1001.0 - Australian Bureau of Statistics -- Annual Report, 2014-15  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/10/2015   
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PROGRAM REPORTS - STATISTICAL PARTNERSHIPS AND TRANSFORMATION

INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE

The Information Infrastructure program is responsible for designing and developing the next generation of statistical information infrastructure, which, once implemented across ABS collections, will allow the ABS to transform the way its business is undertaken. The program will deliver a coherent and integrated environment for the life-cycle management of ABS data and metadata.

The program is leading the design, development and implementation of: information management governance, infrastructure and standards; and metadata-driven processes that encompass the life-cycle management of data and metadata assets.

The program also leads ABS contributions to the development of international standards, which will facilitate sharing of statistical infrastructure and business processes between National Statistical Offices.

Key achievements in 2014-15

The program progressed towards developing foundational information infrastructure for an improved approach to managing the ABS’s information assets. The program:

  • continued to implement the ABS information architecture, including augmentation of the ABS metadata model, development of training materials and creation of technical libraries to support integration
  • integrated the ABS metadata registry and repository into the security environment and with the statistical business process management system
  • developed detailed business requirements for an enterprise-wide data management environment to provide life-cycle management of statistical data.

The program contributed to the development and refinement of international metadata models, including Data Documentation Initiative v4 and Logical Information Model for the Common Statistical Production Architecture. These internationally agreed models of common terminology and definitions are used by the ABS to describe statistical metadata and information flows.

PROGRAM MANAGEMENT OFFICE

The Program Management Office (PMO) provides centralised and coordinated support to the ABS to ensure the successful delivery of business process and information management transformation objectives. It also had responsibility for the development of the business case for the ABS business transformation.

The PMO promotes and facilitates excellence in the areas of project management and business process analysis and reengineering as well as providing program support in resource management and change management. These four functions service the various ABS divisions and specifically the ABS 2017 change program with the critical skills and support required to achieve their outcomes by ensuring:
  • alignment between strategies, programs and projects
  • future designs for business, information management, technology and applications are aligned to the ABS Enterprise Architecture
  • appropriate governance to ensure good change management
  • visibility of program management information, including tracking and realising business benefits
  • development of standardised methodologies, frameworks, processes and tools
  • robust business analysis and process redesign
  • efficient use of allocated resources.

Key achievements in 2014-15
  • The successful business case, new policy proposal and Cabinet Implementation Plan was delivered, resulting in the Australian Government investing $250 million for a five-year business transformation program to address a significant risk to the production of critical official statistics.
  • Better practice program and project governance structures were delivered.
  • A benefits realisation framework for the ABS was delivered, as well as a series of outcome and benefits maps at the project level.
  • The Statistical Business Transformation Program was designed and developed.

NATIONAL STATISTICAL SERVICE LEADERSHIP

The National Statistical Service (NSS) Leadership program provides a focus within ABS and with key partners for strategies aimed at strengthening and expanding the NSS.

The NSS is a community of government agencies working to build a rich statistical picture in order to better inform Australia. The NSS aims to improve the quality and usefulness of official statistical assets within Australia's statistical system. Its objectives are: optimising and improving Australia’s essential statistical assets for evidence based policy development, evaluation and research; improving statistical infrastructure and services; and increased statistical capability of producers and users of statistics.

Key achievements in 2014-15
  • A number of strategic secondments into ABS and outpostings of ABS staff to other government organisations have built a shared understanding of the goals and issues faced in providing quality information. For example, the ABS and the Department of the Treasury seconded people in both directions over the period.
  • The Statistical Clearing House (SCH), in its role as the mandatory central clearance point for business surveys that are run, funded, or conducted on behalf of the Australian Government, reviewed 61 survey submissions. The submissions were reviewed to minimise the load placed on businesses by Australian Government surveys, reduce unnecessary survey duplication, ensure business surveys are fit-for-purpose, and assist building the statistical capability of survey managers. The SCH redesigned their Basic Survey Information form, reinstated the Business Survey Register and refreshed their website to streamline processes and provide accessible reference information for survey managers.
  • Following approval from all data custodians, results of the Essential Statistical Assets quality assessments were published on the ABS website in December 2014 as Essential Statistical Assets for Australia, 2014 (cat. no. 1395.0). For the first time, users and producers now have a shared understanding of the quality of Australia’s essential statistics, including aspects like accuracy and timeliness.
  • In July 2014 ABS was a sponsor of GovHack which highlighted the role of government in supporting access to and sharing of public administration assets. Outposted officers fostered capability across government through various initiatives including training in data extraction and confidentiality, and support for data management strategies aimed at opening up access to agency data to inform policy development.