1002.0 - Australian Statistics Advisory Council - Annual Report, 2013-14  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/12/2014   
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THE YEAR AHEAD – 2014–15

ASAC members have agreed on the following issues as Council priorities in 2014-15:

Statistical Directions and Priorities
Over the next 12 months the Council will advise the Statistician and the Minister on statistical services and priorities on the ABS work program for 2014-15 to 2017-18. In addition, the Council will advise the ABS on the directions and priorities it should be considering to enable it to remain relevant as Australia’s National Statistical Organisation (NSO) in the longer term. Obviously, a key focus for the Council in the year ahead will be to work closely with the new Australian Statistician, once appointed, to ensure advice and assistance is readily available to him or her. The Council will continue to engage with members of international statistics committees to gain insights into priorities and risks facing other NSOs around the world.

ABS Future Sustainability
ASAC continued to be concerned about the ABS’s ageing infrastructure and systems and stressed the urgency of the need for major investment in infrastructure, systems, and processes. Without this members were concerned about future risks in data management, modernisation and adaptation required by ongoing resource constraints.

National Statistical Service
Improving the national statistical system is a key focus for the Council. Work on the Crisp Revisited Project will continue with consultation at the state level to further refine the draft national statistics policy. In addition, a situational analysis of the national statistical system, paying particular attention to opportunities, will be undertaken. Both these bodies of work will help inform the development of a business case for reform to Australia’s statistical system. The views of the new Australian Statistician will be important in taking this work forward.

The Council will continue to champion the Essential Statistical Assets for Australia initiative and looks forward to the results of the Phase 2 quality assessments being released in 2014-15. ASAC also expects work to continue on Phase 3 of the initiative, identifying the underlying Essential Statistical Infrastructure (ESI). The Council continues to work closely with the ABS to progress Phase 4 of the Essential Statistical Assets for Australia initiative and consider priorities for investment in the statistical system.

Census of Population and Housing
The Council looks forward to assisting the ABS in achieving its plans for a predominantly digital Census for the 2016 Census of Population and Housing and will continue to receive regular updates on progress and provide advice as required.