In the three spaces, the agency should record the 2nd, 3rd and 5th letters of the client’s family name.
For example: If the client’s family name is Brown, the reported value should be RON. If the client’s family name is Thompson, the reported value should be HOP.
If the client’s family name includes non-alphabetic characters—for example hyphens (as in Lee-Archer), apostrophes (as in O’Mara) or blank spaces (as in De Vries)—these non-alphabetic characters should be ignored when counting the position of each character.
Regardless of the length of a person’s name, the reported value should always be three characters long. If the legal family name is not long enough to supply the requested letters (i.e. a legal family name of less than five letters) then agencies should substitute the number ‘2’ to reflect the missing letters. The placement of a number ‘2’ should always correspond to the same space that the missing letter would have within the 3-digit field. A number (rather than a letter) is used for such a substitution in order to clearly indicate that an appropriate corresponding letter from the person’s name is not available.
For example: If a person’s family name is Farr, then value reported would be AR2 because the 2 is substituting for a missing 5th letter of the family name. Similarly, if the person’s family name was Hua, then the value reported would be UA2 because the 2 is substituting for the missing 5th letter of the family name.
If a client’s family name is missing altogether the agency should record the number 999 for all three spaces associated with the family name, (not the number 2). In some cultures it is traditional to state the family name first. To overcome discrepancies in recording/reporting that may arise as a result of this practice, agencies should always ask the person to specify their legal first given name and their legal family name separately. These should then be recorded as first given name and family name as appropriate, regardless of the order in which they may be traditionally given.
The selected Letters of family name can be used in combination with Letters of given name, Date of birth and Sex to develop a statistical linkage key to facilitate the linkage of records for statistical purposes only. This key will also enable linkage to other related databases that either have the same linkage key or the fundamental information to form the same key. The linkage is to assist research and analysis of the data, not for tracking of individuals through the system for case management.
The provision of letters of a person’s name can be a sensitive issue because of privacy and confidentiality concerns. The use of this information will be in accordance with privacy principles.
Related metadata references:
Is formed using Person (name)—family name, text X[X(39)] Community Services, Superseded 06/02/2012, Housing assistance, Standard 20/06/2005, Health, Standard 04/05/2005, Tasmanian Health, Draft 23/07/2012
Is used in the formation of Record—linkage key, code 581 XXXXXDDMMYYYYN Community Services, Standard 21/05/2010, Housing assistance, Standard 23/08/2010, Health, Standard 07/12/2011, Early Childhood, Standard 21/05/2010, Homelessness, Standard 23/08/2010
Implementation in Data Set Specifications: All attributes +
Statistical linkage key 581 cluster Community Services, Standard 21/05/2010 Housing assistance, Standard 23/08/2010 Health, Standard 07/12/2011 Early Childhood, Standard 21/05/2010 Homelessness, Standard 23/08/2010