8126.0 - Information and Communication Technology, Australia, 2002-03  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/09/2004   
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The introduction of The New Tax System (TNTS) has had a number of significant implications for ABS business statistics. These were initially discussed in Information Paper: ABS Statistics And The New Tax System (cat. no. 1358.0) which was released on 26 April 2000. The paper foreshadowed changes in the statistical infrastructure used by the ABS to support the compilation of ABS economic series. Information Paper: Improvements in ABS Economic Statistics [Arising from the New Tax System] (cat. no. 1372.0) released on 6 May 2002 provided further information about these changes and their treatment in statistical series.


Most of these changes directly impacted on the ABS Business Register (ABSBR) which contains a list of businesses from which samples are selected to collect data for ABS economic series (including the biennial ICT industries survey). The series have been impacted by the changes in the following ways:

the population of businesses that are considered to be employing based on taxation information, has changed as a result of TNTS;

the statistical units model, that is, the way in which business structures are represented on the ABSBR, is being more closely aligned with taxation reporting requirements;

the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), which maintains the Australian Business Register used as a source for ABSBR ABN units, has used different information at a different point in time to classify businesses to industry; and

different measures of business size are available.

For more information about the ABSBR, see Explanatory Notes paragraphs 8-12.


For the 2000-01 year, the ICT industries collection used the management unit as the statistical unit. The management unit was defined as the highest-level accounting unit within a business, having regard to industry homogeneity, for which accounts were maintained. In nearly all cases it coincided with the legal entity owning the business (i.e. company, partnership, trust, sole operator, etc.).

For 2002-03, the statistical unit has been changed to the ABN unit for businesses with simple structures and the TAU for businesses with complex structures. (For details of the new economic statistics units model, see Explanatory Notes paragraphs 8-12).


The changes brought about by the introduction of TNTS mean that 2002-03 data are not comparable to data previously released in 8126.0.