1104.0 - CURF Microdata News, Mar 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/02/2008   
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Image: missing Jigsaw puzzle peiceIn this Issue
Image: CURF logoNew CURF releases Image: People in a rowWhat is a CURF Contact Officer and what do they do?
Image: CURF/RADL logoNew Stata functionality in RADL Image: Hand holding a penApplying for CURFs. What is meant by 'Statistical Purpose'?
Image: four people looking at cameraStep by Step Guide to managing CURFs and CURF accessImage: Group of peopleChange of Government. What does this mean for your CURF access?
Image: University GraduateExtension to ABS/Universities Australia CURF AgreementImage: Hand writing on formYour feedback regarding CURF Test Files

Image: missing Jigsaw puzzle peice In this Issue

2008 has started very briskly for us with a number of CURFs already having been released and several more to be released over the next few months. The first CURF for 2008 was the Time Use Survey CURF released on 21 February. Further releases are expected in the first half of the year - including the very popular Census Household Survey Files. More information about recent, and forthcoming, CURF releases is provided below.
Several other articles in this issue refer to the Step by Step Guide to managing CURFs. This is an invaluable resource for CURF applicants, users, Contact Officers and Responsible Officers. It is highly recommended.

And finally, RADL users will be interested in the new Stata functionality being released to RADL on 7 March. Read more about it below.

As always, if you would like to contact us please email <microdata.access@abs.gov.au>.

Image: CURF logo New CURF releases

This year will see the release of some of our most highly anticipated CURFs. Some of these are shown below. As always, the advertised release date is indicative only and may change.

Stay up to date with CURF releases by visiting our List of Expected CURFs web page or by subscribing to Email Alerts for CURFs through the free ABS Email Notification Service.

Time Use Survey (2006) Basic and Expanded CURF. Released 21 February 2008

The 2006 Time Use Survey CURF is a confidentialised data file consisting of variables from the 2006 Time Use Survey at the unit record level for person, family, and household level records as per previous cycles. More information is available in the Time Use Survey, 2006, User Guide (Cat.no.4150.0).

Multi-Purpose Household Survey (2006-07) Expanded CURF. Released 29 February 2008

This Expanded CURF from the 2006-2007 Multi-Purpose Household Survey provides statistics on four topics: barriers and incentives to labour force participation; retirement and retirement intentions; adult learning; and household use of information technology. For more information see the CURF Multi-Purpose Household Survey 2006-07, Expanded CURF Technical Manual (Cat.no.4100.0)

Family Characteristics and Family Transitions and History Survey (2006-07) Expanded CURF. Indicative release date April 2008

The survey of Family Characteristics and Family Transitions and History Survey (2006-07) Expanded CURF, yields statistics on the composition of households and families along with a range of socio-demographic information such as age, sex, labour force status and household income. Other information available from the survey covers step and blended families, children with a parent living elsewhere, and various aspects of family transitions, including:

      • people's experiences as a child of parental separation and divorce;
      • leaving the parental home;
      • registered and defacto marriages;
      • children ever born; and
      • people's expectations about having children.
More detailed information will be available in the CURF Technical Manual which will be released along with this CURF.

Education and Work, May 2007, Expanded CURF. Indicative release date April 2008

The Survey of Education and Work, May 2007, Expanded CURF, provides selected information on participation in education, highest educational attainment, transition from education to work and current labour force and demographic characteristics for the civilian population aged 15-64 years. Characteristics reported on include: type of educational institution attended or attending; level and main field of education of current study and highest level and main field of educational attainment. Information on unsuccessful enrolment and deferment of study is included for persons not studying in the survey year.

More detailed information will be available in the CURF Technical Manual which will be released along with this CURF.

Census 2006 CFS, Basic and Expanded CURF. Indicative release date 24 June 2008

The Census Sample File (2006) - Census Sample File (2006) has a new indicative release date of 24 June 2008. More detailed information about the CURF will be available in the CURF Technical Manual which will be released along with this CURF.

For a full listing of available CURFs visit the List of Available CURFs web page.

Image: CURF/RADL logo New Stata functionality in RADL

The next RADL release is scheduled for 7 March 2008 and will provide new Stata functionality.

This new functionality will include the 'mvprobit' module which estimates multivariate probit models via Simulated Maximum Likelihood. It provides an extension of the commands probit (1 equation) and 'biprobit' (2 equations) to the M-equation case. The mvprobit module can also be used to calculate predictions, including standard errors, via the mvppred commands.

The command 'inteff' will also be implemented. This command computes the correct marginal effect of a change in two interacted variables for a logit or probit model, as well as the correct standard errors and z-statistic.

Information about how to use these commands can be found on the Web, including on these University of Connecticut RePEc web pages:

If you have a query concerning this new functionality or about the RADL more generally please contact us at <radl@abs.gov.au>.
Image: University Graduate Extension to ABS/Universities Australia CURF Agreement

The ABS CURF Agreement with Universities Australia (formerly the Australian Vice Chancellors Committee) has been making CURFs available to approved university researchers for teaching and research purposes since 1999. From 2007 the Agreement has also included access to anonymised household survey microdata via the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS).

In January this year, ABS and Universities Australia signed an extension to the Agreement for the 2008 calendar year. Bond University has joined in the Agreement this year.

Since 1999 extensive use has been made of CURFs in Australian universities. A list of journal articles written by researchers in Australian Universities can be found by visiting the Published Research using ABS CURF Microdata web page.

For more information about the ABS/Universities Australia CURF Agreement and use of CURFs in Australian universities, please see the ABS/AVCC CURF Agreement FAQ on the ABS web site.

Image: four people looking at camera Step by Step Guide to managing CURFs and CURF access

If you are new to CURFs or even if you have been using or managing CURFs for a while you should familiarise yourself with your roles and responsibilities concerning CURF access.

Written specifically for CURF Users, Contact Officers, Responsible Officers, and Consultants and their Sponsoring Organisations, the 2007 Step by Step Guide explains the roles and responsibilities of each and provides a simple explanation of the steps in applying for CURF access.

The Guide cannot cover every aspect of the CURF process and we advise that it should be read in conjunction with the CURF microdata pages on the ABS website.

To download the Guide click on the link provided: Managing ABS Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs): A Step by Step Guide, 2007 (cat.no. 1406.0.55.004).

Image: People in a row What is a CURF Contact Officer and what do they do?

CURF Contact Officers are important people and ABS greatly appreciates the contribution they make to facilitating CURF access in their organisation. CURF Contact Officers are sometimes also CURF users but very often they are librarians or others who are good at managing the resources and processes required for CURF access.

The Contact Officer role includes:

    • signing and submitting completed Individual Application and Undertaking forms to the ABS
    • taking delivery of Basic CURF CD-ROMs and keeping them secure
    • advising ABS when an individual user leaves the organisation
    • maintaining a list of CURFs currently approved for use in the organisation
    • coordinating the annual CURF renewal process
    • liaising with the organisation's Responsible Officer and CURF Users
    • liaising with the ABS on behalf of the organisation's CURF Users
    • arranging payment on behalf of the organisation
    • coordinating the organisation's involvement in periodic compliance audits, and
    • returning master copies of CURF CD-ROMs to the ABS when they are no longer required.

For more information see Managing ABS Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs): A Step by Step Guide, 2007 (cat.no.1406.0.55.004).

Image: Hand holding a pen Applying for CURFs. What is meant by 'Statistical Purpose'?

When completing your 'Request for Access to a CURF' form it is important that you include as much information as possible about your Statistical Purpose and your expected outputs. This information is given close consideration by the Australian Statistician, who will then make a decision about whether an organisation or an individual should be given access to the CURF.

ABS requires this information in order to ensure that data that has been collected from the Australian people is used appropriately.

As a guide for writing your Statistical Purpose and expected outputs refer to the 'Applying for CURFs' FAQ on the ABS website.

Image: Group of people Change of Government. What does this mean for your CURF access?

As a consequence of recent changes to Commonwealth government departmental entities, ABS requires the Responsible Officer of a newly created Department to complete a new Responsible Officer Undertaking. This will ensure the continued access of employees to ABS CURFs.

Note that the Undertakings of all departmental staff who have access to these CURFs are still legally valid. New Undertakings are not required from these members of your organisation.

Check out the Managing ABS Confidential Unit Record Files: Step by Step Guide, 2007 (cat.no.1406.0.55.004), to familiarise yourself with your responsibilities and the obligations surrounding CURF access.

Image: Hand writing on form Your feedback regarding CURF Test Files

MASS would like to thank everyone who participated in the recent CURF Test Files survey. This e-survey was sent to all RADL users via email earlier this year. The response was good and the information that you provided will contribute to improving CURF Test Files.
MASS will keep you up to date with improvements as they are implemented.