ABS response to In Brief column (p3, The Age 30 May 2012)

To the Editor, The Age

The suggestion in your In Brief column (p3, The Age 30 May 2012) that statistics which are not identified on the list of Essential Statistical Assets for Australia "are set for the chop" is wrong. The aim of this initiative is to identify a small core set of statistics (whether produced by the ABS or other parts of government) to target for potential future investment because of their broad application and critical use for decision-making.

Clearly, the wider range of official statistics produced and used across Australia are still important. They will continue to be so, and will continue to be produced, managed and invested in. There are no plans to cut any ABS or other statistics, or to change the breadth of the ABS's work program as a result of this initiative.

The list released this week is a preliminary one, aimed to generate discussion and debate. The ABS is actively seeking broad input about which statistics should be included in the core set of Essential Statistical Assets for Australia. Information about how to contribute your views can be found on www.nss.gov.au

Peter Harper

Deputy Australian Statistician

Australian Bureau of Statistics