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9208.0.55.001 - Survey of Motor Vehicle Use Fitness for Purpose Review: Information Paper, 2004  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/11/2004   
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Contents >> 1.0 Introduction

1.0 Introduction

Phase 1 of the SMVU fitness for purpose review will clarify users' issues with the SMVU. It is important that the ABS understands these issues fully so the most appropriate solutions can be developed.

This SMVU Issues Information Paper describes twelve issues that the ABS believes are important for the review to address. These are based on information gathered in the Transport Information Development Plan (IDP) consultation process with TSUG in July 2003.

The information paper also lists a number of transport issues identified in the Transport IDP that the review team does not anticipate will be addressed by this review. This is because TSUG did not consider the SMVU to be the appropriate way to meet these data needs.

The review team is consulting with a range of SMVU data users to confirm and clarify the issues in the information paper. A final version of the issues paper will then be developed. This paper will be available in January 2005.


1.1 Purpose of this paper

1.2 Background

1.3 Transport issues relevant to the ABS but not within the scope of the SMVU

2.0 Key data issues

2.1 Authoritative data set

2.2 Measuring level movements in key variables

2.3 Data volatility

2.4 Geographic patterns of activity (i.e. national, state, capital city and environs)

2.5 Impact of unregistered vehicles

2.6 Quality of fuel use estimates

3.0 Other data issues

3.1 Data frequency requirements

3.2 Capturing transport activity by industry

3.3.1 Cross sector use of transport data - Environmental

3.3.2 Cross sector use of transport data - Financial/economic

3.4 Vehicle classification used by the ABS

3.5 Question changes on SMVU forms

Appendix A. Data quality framework

Appendix B. Cross reference with data issues from the Transport IDP

Appendix C. Transport issues relevant to the ABS but not within the scope of the SMVU

Appendix D. Table of data requirements - Data accuracy

Appendix E. Table of data requirements - Data frequencies

1.1 Purpose of this paper

To facilitate phase 1 of the SMVU Fitness for Purpose review, this document is a draft information paper. The review team is seeking comment and feedback from stakeholders on the data issues outlined in this paper. Having received stakeholder feedback on the data issues described in this paper the review team will create and disseminate a final SMVU Issues report. The review will then progress onto Phase 2, where solutions will be developed and prioritised.

In addition to identifying specific issues, this paper identifies some potential options for addressing these. Please note that these are draft options only, some of which may not be feasible to implement. Identified options may also impact on the continuity of data time series. The ABS will attempt to maintain time series continuity where possible. Any trade-off between improvements to the survey and time series continuity will be considered very carefully.

1.2 Background

The objective of the SMVU review is to ensure survey data aligns with users' current and future data needs to assist in policy and planning matters. This review will achieve the following outcomes:

  • A methodology for SMVU which is the most appropriate to meet users' needs given the constraints under which the survey is conducted. The review will either recommend enhancements or conclude that the existing methodology is appropriate.
  • All parties will have a better understanding of how various stakeholders use the SMVU data to inform policy decisions.
  • All parties will have a better understanding of exactly what the SMVU is designed to measure and how it fits in with other data sources.

The data issues in this paper have been presented in order of greatest significant to users. The review team ask stakeholders to confirm that this order of significance meets with stakeholder expectations.

The review team are using the ABS data quality framework to help identify the 'fit for purpose' nature of the SMVU data. The data issues presented in this paper have not been discussed in quality framework terms since stakeholders may not be familiar with the framework. A broad description of the framework is included in Appendix A of this paper and stakeholders may find it useful in assessing the fit for purpose nature of the survey data.

The data issues discussed in this paper were initially identified in the revised Transport IDP and discussed at the Transport Statistics User Group (TSUG) meeting on 23 July 2003. Appendix B lists these data issues and cross references them with the Transport IDP for stakeholder convenience. The ABS considers the twelve data issues listed in the contents page and Appendix B to be within the scope of the SMVU.

1.3 Transport issues relevant to the ABS but not within the scope of the SMVU

A number of transport issues identified in the Transport IDP are not being addressed by this review because the SMVU is not considered to be the appropriate collection to meet these data needs. These data issues are listed in Appendix C. TSUG have provided feedback on these data issues and the ABS understands stakeholders agree that these data issues should not be addressed by the SMVU review. The ABS asks stakeholders to confirm that these data issues are not within the scope of the SMVU. The SMVU was not considered the appropriate collection for the following reasons:
  • A methodology for the collection of some of the required data items has not been established.
  • Collection of the required data items would be too costly in terms of ABS resources and provider load.
  • Collection of the data items at the required lower levels of aggregation would be too costly in terms of ABS resources and provider load.
  • It is more appropriate for the collection of some of these data to be carried out on a local rather than national basis.

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