Finish Census, ABS pleads

Friday is the deadline to complete the Census and there's just a small group of Australians who've yet to finish the job.

A small number of Australians who've yet to complete their Census forms are being urged to finish the job before it's too late.

Friday is the deadline before the the Census closes.

It's estimated about one in 20 people has yet to finish their Census, with more than 90 percent of forms submitted.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) says it is a great result, but admits the widely-ridiculed website outage caused by a series of denial-of-service-attacks and router failure dented the public response.

"We were a bit behind after Census night, but we actually caught up with our projections by the following weekend," Census head Duncan Young told ABC TV on Thursday.

The bureau was hoping to get up to 65 percent of people completing the forms online but admits it hasn't hit the mark.

"We still think that's quite a remarkable achievement," Young said of the 60 percent online response rate.

It was too early to know how many people withheld their names or addresses, a privacy gripe for many people.

At the time of the August 9 Census, politicans were openly boycotting the collection of names and addresses on the Census form.

"It seems, rather than being a snapshot of the nation, this Census will now morph into a mobile CCTV that follows every Australian," Senator Nick Xenophon said at the time.

"And it has come to this because of a woeful consultation process that not only lacked transparency, but some would say verged on the disingenuous."

In the aftermath of the Census decable, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was angry that the site fell to an "entirely predictable" denial-of-service attack, and that heads would roll.

"A denial-of-service attack is as predictable as the rain will fall one day or the sun will come up," Turnbull said.

"The review and which heads will roll where and when is something that will follow."

Indeed, that process appears underway within IBM, who won the almost AU$10 million tender in 2014 to provide systems for the Census, with reports this week of a pair of IBM executives departing as a result.

Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Cyber Security Alastair MacGibbon is yet to hand down a report into the Census debacle, but said last week at the SINET 61 conference in Sydney that his findings are on the way.

"While in and of itself, the denial of service attack or attacks were small, and the actual turning off of that Census service to the Australian public -- apart from being an annoyance -- wasn't great," MacGibbon said.

"But the impact in terms of trust and confidence, the impact in terms of the ability of government to deliver services will last for a significant period."

With AAP

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