ABBYY/Kodak Alaris win $A4 million in 2021 Census deals

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has committed to the ABBYY Flexicapture 12 platform for data capture of Census forms at the 2021 Census, on a new and existing fleet of Kodak i5850s scanners.

ABBYY Flexicapture 12 is a new direction for the ABS which previously relied on IBM’s Intelligent Forms Processing (IFP) software. However, this is the 4th consecutive Census win for the Kodak scanners for Australian distributor ACA Pacific.

Kodak Alaris has a strong track record in major Australian government data capture projects, having provided the scanning platform for the 2017 Same Sex Marriage survey and 2019 federal election.

"The ACA software and scanning infrastructure, which will be used by the Census Data Capture Centre, is expected to capture as many as three million paper forms," said Soula Macfarlane, Director of the 2021 Census Data Capture Centre.

The Census paper data capture software contract is worth $A2.6 million, while the Kodak scanner deal is for $A1.2 million.

According to an ABS spokesperson, “The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) engaged ACA Pacific to provide scanning hardware and software for the 2021 Census and ABS household and business surveys.

“The solution will scan and capture written responses on the Census and other ABS paper surveys, and turn them into electronic form. It also includes a repair functionality, which will improve the quality of scanned data.”

The ABS is planning a range of digital initiatives for the 2021 Census. The most significant is the digital service, which will include the online Census form, website and a range of self service options such as the ability to order a paper form.

PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) Australia’ won a tender in 2019 to supply the digital services side of the Census after the outages that affected the 2016 Census web site.