Number of Deaths by Age Group for National Super - MSD

Chris Johnston made this Official Information request to Ministry of Social Development

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Ministry of Social Development should normally have responded promptly and by (details and exceptions)

From: Chris Johnston

Dear Ministry of Social Development,

Could you please provide a data set in Excel or csv file with the following columns - for the last 5 years by month to the end of March 2020 for the whole of New Zealand.

Column 1 - DHB within which the Person resides
Column 2 - Age Group at Death (in 10 year bands)
Column 3 - Number of People Receiving National Super at the Start of the Period
Column 4 - Deaths During Period - that is MSD is notified to stop paying National Super/Pension and/or a date of death was obtained by any means (eg death notice)

I only expect MSD to provide numbers for those residents that it knows about through its systems.

I would expect that these numbers are available from the MSD's payment system for National Super. People should be able to be counted and tracked via their MSD number (which records their date of death and age at death).

If there are any commercial or privacy issues with the above data set then please discuss. There may be ways that you can communicate:
- via a geographic groups different to DHBs (that can be aggregated to DHBs by me)
- wider Age Groups (e.g. 10 year bands to 90 then everyone above 90).

I would prefer the raw data though so please consult early so that we can agree and the MSD can meet the OIA timeline.

Also please communicate any caveats or lag with the data that the MSD is aware of. For example "90% of data may come in within 1 month and after 3 months the number is within 1% of the true number".

Yours faithfully,

Chris Johnston

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From: OIA_Requests (MSD)
Ministry of Social Development

Tēnā koe Chris Johnston,

 

Thank you for your email received 9 April 2020, under the Official
Information Act 1982. Your request has been forwarded to the appropriate
officials at National Office to respond. You may expect a decision
regarding your request to be sent to you as soon as possible.

 

The Ministry is focussing its resources on supporting New Zealanders
through COVID-19 by administering welfare support during this
unprecedented time.  Resources within our business units, where
information for OIA requests is drawn from, is limited or unavailable. 
Staff have been redeployed to assist the frontline with the processing of
welfare payments and/or Ministry hardware (such as laptops) have been
reprioritised.  As such, there will be a delay in you receiving a response
from the Ministry.

 

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. 

 

Ngā manaakitanga,

 

Official and Parliamentary Information team   |  Ministerial and
Executive Services

Ministry of Social Development

 

Our Purpose:
We help New Zealanders to be safe, strong and independent
Manaaki Tangata, Manaaki Whānau

 

------------------------------- This email and any attachments may contain
information that is confidential and subject to legal privilege. If you
are not the intended recipient, any use, dissemination, distribution or
duplication of this email and attachments is prohibited. If you have
received this email in error please notify the author immediately and
erase all copies of the email and attachments. The Ministry of Social
Development accepts no responsibility for changes made to this message or
attachments after transmission from the Ministry.
-------------------------------

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From: Chris Johnston

Dear OIA_Requests (MSD),

This request is to assess whether the death rate has been higher with COVID19 over the preceding months when it may have been undetected in NZ.

Therefore it is important that you expedite this request if possible.

Stay safe.
Yours sincerely,

Chris Johnston

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From: OIA_Requests (MSD)
Ministry of Social Development

Tçnâ koe Chris Johnston,

 

The Ministry of Social Development is unable to provide you with
information regarding which District Health Board region the individuals
reside within, as this information is not held.

However, the Ministry is able to provide you with a geographic breakdown
based on the Ministry’s Service Centre responsible for the client’s case
management. A client may not necessarily reside in the same area as their
Service Centre.

 

Ngâ manaakitanga,

 

Official and Parliamentary Information team   |  Ministerial and

Executive Services

Ministry of Social Development

 

Our Purpose:
We help New Zealanders to be safe, strong and independent
Manaaki Tangata, Manaaki Whânau

 

------------------------------- This email and any attachments may contain
information that is confidential and subject to legal privilege. If you
are not the intended recipient, any use, dissemination, distribution or
duplication of this email and attachments is prohibited. If you have
received this email in error please notify the author immediately and
erase all copies of the email and attachments. The Ministry of Social
Development accepts no responsibility for changes made to this message or
attachments after transmission from the Ministry.
-------------------------------

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From: Chris Johnston

Dear OIA_Requests (MSD),

Thanks for the email and the enquiry about how I can assist MSD to fulfill this request.

These are challenging times and an all of government response is required that links all the available datasets so that both the government and public can be informed and make the best decisions with the fewer resource now available to our economy.

For a number of years (about a decade from my recollection) the MSD has been presenting mapping data to the government based on ArcGIS platform. This provides transformation capability for your organisation and was significantly built up by an ex-colleague of mine so that it could report across the MSD and to Cabinet.

The importance of this system to my enquiry is that it can achive two things for you:
1 - Geocoding the physical addresses of all National Super recipients (where this is not already occurring within your payment system via the NZ Post PAF or similar). Please let me know if any of this functionality is not available to the MSD which pays out hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds each year. Please let me know if you only record the postal address for a National Super client.
2 - Regrouping geocoded information by new geographic boundaries. This means that - given a list of NationalSuper recipients that have had their addresses geocoded in (1) above - they can be identified as belonging to a particular DHB based on digital map of their boundaries. This digital map of the DHB boundaries is available via Statistics NZ (part of the all of government COVID19 effort) from their website - https://datafinder.stats.govt.nz/layer/8...

If you need any advice on how to do this GIS analysis there is public information that identifies Sam Keast as the Acting Manager - Data Science and Products at the Ministry of Social Development. https://www.linkedin.com/in/samkeastnz/ His profile outlines that he has been a Senior GIS Analyst at the MSD for a number of years. The good news is that this is very easy and automated work for a GIS system - I estimate a few hours processing time. It may help you to give him a call.

If you can provide the MSD Service Service Centre as well (you seem to be saying it is easy for the MSD) then I can use that to cross check the accuracy of the statistics - e.g. if a South Island Service Centre is providing service to an Auckland DHB person this will clearly look like the data needs clarification.

Please add the MSD Service Centre as an additional column. This will require slightly more complex grouping but this is not hard in Excel or SQL and wil be a core competency of a member of the MSD's Data Science team.

If you do find data quality issues then please contact me again as I can give you guidance on how to treat this and what does and what does not matter (i.e. I can deal with it when i receive the dataset).

Thanks for your call for help and offering the additional information. We all need to do our best to help each other and work through this unprecedented situation by relying on the science and data wherever possible. Rapid access to this core data is thus of importance.

Stay safe.
Yours sincerely,

Chris Johnston

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From: Chris Johnston

Dear OIA_Requests (MSD),

A subsequent note to this - the reason that we cannot go only with MSD Service Centres is (1) as you say the person may not reside and (2) my criteria in the original request for this OIA for accepting a different geographic area was that I could aggregate to DHBs - which is not possible with MSD Service Centres.

We will get there.

cheers
Chris Johnston

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From: OIA_Requests (MSD)
Ministry of Social Development


Attachment 12052020121010 0001.pdf
87K Download View as HTML


 

 

Tēnā koe Chris Johnston,

 

Please find a letter advising of the need to extend the time available to
make a decision on your OIA request to 29 May 2020.

 

We will respond to your request as soon as possible.

 

 

Nā mātou noa, nā

 

Official and Parliamentary Information team   |  Ministerial and
Executive Services

Ministry of Social Development

 

 

Our Purpose:
We help New Zealanders to be safe, strong and independent.
Manaaki Tangata, Manaaki Whānau.

 

 

------------------------------- This email and any attachments may contain
information that is confidential and subject to legal privilege. If you
are not the intended recipient, any use, dissemination, distribution or
duplication of this email and attachments is prohibited. If you have
received this email in error please notify the author immediately and
erase all copies of the email and attachments. The Ministry of Social
Development accepts no responsibility for changes made to this message or
attachments after transmission from the Ministry.
-------------------------------

Link to this

From: Chris Johnston

Dear OIA_Requests (MSD),

Could you please outline:
1 - The topics on which you need to consult to decide?
2 - Whether the data set has been extracted yet - and you are making decisions on that, or whether you are still to initiate the extraction of the data?
3 - If you intend to consult with me in order to ensure that the data set is useful? For example, if there are issues with the cell count in some parts of the data set there are ways to resolve this by communicating with me. For example not including MSD Service centre and/or aggregating age group bands.

i would encourage you to discuss at the earliest possible opportunity so that there is the best chance of a good result that is easy for MSD to deliver.

In the meantime I have raised this delay with the Ombudsman so that whether the delay is "reasonable" given the topics you need to confer on, the complexity of the task, and the time frame within which MSD have had to deliver to date are considered.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Johnston

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