AUSTRALIAN MARKET AND SOCIAL RESEARCH ORGANISATIONS Media Release

MEDIA RELEASE

RESEARCH INDUSTRY GRANTED ACCESS TO INTEGRATED PUBLIC NUMBER DATABASE (IPND)

For over eight years, AMSRO has been actively lobbying the government on behalf of the market and social research industry to obtain access to the IPND for appropriate research purposes.  Established in 1998 the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND) is a centralised database containing records of all Australian telephone numbers and their corresponding name and address information.  AMSRO is pleased to advise that our advocacy efforts have been rewarded. In addition to the access researchers already had to the listed public numbers stored on the IPND (mainly fixed lines), under special conditions researchers are now able to access the IPND’s unlisted mobile telephone numbers along with the associated postcode information.

IPND access is permitted for research that is:

· relevant to public health (for instance for state-based health surveys)

· public policy research by or for the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth entity, and

· related to electoral matters conducted by or for a registered political party, a political representative, or a candidate in an election for an Australian parliament or local government authority.

At this stage use of the IPND for commercial research purposes is not permitted.

Authorisations for access can cover more than one research entity and access can be for a period of up to 12 months.  Applications for access need to be made to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), with a fee payable to the IPND manager, Telstra.   

AMSRO applauds the Minister for Communication and the Arts’ decision.  Access to the unlisted mobile phone numbers listed on the IPND will enable researchers to conduct telephone surveys more efficiently, with greater accuracy, at lower cost to clients and with less impact on the public – because mobile phone numbers can now be geographically targeted.

AMSRO President, Craig Young said: “One of AMSRO’s key roles is to lobby government to advance the interests of the whole research industry.  This excellent result is a testament to the tenacious advocacy and lobbying efforts of AMSRO representatives over many years, especially individuals who have served on our Government Relations Committee. 

“The new regulations allowing access to the IPND for health, social policy and electoral research will ensure that researchers and the Australian community benefit from more cost-effectively conducted research and significantly less unnecessary contact with respondents, while also safeguarding respondents’ privacy.  AMSRO recognises the desirability of obtaining access for commercial research purposes and will continue to advocate for this.

“The new access arrangements also ensure that researchers and government can access high-quality telephone samples to support critical business and government decisions for today’s Australia and help plan for the future.”

Presenting last week at a Telephone Surveying in the Post-Modern Era workshop, convened by The Social Research Centre, Chris Jose from ACMA, advised delegates of the processes for accessing the IPND Scheme and Regulations, and said that researchers can apply to the ACMA to access IPND for permitted research purposes, for both one-off and ongoing use. 

AMSRO would like to thank the following people for their time and expertise for helping bring about these changes; Darren Pennay, The Social Research Centre; Martin O’Shannessy, OmniPoll; Szymon Duniec, ORIMA Research; Mark Zuker, JWS Research and many others who have contributed their time and efforts to this cause over many years.  AMSRO also appreciates the support for our lobbying efforts provided by key government research users.

As researchers and clients start to use the IPND, AMSRO will monitor progress, keep members updated and provide support where required. 

For more information regarding access arrangements please see the ACMA IPND site. 

About AMSRO

The Association of Market & Social Research Organisations (AMSRO) is the peak body for the market and social research, data and insights industry. AMSRO works in partnership with its company members, plus privacy authorities, business, government and the community to protect and promote the industry and uphold the highest ethical and privacy market and social research standards. Since its establishment in 1989, AMSRO has grown to more than 90 members, who employ over 5,000 people, representing 70% of the industry’s annual (data collection) turnover.  In 2003, AMSRO pioneered its own privacy code for members which won an Australian Privacy Award in 2009.  www.amsro.com.au