National Statistical Service Leadership
The National Statistical Service Leadership program provides a focus within the ABS for strategies aimed at strengthening and extending the National Statistical Service (NSS), the community of government agencies, working together to build a rich statistical picture for a better informed Australia. Consistent with the ABS’s legislated responsibilities as Australia’s central statistical authority, the program identifies opportunities for the ABS to partner with other organisations to improve the quality and value of their statistical resources. Targeted outcomes of this program are: optimising and improving Australia’s essential statistical assets for evidence-based policy development, evaluation and research; improved and more effective statistical infrastructure and services; and increased statistical capability of producers and users of statistics.
The program has a key role in developing policy and strategies to support the NSS, and serves as a catalyst and evaluator of NSS activities, particularly those which cut across ABS program areas or involve cross-jurisdictional developments. Externally, the program is a focus for statistical coordination and provides leadership to policy and research professionals by disseminating resources and policies to support their statistical activities.
Outputs of the program are:
- policy and strategies for ongoing development and advancement of the NSS
- support to the NSS Board and the following external statistical governance forums to advance NSS priorities and the use of statistical information;
- the Australian Statistical Advisory Council
- the State Statistical Forum and
- the Australian Government Statistical Forum
- resources for collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of survey and administrative data
- strategic engagement with stakeholders to advance information sharing across government agencies
- participation in initiatives to improve statistical sharing and use, e.g. Gov 2.0, data.australia.gov.au, and the Australian National Data Service and
- support the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Reform Council’s reporting process through promotion of Data Quality Online.
Stakeholder engagement for 2012 will focus on the following key strategic priorities for advancing the NSS:
(i) the transformation of Information Management infrastructure to establish an environment in which Australian governments and the community can easily find, access, and combine statistical information
(ii) identifying, in a highly consultative way, the essential statistical assets for Australia to protect and prioritise government investment in official statistics
(iii) unlocking the potential of key administrative data holdings held by Governments for statistical data integration and research, and enhance the official statistics evidence base for decision-making purposes
(iv) supporting improvements to measures used in the COAG performance reporting
(v) enabling statistical information to be integrated with location information and
(vi) enhancing the level of statistical capability across Government agencies to support improved use of statistical information in policy formulation and evaluation.
The main medium-term developments of the program are to:
- develop a list of the Essential Statistical Assets for Australia considered critical for the Nation – December 2012
- host the 2013 NatStats Conference; to raise the profile and commitment to developing national statistics; provide opportunity for engagement on key policy issues; and strengthen relationships between information providers, policy makers and opinion leaders – due March 2013
- strategically position external statistical governance fora to focus on National Statistical Service priority areas – ongoing
- consult with key external stakeholders on issues related to a national statistical policy – December 2013
- enhance strategic engagement with key stakeholders to improve statistical capability and the quality and value of information as a strategic resource – ongoing.
Office of the Statistician
& External Engagement Branch