Research Microdata File (RMF) Application Procedure
- All requests for access to RMFs must be made using the RMF Application Form which is available on the CSO website.
- The applicant/s should fully complete the application form and return to the relevant Statistician. Only fully completed forms will be processed, incomplete forms will be returned.
- Please Note in the case of multiple applicants a lead applicant should be nominated for correspondence.
- Note: Maximum period of appointment is one year.
- The relevant Statistician should open a file to contain all of the documentation relating to each application and assign an “RMF Reference Number” to the application. It should conform to the following format:
RMF Name/Request Number/Year
Some examples would be:
QNHS/001/2018 1st request in 2018 for access to the QNHS RMF
ASI/014/2018 14th request in 2018 for access to the ASI RMF
- This reference number will be stored on the CSO Office of Statistics Register which will be managed by the Data Office.
- The relevant Statistician shall liaise with the applicant and ensure that all relevant information required to assess the application is provided.
- Please note that the onus is always on the Statistician to verify that all confidentiality issues are addressed and are satisfied that the research is approved according to the “Policy on access to Research Microdata files relating to data collected under the Statistics Act, 1993” and that all documents, infrastructure relating to IT storage and on-site facilities are in place.
- The relevant Statistician should assess the application with the Senior Statistician. If rejecting, the Statistician will notify the applicant.
- If approving, the Senior Statistician signs the Annex 1 and then discusses the application with the relevant Director/Assistant Director General.
- The Director/Assistant Director General will consider the application and bring any recommendations or comments to the attention of the Director General in the area provided on the Annex 1. The Director/Assistant Director General must then sign and date the Annex 1.
- The application and Annex 1 is then sent to the Data Office, clearly marked as ‘RMF Application’.
- Once a week, the Director General will assess all RMF application forms and make a decision regarding them.
- All applicants must meet with the Data Office at this stage.
- If the application is approved, the relevant Statistician will issue the Standard Agreement to the applicant. The applicant(s) must sign a copy of the Standard Agreement and return it to the relevant Statistician. One Standard Agreement can include multiple applicants.
- Once the Standard Agreement has been signed and received back from the applicants, the Data Office will then prepare the Certificate of Appointment (which will incorporate the Declaration of Secrecy) in duplicate and return them to the lead applicant for all applicants signature.
- When both signed Certificates are received in the Data Office, the Certificates of Appointment will be signed by the Director General.
- Once the certificates are signed, the researcher is then appointed as an Officer of Statistics.
- One copy is returned to the lead applicant to disperse to multiple applicants if applicable and one copy is retained on file by the Data Office.
- The relevant Statistician is now made aware that the required documentation is in place and the researcher can access the RMF data.
- The RMF should only be provided once the researcher(s) has formally agreed to abide by the Standard Agreement and has signed the Declaration of Secrecy on the certificate, thereby being appointed as an Officer of Statistics.
- The Data Office shall maintain the Officer of Statistics Register from the information supplied on the Annex 1.
Expiry/ Termination of Officer of Statistics Status
- The Statistician who originally arranged the Officer of Statistics status will be notified automatically by the Office of Statistics Register two months before the status is due to expire. The Statistician should then contact the Officer of Statistics to advise that the status is due to expire and arrange for a new agreement if required.
- Where further access is not required, the Statistician should notify IT via the help desk that the login and relevant RMF can be removed from the PC.
- Where secure remote access has been provided and the Officer of Statistics status has expired, has been terminated or moved to the remote access environment, the Statistician must contact the former Officer of Statistics to get them to complete Appendix 2 of the Standard Agreement. This is a declaration that no copies of the RMF(s) have been retained on termination of the agreement. This must be forwarded to the Data Office to file.