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ABS officers outposted to State Government agencies are gaining valuable experience, whilst also providing these agencies with accessible, high quality data. The reports I receive from these officers give me a strong appreciation of the mutual benefits these arrangements are providing.
Understanding and Meeting Statistical Needs
Engaging with State clients in order to understand and meet their statistical needs is the major focus for the WA Office. In support of this process I have commenced a series of meetings with State Government agencies with the aim of raising awareness at the senior executive level about the range of services offered by the ABS. This forum also gives me an opportunity to receive feedback on how the ABS is performing in meeting agencies’ needs.
Productive Dialogue with Users of ABS Data
Since assuming my new role, I see the value in maintaining a productive dialogue with users of ABS data very clearly. Currently many business and government decisions are taken without the benefit of detailed statistical analysis. It is easy to understand how managers, who are under continual pressure to meet current needs, may see the development of future statistical requirements as a lower priority issue. The ABS must elevate that priority and improve responsiveness for these decision makers.
An example of ABS’ ongoing commitment to fulfilling State needs is the State Statistical Forum (SSF). The SSF meets annually in Canberra, bringing together State Government representatives and senior ABS executives, to ensure a common understanding of State needs, and to review the progress of ABS responses to these needs. Topics covered in the February 2004 meeting included increasing the range of regional data; improving the State accounts; and increasing the quality and range of statistics in respect of the Indigenous population.
I look forward to further progressing the development of productive partnerships between the ABS, WA regional office and WA State Government agencies. Please consider contacting the ABS before you make your next big decision. We will do our best to assist you.
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