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4500.0 - Crime and Justice News, Apr 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/05/2002   
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Courts Improvement Project

The ABS has ongoing involvement with the Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) work on the annual Report on Government Services publication process. This involvement ranges from participation on the Steering Committee to membership of the various Working Groups. In relation to the Courts Administration Working Group (CAWG), the ABS entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with CAWG to undertake an investigation into the quality and comparability of the data that is collected through the Courts Administration Data Collection.

The project, known as the Courts Improvement Project, is being undertaken in two stages by staff from the National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics, with stage one focussing on issues associated with court lodgments, and stage two on finalisations. The project is looking at a range of data management and data provision practices within each court type in Australia. The current structure and content of the collection manual is also being considered by the project team, to identify where issues of a lack of data comparability across courts, or adherence to CADC requirements relevant to either lodgments or finalisations, is occurring. Options are being developed to address these issues. Stage one is nearing completion, with stage two due for commencement in July of this year for a period of nine months.

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