AUTHORITY AND LEGISLATION
The Census and Statistics Act 1905 provides the Statistician with the authority to conduct statistical collections and, when necessary, to direct a person or an organisation to provide statistical information. The Act imposes obligations on the ABS to publish and disseminate compilations and analyses of statistical information, and to maintain the confidentiality of information collected under the Act.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 sets out the functions and responsibilities of the Statistician and the ABS. As noted in the Australian Statistician’s review, the ABS has committed to building its coordination role as set down in 6(c) of the Act (see below).
|THE FUNCTIONS OF THE ABS ARE:
(a) to constitute the central statistical authority for the Australian Government and, by arrangements with the governments of the states, provide statistical services for those governments;
(b) to collect, compile, analyse and disseminate statistics and related information;
(c) to ensure coordination of the operations of official bodies in the collection, compilation and dissemination of statistics and related information, with particular regard to:
(i) the avoidance of duplication in the collection by official bodies of information for statistical purposes;
(ii) the attainment of compatibility between, and the integration of, statistics compiled by official bodies; and
(iii) the maximum possible utilisation, for statistical purposes, of information, and means of collection of information, available to official bodies;
(d) to formulate, and ensure compliance with, standards for the carrying out by official bodies of operations for statistical purposes;
(e) to provide advice and assistance to official bodies in relation to statistics; and
(f) to provide liaison between Australia, on the one hand, and other countries and international organisations, on the other hand, in relation to statistical matters.
Section 6 of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975
The Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975
also established the Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC).
Under the Statistics (Arrangements with States) Act 1956, Australian and state government statistical services have been integrated since 1958 (from 1924 for Tasmania). Although not covered by legislation, similar arrangements apply in both territories.
There were no amendments made to the Census and Statistics Act 1905 or the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 during 2006–07.