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8146.0 - Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2007-08 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/12/2008   
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QUALITY DECLARATION - SUMMARY

INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


RELEVANCE

Data on Household Use of Information Technology (HUIT) was previously collected by the ABS in the Population Survey Monitor (1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000), Survey of Education, Training and Information Technology (2001), General Social Survey (2002), National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey (2002), Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) (2003), the Children's Participation in Culture and Leisure Activities Surveys (2003 and 2006) and on an annual basis in the 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 MPHS. The HUIT survey will next be collected in 2008-09 and thereafter will be collected biennially in the Multi-Purpose Household Survey (MPHS).

The HUIT survey provides data on use and access to computers and the internet by households and people aged 15 years and over.

For a complete list of populations and data items collected in this survey, refer to the Directory of Statistical Sources entry for this survey.


TIMELINESS

The most recent HUIT survey was conducted throughout Australia during the 2007-08 financial year. It was a component of the 2007-08 MPHS, collected as a supplement to the ABS Labour Force Survey. Data from the survey is released approximately six months after the completion of enumeration.


ACCURACY

The 2007-08 MPHS survey collected information from 15,800 (after sample loss) randomly selected private dwelling households across Australia. In the survey, one randomly selected person per household was asked about their household's access to, and their own use of, computers and the Internet. The response rate was approximately 89%. People living in very remote parts of Australia are excluded from the scope of the MPHS, which has only a minor impact on aggregate estimates, except for the Northern Territory where these people account for around 23% of the population. Refer to the explanatory notes for more information.

The MPHS was designed primarily to provide estimates at the Australia level. Broad estimates are available for states and territories, though users should exercise caution when using estimates at this level because of the presence of high sampling errors. As a guide, selected estimates and Relative Standatd Errors (RSEs) are presented in a Technical note.

This release also includes data from the 2006 Time Use Survey (TUS), which was compiled from a sample of 3,900 households across Australia. This survey collected detailed information on the daily activity patterns of people in Australia, including use of the internet and computers and the proportion of workers using teleworking. The 2006 TUS was the third national time use survey conducted in Australia. Previous surveys were conducted in 1992 and 1997.

Where estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sums of the component items and totals.


COHERENCE

The HUIT Survey is the only regular survey conducted by the ABS which collects statistics on household and personal use and access to computers and the internet. However, other statistical surveys and the Population Census contain selected indicators which are comparable to the HUIT Survey and these comparisons indicate that the HUIT survey outputs give a reasonable indication of real world expectations and events. For example, rates of household access to broadband internet published in this release align with the ABS' Internet Activity Survey, while rates of household access to the internet released in the 2006-07 HUIT align with statistics released in the 2006 Population Census.

While the ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to the survey, ongoing survey review has adjusted to the changing needs users of Information and Communication Technology statistics. This review has mainly resulted in increasing detail of data (for example, type of broadband connections) being made available to users.


INTERPRETABILITY

Due to the difference in the scope of previous surveys, household use of information technology (HUIT) data from the 2005-06 MPHS onwards (the scope of which is persons aged 15 years and over) are not directly comparable with data from previous years, which was limited to persons aged 18 years and over.

HUIT data for 2003 were obtained from the SDAC, where person level data only relates to those with a disability aged 15 years or over. Data are not comparable with results from MPHS which covers all persons 15 years or over. However, SDAC and MPHS data are comparable at the household level.

The 2002 HUIT data were obtained from the GSS using a face-to-face randomly selected person methodology. MPHS questions were asked using a telephone interview. The ABS has taken reasonable steps during the survey development process to ensure that this change in collection methodology does not affect the quality of the data, however, a small impact on responses for the more complex questions cannot be ruled out.

The HUIT publication contains detailed Explanatory Notes, Technical Notes and a Glossary that provide further information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics. Detailed Explanatory Notes are also provided for the 2006 TUS.


ACCESSIBILITY

Information about ABS activities in the field of ICT statistics is available free from the ABS website. Please visit the Innovation, Science and Technology Theme Page for further statistics relating to ICT statistics. Details of other ABS publications relating to the production and use of ICT in Australia can be found in the Related Information tab of this statistical release.

For further information about these and related statistics, including access to more detailed 2007-08 HUIT data, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Siddhartha De on Canberra (02) 6252 6519. Note that detailed data can be subject to high RSEs.

An expanded confidentialised unit record file will be produced for this survey and is expected to be released in February 2009.


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