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1104.0 - CURF Microdata News, Aug 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/08/2008   
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Image: missing Jigsaw puzzle peiceIn this issueImage: four people looking at cameraDownload now. Step by Step Guide to CURF access
Image: CURF logoNew CURF releases Image: CURF/RADL logoStata 10 released in RADL
Image: Person with thumb upLaunch of CURF tool kitsImage: numbersManaging your RADL work space
Image: Man sitting at keyboardComing soon. On-line CURF applicationsImage: @ symbolHave you got a question about CURFs?
Image: Pen laying over contractComing soon. New CURF UndertakingsImage:NatStats promotion imageNatStats08 Conference. Register now and save!


Image: missing Jigsaw puzzle peice In this Issue

This issue of CURF Microdata News announces a number of developments designed to improve the CURF application process and to ease the administrative load on CURF Contact Officers and Responsible Officers. These developments include the CURF tool kits to be released on the website in September; on-line CURF application forms for release in November; and new simplified CURF Undertakings in preparation. You can find more about these developments in the articles below.

During August and into September I am visiting universities in all states and territories to meet CURF Contact Officers and CURF users. I have not been able to visit all universities this time around but as always I have found that visiting ABS clients on their own "home turf" has provided very rewarding feedback about CURFs and CURF services.

Lastly, I take the opportunity to promote the Step by Step Guide to managing CURFs. This publication provides a practical guide to applying for CURFs and an overview of the roles and responsibilities of CURF access. See the article below and click on the link to download the Guide.

Kim Farley-Larmour
Director, ABS Microdata Access Strategies



Image: CURF logo New CURF releases

Census of Population and Housing, Basic CURF, 2006. Indicative Release date 12 September 2008.

Previously known as the Household Sample File (HSF) Basic CURF, the Census of Population and Housing, Basic CURF, 2006 is a comprehensive 1% sample unit record file containing census characteristics for a random sample of person, family, household and dwelling variables. The CSF is produced for model testing and statistical analysis. As with all Basic CURFs, it will be released on CD-ROM and in the Remote Access Data Laboratory.

More detailed information will be available in the CURF Technical Paper (Cat. no. 2037.0) which will be released along with this CURF.

Census of Population and Housing, Expanded CURF, 2006. Release date to be advised

Previously known as the Household Sample File (HSF) Expanded CURF, the 2006 Census Expanded Census Sample File (CSF) is a comprehensive 5% sample unit record file containing census characteristics for a random sample of person, family, household and dwelling variables. The CSF is produced for model testing and statistical analysis. As with all Expanded CURFs, it will be released in the Remote Access Data Laboratory only.

More detailed information will be available in the CURF Technical Manual which will be released along with this CURF.

Employment Arrangements, Retirement and Superannuation, 2007, Expanded CURF. Indicative release date October 2008

This CURF contains data from the Survey of Employment Arrangements, Retirement and Superannuation (SEARS). The file has been confidentialised so that it contains no names and addresses and the detail for some items of data has been reduced. As with all Expanded CURFs, it will be released in the Remote Access Data Laboratory only.

SEARS is a household survey conducted throughout Australia between April and July 2007. The survey provides information on employment arrangements in the Australian workforce (e.g. job duration, access to paid leave, hours worked and work patterns), work and caring responsibilities, plans that people have for retirement, and saving for retirement through superannuation.

More detailed information will be available in the CURF Technical Manual which will be released along with this CURF.

Labour Force and Labour Mobility Survey, 2008, Basic and Expanded CURFs. Indicative release date 11 November 2008

The Labour Mobility survey collects information on people aged 15 years and over who had worked at some time during the year ending February 2008. The survey provides information about people who, within the 12 months to February 2008, either had a change of employer/business in their main job, or had some change in work with their current employer/business for whom they had worked for one year or more.

Both the Basic and Expanded CURFs contain data from the monthly Labour Force Survey and the Labour Mobility supplementary survey. The Basic CURF provides information at a standard level similar to most Data Item categories illustrated in the publication. The Expanded CURF provides information at a more detailed level to most Data Item categories illustrated in the publication.

More detailed information will be available in the CURF Technical Manual which will be released along with this CURF.

Mental Health and Well-being, 2007, Basic and Expanded CURF. Indicative Release 28 November 2008.

Microdata from the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing is available in the form of both a Basic and an Expanded CURF. The CURFs contain confidentialised data about each selected person and the household to which they belong. Data is also available based on diagnosis, mental health condition, and consultations for mental health (service use).

More information will be available from the Technical Manual which will be released along with this CURF.



Image: Person with thumb up Launch of CURF tool kits

In September a series of 'CURF Tool Kits' will be launched on the CURF Microdata pages on the ABS website. These Kits will offer a new and simplified way for you to access microdata related information on the ABS website.

There will be five CURF Tool Kits, with each Kit holding information relevant to a particular role. CURF users, Contact Officers, Responsible Officers, as well as Consultants and their Sponsoring Organisations will all find a Kit to help them apply for and manage CURF access

The Tool Kits will link from the CURF Microdata Entry Page and are the first in a series of website developments which aimed at improving access to CURF related information.

The ABS Microdata Access team would like to thank those CURF users and Contact Officers who have helped us out with usability testing of the Kits.




Image: Man sitting at keyboard Coming soon. On-line CURF applications

ABS is developing a system which will streamline the CURF application process. This system will provide on-line application forms to replace
e the paper forms currently used to apply for access to CURFs.

CURF Contact Officers will be able to manage existing registered CURFs, new CURF registrations and renewals from their desktop.

If there is something you would like to see included in this system email your ideas through to microdata.access@abs.gov.au



Image: Pen laying over contract Coming soon. New CURF Undertakings

ABS has been keen to shorten and simplify the CURF Undertaking forms that are completed by all CURF applicants and their organisation's Responsible Officer. A key aspect of this has been to make the description of the responsibilities of CURF use clearer and easier to understand.

As indicated in the recent Newsletter mail out, new versions of the Undertaking forms are in preparation. We will bring you up-to-date on these changes and their impacts in the upcoming CURF annual renewals process likely to commence later in September.



Image: four people looking at camera Download now. Step by Step Guide to CURF access

If you are new to CURFs, or even if you have been using or managing CURFs for a while, we recommend you become familiar with the Step by Step Guide to managing CURFs.

First released in 2007, the Step by Step Guide provides a simple explanation of the steps in applying for CURF access. It also explains the roles and responsibilities CURF Users, Contact Officers and Responsible Officers as well as those of Consultants and their Sponsoring Organisations.

For more detailed information, consult the CURF microdata pages on the ABS website. Or, you can contact us at microdata.access@abs.gov.au

To download the Guide click on the link provided: Managing ABS Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs): a Step by Step Guide, 2007 (Cat. no. 1406.0.55.004).



Image: CURF/RADL logo Stata 10 released in RADL

Stata 10 has recently been released to the Remote Access Data Laboratory. It provides new functionality such as the 'mvprobit' module which estimates multivariate probit models via Simulated Maximum Likelihood. It provides an extension of the commands probit (1 equation) and 'biprobit' (2 equations) to the M-equation case. The mvprobit module can also be used to calculate predictions, including standard errors, via the mvppred commands.

The command 'inteff' was also implemented. This command computes the correct marginal effect of a change in two interacted variables for a logit or probit model, as well as the correct standard errors and z-statistic.

Information about how to use these commands can be found on the Web, including on these University of Connecticut RePEc web pages:


A further RADL development to be implemented shortly will also see an increase in output size limit. The limit will increase threefold from 100,000 bytes to 300,000 bytes.

Image: numbers Managing your RADL work space

The RADL experienced problems in late July due to the filling of available disk space. ABS is currently working on a long term solution, but in the meantime please check your saved holdings and delete information that is no longer required.

To assist you, Chapter 10 'File Management' on pages 32-33 of the RADL User Guide Version 4, March 2006, explains how to identify and delete any data holdings no longer required.


Image: @ symbol Have you got a question about CURFs?

If you have a question that cannot be answered by referring to the Frequently Asked Questions on the CURF Microdata web pages, please contact the Microdata Access Strategies Section <microdata.access@abs.gov.au>.


Image:NatStats promotion image NatStats08 Conference. Early Bird Registration now open. Register before 26 September!

The inaugural NatStats08 Conference will be held at the Crown Promenade Hotel in Melbourne on 19-21 November 2008. The Conference will focus on the measurement issues surrounding key government policy areas.

The Conference will cover three themes: Informing the Nation, Measuring the Progress of Society, and Environmental Information for Informed Decisions.

NatStats08 is the first national conference to bring together an array of high profile researchers and policy makers from all levels of business, academia, government and the community to discuss strategies for improving future statistics for the nation.

Speakers include Mr Enrico Giovannini, Chief Statistician of the OECD; Dr Ken Henry AC, Secretary to the Treasury; Mr Greg Bourne, CEO of the World Wildlife Fund, Australia; Tim Costello, CEO World Vision Australia, and Professor Fiona Stanley, Director, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research.

For a full list of speakers, program information and to register on-line visit http://www.nss.gov.au/natstats.

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