Issues for causes of death data:
The primary objective of the owner of the source data can differ from the information needs of the statistical users. Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages and Coroners have legislative and administrative obligations to meet, as well as being the source of statistics. As a result, the population covered by the source data, the time reference period for some data, and the data items available in the registration system, may not align exactly with the requirements of users of the statistics.
There can be differences between the defined scope of the population (i.e. every death occurring in Australia) and the actual coverage achieved by the registration system. Levels of registration can be influenced by external factors and coverage achieved will be influenced by the steps taken by the owners of death registration systems to ensure all deaths are registered. For example, a death certificate may need to be produced in order to finalise certain other legal requirements e.g. finalisation of a person's estate.
There are eight different registration systems within Australia. Each jurisdictions registration system, whilst similar in many ways, also has a number of differences. These can include the types of data items collected and the definition of those data items, and business processes undertaken within Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages including coding and quality assurance practices.