Administrative Burden Reduction of Statistics Canada Business Surveys

1. Description of the Initiative

In response to recommendations to reduce the administrative burden of business surveys—and thereby reduce the time required to respond—Statistics Canada will implement measures to reduce the number of questions on surveys, cut back on the number of questionnaires sent to small businesses, and limit the period in which a small business must remain in a survey sample.

2. How will Red Tape be reduced?

Red Tape will be reduced in the following ways:

  • For Statistics Canada’s annual Unified Enterprise Survey (UES), starting in 2014, sample size will be optimized and survey content will be reduced by 20% making survey response easier and less time consuming for many small businesses.
  • Beginning in 2013, other business surveys will be reviewed to eliminate redundancies, as well as questions for which information is available from other data sources.
  • Feasibility studies will be conducted on limiting the number of surveys that a small business receives as well as on the amount of time a small business must remain in a survey sample.
  • A web-based collection alternative (E-Questionnaire) will be developed for 100 business surveys which should reduce the number of follow-up calls and provide respondents with more flexibility.

3. How will business benefit?

Business will benefit in the following ways:

  • Business respondents to the annual UES will benefit from reduced compliance costs (in total, an estimated reduction in administrative burden of $640,000 per year as of 2014).
  • Depending on the conclusions of the feasibility studies, some small businesses may benefit from further compliance cost reductions.
  • All businesses participating in any of the 100 surveys moving to a web-based collection alternative will benefit from a respondent-oriented collection methodology and the potential for reduced follow-up calls.

4. Who are the participating departments?

Statistics Canada

5. What are the implementation milestones?

  • 2012-2013: Determine UES sampling strategy; determine UES revised content; 30 business surveys will offer a web-based collection alternative (E-Questionnaire).
  • 2013-2014: Revise UES surveys; complete feasibility studies; another 50 surveys will offer an E-Questionnaire alternative.
  • 2014-2015: 20 more business surveys will offer an E-Questionnaire alternative.