1104.0 - CURF Microdata News, Mar 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/03/2007   
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MASS Culture

MASS Culture is a regular supplement to the CURF Microdata Newsletter that seeks to assist clients with building a culture of efficient and responsible use of CURF microdata, and inform users about ways that ABS are helping to create this culture.

Auditing RADL usage

Audits of jobs submitted to RADL are conducted throughout the year by the ABS. The purpose of these audits is to identify confidentiality issues within users' code, log or output files. These issues may arise through users failing to follow, accidentally or otherwise, restrictions or rules for using RADL.

For each job that is audited, the code, log and output files are manually inspected by ABS staff. If a confidentiality issue is identified, the user in question will be notified by email. Users are required to cooperate with any ABS audit directions in respect to their code and output.

Further information on Restrictions and Rules for RADL use can be found in the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) User Guide (Cat no. 1406.0.55.002).

RADL users should be aware that their organisations Responsible Office has signed an undertaking specifying that ABS officers or their nominated representatives are allowed access to all necessary documents and information for the purposes of conducting a compliance audit concerning the observance of the terms and conditions under which information is disclosed by ABS.

It is also a requirement of the Individual User Undertaking (IUU1) that individual users comply with the directions or requirements specified in the ABS Responsible Access to ABS Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) Training Manual.

    What does ABS mean when it releases output as 'Keep Secure'

    ABS sometimes release output to RADL users that needs to be kept secure. Output released as 'Keep Secure' must be very carefully managed by clients.

    All RADL output that ABS releases with a 'Keep Secure' caveat can be used in further analysis. However, it cannot be published. 'Keep Secure' output includes all printouts of unit record information, as well as the results of analysis with any likelihood of breaching confidentiality.

    ow do clients ensure they are taking the appropriate steps to carefully manage their 'Keep Secure' output?

    'Keep Secure' means that analytical results, whether they include unit information or not, must be retained in a secure environment. Printouts of this nature should be kept under lock and key, and electronic output must be stored in strongly protected systems.

    RADL 'Keep Secure' printouts must be securely destroyed (ie shredded) when no longer needed, and analytical output (whether or not it includes unit record information) held in an intranet must be deleted. Deletion must happen in such a way that recovery is not possible by unauthorised people.

    RADL 'Keep Secure' output cannot be shared between users who do not have access to the source CURF, nor with users in other organisations whether or not they do have access to the CURF.

    If you require more information about Keeping Unit Information Secure, please refer to the CURF Responsible Access to CURFs Training Manual or email <microdata.access@abs.gov.au>

      Test whether your RADL code works with our test files

      Sometimes the way RADL works can surprise users. Code that they might normally expect to run against an ABS CURF in their own environment doesn't fully work in RADL.

      So how can users go about checking whether their code will run in RADL?

      There's two ways: firstly, check out the restrictions on program statements in Chapter 2.3 of the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) User Guide (Cat no. 1406.0.55.002).

      Secondly, download a CURF test file and run your code against it.

      MASS provides authorised RADL users with test files for each new CURF to which they have access. Test files are downloadable files with exactly the same structure as the CURF. The data in each test file however is synthetic and has been randomly generated.

      Downloaded test files can be used to develop code to run against the actual CURF on RADL. RADL programs can be run locally against downloaded test files to check for coding errors prior to submitting the job through the RADL.

      Test files are available for all CURFs released since 2005, and are being developed for all CURFs hosted on RADL. RADL users can locate test files for the CURFs to which they have authorised access in the 'CURF Documentation' pages accessed via the Help link in the RADL.

        Contact Us

        MASS continues to be available to help you with any queries that cannot be answered by your organisation's CURF Contact Officer, or from ABS CURF web pages. Our staff include Kim Farley-Lamour (Director), Grant Mitchell (Assistant Director), Simone Maconachie, Bob Osten, Damien Kennedy, Carolyne Henderson, Rachel Price and Liliana Rojas.

        If you have a query for ABS about accessing CURFs, would like to request more microdata training for your organisation, or if you require more information about the ABS/AVCC CURF Agreement, please contact the Microdata Access and Strategies Section at:

        Email: microdata.access@abs.gov.au
        Phone: 02 6252 7714
        Address: Assistant Director
        Microdata Access Strategies Section
        ABS House
        45 Benjamin Way
        Belconnen ACT 2617
        Fax: 02 6252 8132