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At its Thirtieth Session in July 2012, COFI encouraged Members to respond to the questionnaire on the implementation of the Code and supported web-based reporting for the questionnaire. The Committee also supported gathering more information on regional efforts to implement the Code facilitated by a content review of the questionnaires for regional fishery bodies (RFBs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), along with the introduction of web-based reporting for these entities.

In 2013, the COFI Secretariat developed a tailor-made web-based questionnaire (http://www.fao.org/fishery/code/codequest) for Members (in 6 official languages), RFBs and NGOs, together with a related database and information system, with inbuilt data management and data processing tools, useful in analytical and monitoring processes. The questionnaire online system is accessible through a dedicated portal on the FAO domain using unique usernames and passwords, and meets the necessary confidentiality, security and usability requirements.

The main features of the web-based reporting system include:

  • Routing users to the correct questionnaire (FAO Member, RFB or NGO) based on credentials
  • The option to change language at any point
  • Data validation and quality control, across questions and sub-questions
  • Automatic saving of answers at regular intervals to avoid data loss
  • Continuous monitoring of questionnaire completeness
  • Online submission for certification of responses and generation of an immediate email receipt
  • A related internal management application which facilitates administration of users and mailing lists by the Secretariat, as well as automatic communication with the respondents
  • Direct access to the data through a post-processing tool which generates the required statistical results at the click of a button
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