ministry of Sustainable Development is urging the general public to take precautions when giving out personal information, as currently there are persons posing as officers of the Department in the quest to conduct a Labour Force Survey.

In an interview with the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS), Carlton Phipps, Director of the Department of Statistics, said that he was notified of such acts and encourages persons to desist from impersonating others as it is illegal.

“The Department has been informed that person(s) claiming to represent the Department of Statistics have sought to conduct household interviews in St. Kitts, said the Director. “We use this opportunity to state categorically that the Department of Statistics is not involved in the conducting of any household surveys at this time. We would also remind the general public that the conducting of household surveys by the Department of Statistics commences often with a public relation campaign, and field visits are carried out by officers who can be clearly identified as agents of the Department of Statistics.

He encouraged the general public to be vigilant and to report anyone who approaches their household to obtain information.

“We are therefore asking that persons exercise good judgement in ensuring their safety and confidentiality of personal information,” said Mr. Phipps. “One should ask of any interviewer to provide a valid identification card of him/herself and the institution he/she represents, and an explanation of the purpose of their activities. Your well-being and privacy are of paramount importance to us.”

He noted that the Department will not be undertaking Phase II of the 2016 Labour Force Survey, which was previously scheduled for the period October to November 2016.

“Presently, the Department is engaged in a Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Project for “Enhancing the National Statistical System”, which aims to strengthen its efforts to effectively and efficiently increase the awareness and use of official statistics,” he said. “This project, however, has limited the Department’s ability to undertake any other major projects at this time.”