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Information technology is fundamental to the ABS fulfilling its mission of leading a high quality, objective and responsive national statistical service. The effective management of information technology allows the ABS to increase access to statistics, ensure the security of sensitive data and statistics, and provide an effective statistical service.
The ABS’ Technology Services Division works closely with all areas of the ABS, and uses advances in information technology and business improvement techniques to enhance the capability, efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation. The division also provides a nationwide computing and communications infrastructure, to support the ABS in all its locations including central office, regional offices and for the interviewer workforce working from home.
Under the guidance of the Information Resource Management Committee (see Chapter 17, Corporate Governance), the ABS has continued to manage information technology facilities effectively and efficiently. The Technology Services Division contributes in these key areas:
During 2007–08, the Technology Services Division has assisted in the advancement of the ABS statistical work in the following areas:
KEY DEVELOPMENTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Achievements during the year included: enhanced video conferencing, telephony and internet services; a strategy for the use of productivity tools in the ABS; the release of Open Office to all ABS employees and the establishment of the Working@ABS initiative.
In relation to professional practices, a significant effort in 2007–08 was the development of the ABS strategic capital plan. Effort was also focused around the software development process, business process improvement, project management and communities of practice, to enhance the capabilities of staff.
The ABS Technology Research Portfolio ensures the organisation is well placed to understand technology opportunities and challenges, and is able to recognise the potential impacts and issues arising from rapid adoption of technology by businesses and the community.
The ABS continues to lead collaborative efforts on the National Data Network (NDN) in partnership with a number of other agencies. The NDN platform enables sharing and integration of statistical data relevant to policy and research. During 2007-08, a strategic, architectural and operational review was commenced, to identify the development work that will need to be undertaken to meet future cross-jurisdictional collaborative developments.
Significant NDN collaboration included pilot projects undertaken with the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, in relation to the Victorian Child and Adolescent Monitoring System (VCAMS). This collaboration demonstrated the ABS’ capabilities in data and metadata management.
The ABS also hosted visits from a number of statistical organisations in other countries to share approaches in managing information technology, including: Statistics New Zealand; Lao National Statistics Center and the US National Cancer Institute.