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2 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) STATISTICS
The ABS publication Business Use of Information Technology, Australia (cat. no. 8129.0) presents details from the ABS Business Technology Survey. The latest results were released on 26 February 2003 in respect of the 2001-02 financial year.
The Business Technology survey is an annual economy wide survey collecting information from approximately 12,800 private sector businesses about their use of computers, the Internet and the web. These businesses are randomly selected to represent all industries, with the exception of Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Education, Religious organisations and Private households employing people.
The 2001-02 survey continued to cover the extent and use of computers, the Internet and web sites by Australian businesses, as well as measuring the ordering of goods and services via the Internet. New to the 2001-02 survey were methods of Internet access by Australian businesses and the exploration of issues related to IT security.
Development of the 2002-03 survey is now complete and forms will be despatched in July.
Some of the key findings from the 2001-02 survey are:
More details are shown in the Main Features (cat. no. 8129.0).2.3 Government use of IT
The latest edition of the ABS publication Government Use of Information Technology, Australia (cat. no. 8119.0) was released on 28 May 2002. This publication presented results, in respect of the 1999-2000 financial year, from an ABS survey on the use of information technology and telecommunications (IT&T) by government organisations. This was the third ABS survey of IT&T use by government, with the previous collections being conducted in respect of the 1993-94 and 1997-98 financial years. The 1999-2000 survey provided information on government expenditure on IT&T and IT employment.
Development work for the 2002-03 survey is now complete and forms will be despatched later in the year. The 2002-03 survey will have a greater focus on financial data (as a key input to an ABS ICT Satellite Account) and less focus on the use of IT in government agencies. The Government Technology Survey will be reviewed to determine the appropriate future direction of the survey.
More details are shown in the Main Features (cat. no. 8119.0).
2.4 Farm use of IT
Data relating to computer and Internet access on farms are obtained from the ABS Agricultural Commodity Survey (ACS). The survey covers all farms with an estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO) of $5,000 or more.
Information about computer and/or Internet access as at 30 June was collected in 1999/2000 and 2001/2002. Additionally, in 2001/2002 information about the type of Internet activity during the year was also collected.
As the ABS conducted an Agricultural Census in 2000/2001, the ACS was not conducted in that year.
Results from the 1999/2000 ACS were released in the ABS publication Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia (cat. no. 8150.0) on 26 September 2001 and results for 2001/2002 are expected to be published later in 2003.
More details are shown in the Main Features (cat. no. 8150.0).2.5 Internet activity
On 7 March 2003, the ABS released the publication Internet Activity, Australia in respect of the September quarter 2002 (cat. no. 8153.0). Following a review, the ABS has reduced the frequency of this collection from quarterly to six monthly. It is now conducted in respect of September and March quarters each year.
Some of the key findings from the latest survey are:
Other details, including more information for states/territories and smaller regions, are shown in the Main Features (cat. no. 8153.0).
The March 2003 publication is expected to be released in early September 2003.2.6 Information technology and telecommunications industries
The latest data available is for 2000-01, which was released on 19 September 2002 (cat. no. 8126.0). Key results were shown in our December 2002 Update.
The next survey will be called the ICT Industry Survey and will be undertaken in respect of 2002-03.
Results are expected to be released in July 2004.
2.7 ICT regional information
Policy makers and others are increasingly interested in regional ICT data. Within the limitations of survey methodology, ABS is striving to meet this demand and is able to offer regional data as follows:
Satellite accounts generally enable attention to be focussed on a certain field or aspect of economic and social life within the context of the balanced supply and use framework, which is a central feature of the national accounts. An ICT satellite account brings together data on all of the ICT goods and services produced and consumed by all sectors/industries, allowing for analysis of the impacts of ICT activities on the economy.
As the national accounts provide a comprehensive measure of the whole economy and are compiled using consistent concepts, definitions and methods, this approach would enable the supply (production, imports) and use (including exports) of ICT products to be analysed from a "whole of economy" perspective, and enable the calculation of the direct contribution of ICT to the main national accounting aggregates.
The development of an ICT satellite account in respect of 2002-03 has been under consideration for some time by the ABS and, over the last year or so, some exploratory work has been undertaken on defining the conceptual framework of the account and ascertaining the data requirements to populate such an account.
While some of the data is already being collected (eg. computer software expensed and capitalised expenditure on computers and computer peripherals), it will be necessary to collect remaining data from a variety of collection vehicles to cover the business, government (including educational institutions) and household sectors.
These collections include:
Results from the 2002-03 ICT satellite account are expected to be published in March 2005.
The ABS has conducted a pilot ICT Satellite Account for the period 1998-99. Please see Chapter 8 of this Update for a special article on the findings of this exploratory study.
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