Australian Bureau of Statistics
1006.0 - Forward Work Program, 2012-13 to 2015-16
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/07/2012
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How the ABS operates
These areas of statistics involve extensive data collection through censuses and surveys and from administrative data sources.
The statistical programs are supported by service areas, which deliver assistance and advice on statistical methods, data and metadata arrangements, information technology, data acquisition and collection, client management, dissemination, human resources and other corporate services.
The ABS has a central office in Canberra and regional offices located in the eight state and territory capitals. Regional offices are responsible for the delivery of statistical services to their state or territory. Additionally all regional offices, apart from the ACT office, have some responsibilities for national operations for particular statistical activities.
The statistical collection process
The diagram below presents a typical survey cycle. It distinguishes between a core set of tasks and activities which form the three broad stages of the statistical collection process, and two overarching functions which ensure that ABS products, processes and services are of high quality and contribute to achieving corporate objectives and delivering on the ABS mission.
Functional areas undertaking statistical operations
The final stage of the statistical cycle covers data communication and support for decision making. A key objective for the ABS is to maximise the informed use of ABS and non-ABS statistics by increasing the visibility of, and access to, statistics, optimising the mix of dissemination channels, and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of information service delivery. To achieve this, a range of products and delivery options have been developed, with a focus on meeting the needs of ABS clients. Several areas support these activities, including market research, website publishing and development, a telephone enquiry service, delivery of customised products and working with various sectors to improve statistical literacy.
The statistical operations of each stage of the cycle are undertaken by a range of specialist areas. Other specialist areas have responsibility for achieving the broader objectives of managing quality and processes, and delivering statistical leadership. The key organisational areas and functions that are involved in the statistical collection and dissemination processes are described below.
Supporting statistical operations
Several programs within the ABS provide the infrastructure necessary for undertaking data collection and producing official statistics. This infrastructure comprises the concepts, classifications, standards, survey methodology and information technology systems, which support the statistical process.
Methodology and Data Management Division (MDMD) has specific responsibilities for supporting the statistical collection process. MDMD provides advice on metadata management, survey design, data collection methodology, analysis of outputs and data quality management through all stages of the survey cycle. The Division ensures ABS surveys are based on sound statistical principles and practices and that the statistics produced best meet survey design objectives, while maintaining data confidentiality. MDMD undertakes research on statistical methods to improve the efficiency and accuracy of ABS work, and provides leadership and support in the development, review and application of statistical classifications. The division is responsible for promoting the comparability, integration and quality of ABS statistics, through the use of standard concepts, definitions, classifications and procedures. It is also responsible for overseeing the Statistical Clearing House which reviews the business of surveys conducted by Australian Government agencies.
Corporate Services is responsible for recruitment, development and retention of the workforce needed to deliver the ABS work program; for the provision of leadership in driving cultural change; and for ensuring staff have a healthy, safe and functional working environment. The functions and responsibilities of the Chief Financial Officer are also included in the Corporate Services operations.
Technology Services Division (TSD) provides ABS staff with effective, reliable, and secure information technology infrastructure, knowledge and library services. TSD works in partnership with areas of the ABS to deliver Statistical and Business Solutions that support efficient ABS statistical processes and timely release of ABS statistical outputs.
The Office of the Statistician and External Engagement (OOTSEE) is responsible for key corporate functions that support the Australian Statistician’s administrative, statistical and strategic roles. OOTSEE manages: relationships with key external stakeholders including the Minister, the Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC) and the media; corporate communications including graphic design; corporate governance activities including compliance with legislation under which the ABS operates; ABS’s international activities; organisational performance monitoring and risk management; and strategic and work program planning and budget allocation.
This page last updated 25 June 2013
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