... After moving STATIN into the 21st century
Arthur Hall, Senior News Editor
After 12 years as director general of Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), Sonia Jackson is getting ready to call it a day.
The Government has started a search for a replacement for Jackson, whose contract expires on January 31, 2013.
However, she is to remain in office until the end of March.
Jackson, a career public servant came to public attention while she worked as permanent secretary at the Ministry of Environment and Housing.
She also served as CEO at the Caribbean Housing Finance Corporation, among other posts.
But it was at STATIN where she made her mark locally and regionally through her involvement with the Regional Statistics Programme.
She also led the team through the 2001 and 2011 national population and housing census and has been at the forefront of efforts to move STATIN firmly into the 21st century.
Jackson and her team are currently working on a programme to reduce the amount of paper used to collect data locally and should soon unveil a plan to capture the data on portable mobile devices.
"We had wanted to arrange an early press conference to announce that and other changes, but we were not able to," Jackson told The Sunday Gleaner late last week.
"We should have that press conference early in the new year."
The paperless system of capturing data should reduce the time it now takes STATIN to produce information such as the Consumer Price Index and the Labour Force Survey.
This should add to the already impressive reputation for accuracy which the agency has developed under Jackson, who was recognised with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD) two years ago.
Outside the civil service, Jackson has devoted more than 20 years to the Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities and served for several years in voluntary service to the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control.
Born and raised in Kingston, Jackson completed the qualifying examination of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries through part time studies at College of Arts, Science & Technology , CAST (now UTech) and holds a master's in administration from the Nova Southeastern University.