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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 >> Terms of Reference

1. Purpose of the review

The objective of this review is to critically assess the SMVU to ensure survey data aligns with users' needs, ie. the right data items with the right statistical attributes (reliability, frequency of data collection, level of geographic dissaggregation possible, level of cross classification possible). The review will also seek to address more general transport data needs that the SMVU may be able to meet.

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. For more details on these constraints see section 4 of this document. 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.


2. Conduct of the review

This review will be conducted in three phases.

  1. Phase 1: Define the issues. The objective of phase 1 is to clarify users' needs, priorities, concerns and clarify how they are currently using the SMVU data. This phase will be completed in December 2004.
  2. Phase 2: Develop solutions. The objective of phase 2 is to identify and assess any possible options to address users' unmet needs, then prioritise and produce the final review recommendations. The activity schedule for phase 2 will be developed at the end of phase 1 when the issues have been defined. A TSUG meeting will be held to discuss the review recommendations. We expect this meeting to be held in March or April 2005. Following this meeting the recommendations will be revised if required and presented to the project board for sign off. This phase will be completed in August 2005.
  3. Phase 3: Implementation. The implementation plan will be developed at the end of phase 2 as it is dependent on the review recommendations. Any review recommendations requiring changes to the survey are likely to be implemented for SMVU 2006-07. The sample for SMVU 2005-06 will be selected in August 2005 so it will only be possible to implement very minor changes for SMVU 2005-06.

3. Key outputs

Phase 1 outputs:

  • A SMVU issues report will be compiled summarising users' needs, priorities and issues with the current SMVU data. This report will also cover issues with the existing SMVU questionnaire. The Transport IDP will initially form the basis of this second report, users will then provide input to ensure it accurately reflects their concerns. This report may also contain some initial suggestions on how to address users' unmet needs more effectively/efficiently. The final report will also summarise the consultation process undertaken.

Phase 2 outputs:
  • A Review recommendations report will be compiled. This will recommend whether any changes should be made to the SMVU. This report will outline all options for aligning the current SMVU more closely to users' needs and make recommendations based on cost and benefit. Workload implications and technical implications will also be detailed and taken into account.
  • A detailed SMVU quality declaration will be compiled during in phase 2. This will include information on the survey objectives, concepts and classifications, methodology, data items and how the data is designed to be used.

Phase 3 outputs
  • An Implementation Plan will be developed following finalisation of the review recommendations.

4. Review constraints

The review may identify potential solutions to a range of issues of concern to users. All solutions must be covered by the existing survey budget. This may constrain which solutions can be implemented. Therefore project board may have to make trade-offs between solutions. Examples of such trade-offs may be:

  • the accuracy of movement versus level estimates
  • some data items could be collected less frequently
  • adjustments to the content of the survey
  • changes to the timeliness of release of survey results
  • between improvements to the survey and time series continuity

All solutions will be costed and detailed in the review recommendations document. Any trade offs will also be documented and discussed with stakeholders.

5. Stakeholders

The review will be carried out by representatives from ABS and BTRE. BTRE representatives will be invited to participate on the project team.

The following stakeholders will provide information on how they use the survey data and what their needs and priorities are. They will also assist with and provide comment on project documentation and reports.

  • Bureau of Transport Regional Economics (BTRE)
  • State government transport departments
  • Austroads
  • National Transport Commission
  • Apelbaum Consulting Group Pty Ltd
  • ARRB Transport Research Ltd
  • National Transport Data Working Group (NTDWG)
  • Transport Statistics Users Group (TSUG)

6. Following the review

Following the review, ABS and BTRE will work together to further advance opportunities to improve transport statistics that may have been identified during the conduct of the review but were beyond its scope.


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