The ABS Information Technology (IT) environment continued to provide a robust and cost-effective platform for ABS operations.
During 2002-03 a number of new initiatives were undertaken. Server and wide area network capacity was upgraded and new suppliers selected for desktop and notebook computers. A pilot study of the use of Virtual Private Networking (VPN) to provide an improved remote access service (‘Virtually@ABS’) to the ABS network commenced. The ABS joined the Fedlink network for secure inter-connection with other government agencies, and Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) certification of external connections was maintained. Organisation-wide roll-out of our new ‘desktop’ (‘Desktop@ABS’) which features improved software management, knowledge management facilities, and the Windows XP operating system, commenced and will be completed by the end of 2003.
The Business Statistics Innovation Program represents a substantial re-engineering of business survey processes, and during 2002-03 the development of the many systems required commenced. Good progress was made in the development of key components including the Input Data Warehouse which will support better integration and analysis of survey and administrative by-product data. Another major milestone in 2002-03 was the development of new systems to support the introduction of computer assisted interviewing for selected household surveys. As well, work has commenced on the design of systems for processing the 2006 Census of Population and Housing.
In September 2002 the ABS held a major event - ABSTech - to promote IT skills development and effective use of the ABS IT environment. ABSTech was the catalyst for the development of a ‘broadcast centre’ which supports on-demand delivery of video and presentations direct to the users’ desktop.