Changes in Methodology Division
Welcome to the final edition of MD News for the 2007 calendar year. This year has been busy and productive for MD, and has also seen some significant changes to the structure and functions of the division. In the first half of 2007, the Australian Statistician completed a review of the ABS' structure, and subsequently announced a new structure to take place from 2 July 2007 in order to help the ABS focus more effectively on achieving its goals. In the new structure, Methodology Division (MD) became Methodology and Data Management Division (MDMD, or MD-squared) as we welcomed the addition of two new branches: Data Management and Classifications Branch, and the National Statistical Service Leadership Branch.
The primary role of MDMD is to provide high quality, specialist services to the ABS, with the goal of ensuring that the methods and standards underlying ABS outputs are based on sound, defensible statistical principles and are cost effective. The Data Management and Classifications Branch within MDMD aims to promote the comparability, integration and quality of ABS statistics through the use of standard concepts, definitions, classifications and procedures. The National Statistical Service Leadership Branch aims to strengthen and extend the National Statistical Service, including the development of whole-of-government statistical policy, strategies and infrastructure. The Statistical Services Branch supports the statistical collection process, providing advice on survey design and methods, and data quality, through all stages of the survey cycle. The Analytical Services Branch develops and disseminates new analytical methods and products, including new databases and models which measure socioeconomic concepts, as well as producing a series of research papers which present the results of current research or analysis to encourage discussion and comment.
The integration of the two new branches into MDMD has created opportunities for the division to focus on further enhancing quality of service provision and methodological rigour to support the work of the ABS. I am looking forward to the opportunity for the new MDMD to further develop strong internal and external partnerships in 2008 and to maintain the high level of service the division provides to the ABS.
For more information about the new structure of the ABS, please visit the About Us section of the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au).
First Assistant Statistician
Methodology and Data Management Division