ABS responds to "Government IR changes a one-way street" (Illawarra Mercury, 30 August 2005)

"Government IR changes a one-way street" (Mercury 30 August) accused the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) of being biased in the way it presents statistics. These accusations are baseless, and show a lack of understanding of the ABS.

The ABS is independent of government. This fundamental feature of our work is guaranteed by an Act of Parliament. The way in which our statistics are defined, collected and published is decided solely by us and is based on high professional and ethical standards.

Readers can be assured that the ABS has no 'ideology' apart from presenting accurate statistics, and we've now been doing that for 100 years. To imply otherwise attacks the integrity, credibility and impartiality for which the ABS is widely known.

For the last word, I draw your attention to our Mission. "We assist and encourage informed decision-making, research and discussion within governments and the community, by providing a highly quality, objective and responsive national statistical service."

John Struik

Regional Director
New South Wales
Australian Bureau of Statistics