1001.0 - Australian Bureau of Statistics -- Annual Report, 2013-14  
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ABS at a glance

The ABS mission
We assist and encourage informed decision-making, research and discussion within governments and the community, by leading a high quality, objective and responsive national statistical service.

Who we are
The ABS is Australia’s official national statistical agency, established over 100 years ago as the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, following enactment of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. The agency became the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 1975 with the passing of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975. This Act also established the role of the Australian Statistician and defined the functions of the ABS.

What we do
The ABS provides statistics on a wide range of economic, social, population and environmental matters, covering government, business and the community. It also has an important coordination function with respect to the statistical activities of other official bodies, both in Australia and overseas.

Where we are
The ABS has a central office in Canberra and regional offices located in seven state and territory capitals. Each regional office has some national statistical responsibilities.
Regional offices are also primarily responsible for the delivery of statistical services to their state or territory. These offices have ongoing engagement with state and territory governments on statistical services and priorities, generally through state and territory committees set up for that purpose.
All Regional Directors have a direct reporting line to a Deputy Australian Statistician.

Our plan
The ABS Corporate Plan can be found on the ABS website at http://www.abs.gov.au. The plan presents the ABS’s goals, strategies and outcomes to achieve its mission. It provides clear links between different elements of the ABS work program and our program of change, linking the work that staff do with the goals of the organisation.

Responsible minister
The ABS is an agency under the Treasury portfolio. During 2013–14, the Hon. Steven Ciobo MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer and Federal Member for Moncrieff, held responsibility for the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Authority and legislation
The Census and Statistics Act 1905 provides the Statistician with the authority to conduct statistical collections and, when necessary, to direct a person or an organisation to provide statistical information. The Act imposes obligations on the ABS to publish and disseminate compilations and analyses of statistical information, and to maintain the confidentiality of information collected under the Act.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 sets out the functions and responsibilities of the Statistician and the ABS:
a) to constitute the central statistical authority for the Australian Government and, by arrangements with the governments of the states, provide statistical services for those governments;
b) to collect, compile, analyse and disseminate statistics and related information;
c) to ensure coordination of the operations of official bodies in the collection, compilation and dissemination of statistics and related information, with particular regard to:
the avoidance of duplication in the collection by official bodies of information for statistical purposes;
the attainment of compatibility between, and the integration of, statistics compiled by official bodies; and
the maximum possible utilisation, for statistical purposes, of information, and means of collection of information, available to official bodies;
to formulate, and ensure compliance with, standards for the carrying out by official bodies of operations for statistical purposes;
to provide advice and assistance to official bodies in relation to statistics; and
. to provide liaison between Australia, on the one hand, and other countries and international organisations, on the other hand, in relation to statistical matters.

Section 6 of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975

Under the Statistics (Arrangements with States) Act 1956, Australian and state government statistical services have been integrated since 1958 (from 1924 for Tasmania). Although not covered by legislation, similar arrangements apply in both territories.

There were no amendments made to the Census and Statistics Act 1905 or the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 during 2012–13.

Organisational structure
The ABS is led by the Australian Statistician—a statutory office established by the
Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975.
The ABS produces and disseminates statistics under the following broad programs:
Economic and Environment Statistics
Population, Labour and Social Statistics.
These areas of statistics involve extensive data collection through censuses and surveys and from administrative data sources. The statistical programs are supported by services, which deliver assistance and advice on statistical methods, data, and metadata arrangements, information technology, data acquisition and collection, client management, dissemination, human resources and other corporate services.
The ABS 2017 Group was established in February 2012 as a strategic initiative to centralise large scale transformation of its business and information management, including the planning and implementation of the 2016 Census of Population and Housing. This Group provides a strong platform to drive change and better position the ABS to integrate a wide range of cross-cutting improvement projects for the future.


Australian Statistics Advisory Council
The Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC) is the ABS’s key advisory body and was established by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975. It provides valuable input to the directions and priorities of the ABS work program and reports annually to Parliament. The Council meets at least twice a year.
As set out in the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975, the role of the Council is to advise the Minister and the Statistician in relation to:
the improvement, extension and coordination of statistical services provided for public purposes in Australia
annual and longer-term priorities and programs of work that should be adopted in relation to major aspects of the provision of those statistical services
any other matters relating generally to those statistical services.


The Chairperson of the Council is Mr Geoff Allen, Director, The Allen Consulting Group. ASAC members include nominees from each of the state premiers and the territory chief ministers. The other members are appointed by the minister responsible for the ABS, and are chosen to represent a broad cross-section of perspectives, including business, government, academic and community interests.


The Australian Statistics Advisory Council’s mission
The Council’s mission, in keeping with its statutory charter, is to ensure that the advice furnished to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and the Statistician in relation to the collection and dissemination of statistics has due regard to the relative priorities, is objective, relevant, timely, constructive and practical, and that it is sensitive to the needs of both suppliers and users of statistical data.

Further information on the Australian Statistics Advisory Council can be found at http://www.asac.gov.au or by contacting the Secretariat by mail to: ABS, Locked Bag 10, Belconnen, ACT, 2616. The Council’s annual report can also be found on its website.

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Australian Statistics Advisory Council members—November 2013


Outcome and Program structure
ABS outcome
In the Portfolio Budget Statements 2013–14, the ABS has one outcome:

Informed decisions, research and discussion within governments and the community by leading the collection, analysis and provision of high quality, objective and relevant statistical information.


ABS program
Within the context of the Portfolio Budget Statements, Program 1.1 (Australian Bureau of Statistics), the ABS produces and disseminates statistics to meet the above outcome.
Economic statistics are produced predominantly from the ABS business survey program. They include an extensive range of statistical outputs relating to the structure and performance of the Australian economy.
Population and social statistics are produced mainly through the ABS household survey program. They include statistical information relating to the Australian population, including census and demographic statistics, as well as information relating to the social and economic wellbeing of the population.
The Program 1.1—Australian Bureau of Statistics—provides an objective source of information that is used by governments and the community to inform their decisions. The provision of statistics involves extensive data collection through censuses, surveys and from administrative data sources.
The ABS statistical programs are supported by service and infrastructure areas that deliver assistance and advice on statistical methods, data and metadata management, information technology, client management, dissemination, human resources and other corporate services.

Organisational Structure
The current ABS organisational chart is found on the ABS website http://www.abs.gov.au, the organisational structure as at 30 June 2014 can be found in the Annual Report 2013-14 ABS pdf .

Financial position
Outcome

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Australian Statistician

Overall outcome
Strong sustainable economic growth and the improved wellbeing of Australians


Outcome 1
Informed decisions, research and discussion within governments and the community by leading the collection, analysis and provision of a high quality, objective and relevant statistical information


Financial position
As noted above, the ABS has one outcome. Table 2.1 provides, for 2013–14, a financial summary of the ABS outcome and the price of the outcome. The full financial statements are provided in Section 4.


Table 2.1: Summary of financial resources


2013–142012–13
$m
$m
Price of Departmental Outcomes
Outcome 1
386.7
425.3
Total outcome
386.7
425.3
Revenue from government appropriations
310.0
312.5
Revenue from other sources
43.2
70.2
Total for Outcome 1
353.2
382.7


Table 2.2: Summary of financial performance


2013–14
2012–13
Change
$m
$m
$m
Appropriation revenue
310.0
312.5
(2.5)
Other revenue and gains
43.2
70.2
(27.0)
Total income
353.2
382.7
(29.5)
Employee expenses
274.5
301.1
(26.6)
Supplier expenses
75.0
88.6
(13.6)
Other expenses
37.2
35.6
1.6
Total expenses
386.7
425.3
(38.6)
(Deficit)/Surplus
(33.5)
(42.6)
(9.1)
Changes in asset revaluation reserve
0.5
0.0
0.5
Comprehensive income (loss)
(33.0)
(42.6)
(9.6)


In 2013–14, the comprehensive income loss of $33.0m is a technical accounting loss resulting from unfunded depreciation. The ABS had a $1.8m surplus after adding back the depreciation of $34.8m.


Table 2.3: Summary of financial position


2013–142012–13Change
$m
$m
$m
Financial assets (a)
67.1
40.4
26.7
Non-financial assets (b)
117.3
125.6
(8.3)
Liabilities (c)
162.5
139.5
23.0
Net assets (a+b-c)
21.9
26.5
(4.6)



The net asset decrease is due to the comprehensive loss offset by an equity injection of $28.4m.
The ABS’s commitment to financial management is reflected through its unqualified financial statements. The ABS has continued its focus on compliance with the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, and is implementing systems and procedures to enhance its financial management and accountability compliance framework.


Agency resource statements and resources for outcomes
Agency resource statement


Agency resource statement 2013–14Actual available appropriation for
2013–14
Payments made
2013–14
Balance remaining
2013–14
$’000$’000
$’000
(a)
(b)
(a-b)
Ordinary Annual Services
Prior year departmental appropriation
35,112
35,112
-
Departmental appropriation Act 1
309,968
249,709
60,259
S.31 Relevant agency receipts
60,697
60,697
-
S.30 Repayments to the Commonwealth
1,735
1,735
-
Departmental appropriation Act 1— Capital Budget (DCB)
20,190
17,145
3,045
Total
427,702
364,398
63,304
Total ordinary annual services
427,702
364,398
63,304
Other services Departmental non-operating
Prior year departmental appropriation
462
325
137
Departmental appropriation Act 2
8,211
8,124
87
Total
8,673
8,449
224
Total other services
8,673
8,449
224
Total net resourcing and payments
436,375
372,847
63,528


Resources for outcomes


Expenses for Outcome 1 ABudgetActual expensesVariation
2013–142013–142013–14
$’000$’000$’000
(a)
(b)
(a-b)
Outcome 1
Informed decisions, research and discussion within governments and the community by leading the collection, analysis and provision of a high quality, objective and relevant statistical information
Outcome 1
Departmental expenses
Departmental appropriation (Appropriation Bill No. 1)
356,486 B
352,023
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year
32,715
34,827
Total Expenses for Outcome 1
389,201
386,850
2,351
2012–13
2013–14
Average staffing level (number)*
2,782
2,637

Notes:
a) The ABS has one outcome and one program, therefore this table should be used for both outcome and program purposes.
b) Budget Source: 2013–14 Portfolio Budget Statements. Departmental appropriation combines ‘Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Act No. 1)’ and ‘Revenue from independent sources (s31)’.
* Excludes DPC, Interviewers and Census Field Agents