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Engineering Construction
 
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    NAME OF ORGANISATION
    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

    OVERVIEW
    The Engineering Construction Survey (ECS) is conducted quarterly and aims to measure the value of all engineering construction work undertaken in Australia by both private and public sector organisations. These estimates together with results from the Building Activity Survey (BACS) provide a complete quarterly picture of building and construction activity in Australia.

    Data is collected from businesses in both the private and public sectors that are identified as being likely to be engaged in engineering construction work.

    Data was first collected by the ECS for the September quarter 1986 reference period.

    Data is collected separately for operations in each state and against a series of pre-defined commodities.

    Preliminary Estimates are provided as input to the quarterly National Accounts and are published in Construction Work Done, Australia, Preliminary (ABS Cat No. 8755.0). Final estimates are published each quarter in Engineering Construction Activity, Australia (ABS Cat No. 8762.0) which is also available on AUSSTATS.

    PURPOSE
    The Engineering Construction Survey (ECS) aims to measure the value of all engineering construction work undertaken in Australia by both private and public sector organisations. These estimates together with results from the Building Activity Survey (BACS) provide a complete quarterly picture of building and construction activity in Australia.

    The major users of engineering construction data are the National Accounts Branch (NAB) of the ABS, various government organisations such as the Department of Treasury and the Reserve Bank, economic forecasting and research organisations, construction companies and construction material suppliers.

    SCOPE
    The Engineering Construction Survey (ECS) aims to measure the value of all engineering construction work undertaken in Australia.

    Excluded from the scope are:

      • cost of land
      • building construction: where projects included elements of both building and engineering construction, we exclude the buildings component from the data
      • repair and maintenance activity
      • value of the transfers of existing assets
      • value of installed machinery and equipment not integral to the structure
      • expenses for the relocation of utility services

    Included in the scope are:
      • installation of machinery and equipment that is an integral part of a construction project, even though the activity in installing such machinery and equipment is classified to the manufacturing industry in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC).

    In conjunction with the above general scope rules are the following specific guidelines in determining which machinery and equipment is considered an integral part of the structure and hence included in the data:
      • Supply only projects for equipment
        Exclude: total value
      • Supply and install projects for equipment for which the appropriate treatment is not specified below
        Include: total value if the dominant part is installation costs
        Exclude: total value if the dominant part is supply and manufacture
      • Electricity generation and distribution projects
        Include: on-site assembly and erection costs
        Exclude: purchase cost of heavy electrical plant, equipment, turbines, boilers, generating sets etc.
      • Offshore drilling platforms
        Include: all costs associated with the design construction and location of offshore drilling platforms, including the cost of any equipment installed as an integral part of the platforms
      • Telecommunications networks
        Include: the full value of work done on the design and construction of telecommunications networks, including the purchase of equipment that is installed as an integral part of the network
      • Heavy Industry
        Include: on site assembly and erection costs
        Exclude: costs associated with off-site manufacture, fabrication or supply of furnaces, ovens, cargo handling equipment, chemical plants etc.
      • Machinery and equipment
        Exclude: ships, aircraft, railway and tramway rolling stock, trucks, cars and other motor vehicles, industrial machinery, office machinery, furniture, purchase cost of heavy electrical plant, turbines, boilers, furnaces, ovens

    To ensure that data is not duplicated, the following reporting rules apply:
    • For private sector organisations:
      Data is collected for work done on prime contract or own use only. Work done on sub-contract is excluded. A prime contract is a contract where the contractor is legally liable to the owner of the project.
    • For public sector organisations:
      Data is collected for work done by their own employees only. Work done by contractors is excluded

    The coverage includes all employing businesses recorded on the ABS central register of businesses and classified to the construction industry (and selected other industries) and all other units known to be undertaking engineering construction work (from trade journals, newspapers, etc).

    DATA DETAIL

    Conceptual framework
    The Engineering Construction Survey (ECS) aims to measure the value of all engineering construction work undertaken in Australia by both private and public sector organisations. These estimates together with results from the Building Activity Survey (BACS) provide a complete quarterly picture of building and construction activity in Australia. The survey is run quarterly.

    The survey collects data from businesses engaged in engineering construction work. Data are collected from both public and private sector organisations. For large projects, where there is substantial work done prior to the commencement of site works (eg design work) attempts are made to contact the owners of the project to obtain data about this work.

    The common frame from the ABS business register is the source for information about these businesses.

    This common frame is supplemented by units that are not in scope but have been identified from external coverage sources as undertaking engineering construction work. A new frame is created for each quarter. The frame has approximately 43,000 units. From this frame, a sample of about 1,970 is selected, with the ability to additionally select up to around 300 supplementary units.

    In general, the aim is to generate estimates that have Relative Standard Errors (RSEs) for value of work done during the quarter that satisfy the requirements of the National Accounts Branch. These are:
    Total by private sector: 2%
    Total by public sector: 2%
    By individual commodities: 10% (note that some lower priority commodities are combined for sample design purposes)

    The units selected in the sample are then sent forms for completion. A separate form is despatched for each state where the unit has engineering construction operations. Form March quarter 2013, a web-form option will also be made available to providers.

    Main outputs
    The two main outputs from the survey are:

    1. Preliminary estimates provided as input to National Accounts and are published in Construction Work Done, Australia, Preliminary (ABS Cat No. 8755.0). The estimates provided are value of work done during the quarter by state by sector of ownership of project.

    2. Engineering Construction Activity, Australia (ABS Cat No. 8762.0). This is available as an online publication including time series spreadsheets.

    Classifications
    The following are the data classifications:

    Variables collected

      • Value of all new projects commenced during quarter
      • Value of work done on all projects during quarter
      • Value of work yet to be done on all projects underway at end of quarter

    Type of Construction (Commodity)
      • Roads, highways and subdivisions, airport runways
      • Bridges
      • Railways and tramways
      • Harbours
      • Water storage and supply
      • Sewerage and drainage
      • Electricity generation, transmission and distribution
      • Pipelines (other than water)
      • Recreation
      • Telecommunications
      • Heavy Industry
        • oil, gas and other hydrocarbons
        • bauxite, alumina and aluminium
        • coal and coal handling
        • other minerals
        • other heavy industry
      • Other
      • Total

    Sector of ownership:
      • Private sector
      • Public sector

    Sector Performing work
      • Private Sector
      • Public sector:
        • Commonwealth Department or Authority
        • State Department or Authority
        • Local Government Authorities
        • Total public sector
      • Total

    Much of the data is published using a cross classification of the sector performing work and sector of ownership. This full classification is:

    By/For Sector:
      • By private sector for private sector
      • By private sector for public sector
      • Total by private sector
      • By commonwealth government for public sector
      • By state government for public sector
      • By local government for public sector
      • Total by public sector for public sector
      • Total for public sector
      • Total
    Other concepts (summary)
    Not applicable

    GEOGRAPHIC DETAIL
    Australia
    New South Wales
    Victoria
    Queensland
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Tasmania
    Northern Territory
    ACT

    Comments and/or Other Regions
    Data is not available for areas smaller than state or territory.

    COLLECTION FREQUENCY
    Quarterly

    Frequency comments
    Quarters ending 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December.

    COLLECTION HISTORY
    Data was first collected for the September quarter 1986 reference period and is available for all quarters from then until the current period.

    The methodology of the survey was changed from the September quarter 1999. The following is a brief description of the methodology of the survey prior to the September quarter 1999.

    The survey maintained a frame which was independent of the ABS central business register. This frame was updated annually using the central business register. The frame was intended to include all organisations that were undertaking significant engineering construction work.

    The units on this frame were stratified according to the amount of work done in the previous financial year (called prime contract value), and a new sample was selected for each financial year. This sample was used for each quarter in the financial year. The sample selected was augmented by supplementary units. These were units that were not on the frame but had been identified from coverage sources as undertaking significant engineering construction work. Examples of these coverage sources are: lists of large engineering construction projects published by organisations such as Cordells, trade journals and newspapers. These supplementary units were then added to the frame for the next financial year.

    The following is a brief description of the methodology introduced from the September quarter 1999.

    The frame used is the common frame from the ABS central business register. The frame is generated quarterly. The units on the frame are stratified according to industry, using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) and employment. A new sample is selected each quarter. Units in the sample sectors will be in the sample for 3 years before being rotated out. The sample selected is augmented by supplementary units. These are units that were not on the frame but have been identified from coverage sources as undertaking significant engineering construction work. Examples of these coverage sources are: lists of large engineering construction projects published by organisations such as Cordells, trade journals and newspapers.

    From the September quarter 2007, the industry classification used was changed from ANZSIC 1993 to ANZSIC 2006.


    DATA AVAILABILITY
    Yes

    Data availability comments
    The data from the survey is available quarterly, about fifteen weeks after the end of the reference period.


    DATE OF LAST UPDATE FOR THIS DOCUMENT
    15/02/2013 01:27 PM



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