Number of Deaths by Age Group and Week from Jan 2020 to End April 2020 - DIA

Chris Johnston made this Official Information request to Department of Internal Affairs

Currently waiting for a response from Department of Internal Affairs, they must respond promptly and normally no later than (details and exceptions).

From: Chris Johnston

Dear Department of Internal Affairs,

This is a follow-up to a previous OIA that asks for a data set from January 2015 to the end of April 2020 (for the monthly data set) and 3 May (for the weekly data set).

Data Set 1 - Monthly
a) Use the following Age Groups: 00-09, 10-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80-89, 90-99, 100+
b) Provide monthly data
c) Provide in a CSV dataset
Column 1 - Age Group as defined in (a) above
Column 2 - Start date of the month that the data relates to
Column 3 - The number of deaths
d) Keep the suppression of exact death numbers to cells under 10 - but the bigger aggregations/groupings in (a) should minimise this occurrence.
e) Extract up to the end of April 2020

Data Set 2 - Weekly
a) Use the following Age Groups: 20-59, 60-79, 80+
b) Provide weekly data from 1 Jan 2015 with an initial partial week until the first Sunday. Then produce Monday to Sunday groups. i.e First week is from Mon 5 - Sun 11 Jan 2015.
c) Provide in a CSV dataset
Column 1 - Age Group as defined in (a) above
Column 2 - Start date of the week - on a Monday to Sunday definition
Column 3 - The number of deaths
d) Keep the suppression of exact death numbers to cells under 10 - but the bigger aggregations/groupings in (a) should minimise this occurrence.
e) Extract up to Sun 3 May 2020

Data Set 3 - Fortnightly
a) Use the following Age Groups: 0-19
b) Provide fortnightly data from 1 Jan 2015 with an initial partial period until the first Sunday. Then produce Monday to Sunday fortnight groups. i.e First fortnight is from Mon 5 - Sun 18 Jan 2015.
c) Provide in a CSV dataset
Column 1 - Age Group as defined in (a) above
Column 2 - Start date of the week - on a Monday to Sunday definition
Column 3 - The number of deaths
d) Keep the suppression of exact death numbers to cells under 10 - but the bigger aggregations/groupings in (a) should minimise this occurrence.
e) Extract up to 3 May 2020 (or the Sunday before if the fortnights finish there)

OLD + NEW OIAs
The previous OIA to this was:
https://fyi.org.nz/request/12583-number-...
This related to data up to the end of March 2020.
For your KPI purposes (closing OIAs on time) I am happy if you answer this OIA early in place of the refinements that I have requested for the previous OIA. However I am not happy for this OIA to take the full OIA time if you combine the OIAs because the extract script for the previous OIA is already written and will require few changes for this OIA).
If you do combine them please regard this one as the definitive specification because I have defined a few elements better (e.g. the counts for the 0-19 age category are unlikely to be below 10 deaths if they are fortnightly in Data set 3).

As was noted in the DIAs previous response, the numbers in the Death Register do change so it is cleaner to get a complete new extract so that we understand the data set was all accurate/consistent as at the date of extraction.

I would like to impress upon you that a timely turnaround is important given the high profile and economic impact of this topic. If there were significant COVID19 deaths in NZ over summer this is very important to measure and know about so it can be further diagnosed and understood by both the health sector, the rest of government and the private sector. All these groups are trying to make significant decisions in an imperfect information environment.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Johnston

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From: Chris Johnston

Dear Department of Internal Affairs,

Can you please confirm that this OIA is on time to be completed ... as written.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Johnston

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From: Alysha Stevenson
Department of Internal Affairs

Good morning Mr Johnston,

As I note from your earlier post the FYI website was out of action for a week - we were unaware of this, the Department does not actively monitor the FYI website - if you could please include your email in this or reply to us directly at [email address] it would ensure we are able to update you promptly on your request. We will still post the full and final response on the FYI website.

For clarity I will now outline how we have responded so far to you multiple requests and follow up emails - referring to them as Request 1 (8 April) and Request 2 (10 May).

Request 1 - Fully answered in our response on 8 May. And upon your further correspondence on 10 May the Registrar- General determined that in this case the data set could be provided as a CVS file, which was provided in the 15 May communication to you. I note you say it was not attached however looking on the FYI website, I can see it in the blue box on the left hand side of the email. Please refer to the email again and if you are still unable to view it there, please contact us directly on the email address above with an email address to send it to.

Your request asked for the last five years of data to the 31 March, in 10 year age brackets, weekly. You later clarified that monthly would be suitable after our correspondence with you. We provided on 8 May a data set that contained monthly death data for the last five years up to 31 March (to the best of the data available at the time of extraction from our system) broken down into 10 year age brackets. Therefore fully satisfying this request. We then followed this up with the CVS spreadsheet on 15 May and clarified your point about the 90-100 year age bracket. We consider this request to be fully answered.

In your May 10 email, following receipt of our response you refined your request - this is a new request as it is requesting a different breakdown of the age brackets, I will refer to as Request 1B:

a) Use the following Age Groups: 0-19, 20-59, 60-79, 80+
b) Provide weekly data as originally requested
c) Provide in a CSV dataset
Column 1 - Age Group as defined in (a) above
Column 2 - Start date of the week - let's agree on a Monday to Sunday definition
Column 3 - The number of deaths
d) Keep the suppression of deaths to under 10 - but the bigger aggregations/groupings in (a) should minimise this occurrence.
e) Extract up to the end of March 2020 again - which should look better as we are now at the 10 May 2020 which is 2 weeks further on from 23 April 2020.

As there was no start date on this data set we have chosen to use the 5 year time frame previously specified.

A response to this request will be due on 8 June 2020.

A second OIA was received via the FYI website which combined elements of these previous requests, this is Request 2 -

Data Set 1 - Monthly
a) Use the following Age Groups: 00-09, 10-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80-89, 90-99, 100+
b) Provide monthly data
c) Provide in a CSV dataset
Column 1 - Age Group as defined in (a) above
Column 2 - Start date of the month that the data relates to
Column 3 - The number of deaths
d) Keep the suppression of exact death numbers to cells under 10 - but the bigger aggregations/groupings in (a) should minimise this occurrence.
e) Extract up to the end of April 2020

We consider this to be fully answered as per Request 1, except for the April 2020 statistics. April 2020 statistics, plus an update on the March 2020 statistics will make up the new information provided to you.

Data Set 2 - Weekly
a) Use the following Age Groups: 20-59, 60-79, 80+
b) Provide weekly data from 1 Jan 2015 with an initial partial week until the first Sunday. Then produce Monday to Sunday groups. i.e First week is from Mon 5 - Sun 11 Jan 2015.
c) Provide in a CSV dataset
Column 1 - Age Group as defined in (a) above
Column 2 - Start date of the week - on a Monday to Sunday definition
Column 3 - The number of deaths
d) Keep the suppression of exact death numbers to cells under 10 - but the bigger aggregations/groupings in (a) should minimise this occurrence.
e) Extract up to Sun 3 May 2020

This will be largely answered by request 1B, except for the date of the final extract. This data set will therefore consist of only the data from 1 April 2020 - 3 May 2020. The remainder will be provided to you in request 1B response.

Data Set 3 - Fortnightly
a) Use the following Age Groups: 0-19
b) Provide fortnightly data from 1 Jan 2015 with an initial partial period until the first Sunday. Then produce Monday to Sunday fortnight groups. i.e First fortnight is from Mon 5 - Sun 18 Jan 2015.
c) Provide in a CSV dataset
Column 1 - Age Group as defined in (a) above
Column 2 - Start date of the week - on a Monday to Sunday definition
Column 3 - The number of deaths
d) Keep the suppression of exact death numbers to cells under 10 - but the bigger aggregations/groupings in (a) should minimise this occurrence.
e) Extract up to 3 May 2020 (or the Sunday before if the fortnights finish there)

The 0-19 age group statistics for this request will be answered by request 1B, however you are asking for fortnightly data in order to reduce the use of the suppression of death numbers where they are under 10.

A response to this request will be due on 8 June 2020

You have now noted that you require these requests to be dealt with as separate requests.

I also note your comments about the need for this information to be made publically available promptly. With that in mind the Department has been heavily engaged with Statistics NZ to proactively release death data on the Covid 19 portal. The initial information has now been collated which you can find here; https://www.stats.govt.nz/experimental/c.... This has required a large expenditure of time by our data team, the same team that is required to provide content for OIA responses. You may find that some of the information contained in this portal answers in part your OIA requests. Within the portal you can view weekly deaths by age (over or under 65 years only) and by gender.

Thanks
Alysha

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From: Chris Johnston

Dear Alysha Stevenson,

I look forward to the DIA’s response.

Note my comment in the other related OIA that if a marginal/incremental dataset is provided the DIA needs to state that the numbers for previous periods have not changed and the datasets are continuous and fit together.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Johnston

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