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 - CORPORATE SUPPORT

TECHNOLOGY SERVICES

Effective management of information technology allows the ABS to continually improve access to statistical data and services, while maintaining security and integrity standards. The Technology Services program supports all areas of the ABS in the delivery of business outcomes through the effective and innovative application of information technology.

In 2014-15, the program worked in close partnership with other areas across the ABS in preparing business cases, capabilities and technology plans for business transformation. There has been great success in implementing and building ICT capacity and capabilities, undertaken both to respond to new work demands and in preparation for transformation. The aim has been to refine technology sourcing strategies and to build an agile, flexible and adaptable ICT workforce.

Key achievements in 2014-15

  • Work continued on the development of technology infrastructure and applications for the 2016 Census. This included successful large-scale tests in 2014 - which in part used a newly developed mobile application to support the Census field staff. The field tests have been critical in fine-tuning ICT planning and technologies for the 2016 Census.
  • In response to recommendations from a security review, system access control management and monitoring was strengthened. An external identity management solution was delivered. Progress also continued in implementing a range of updated Government security requirements.
  • National collaboration continued in the areas of data integration, data analytics, identity access management, and contribution to the development of whole-of-government technology strategies. International collaboration with NSOs in other countries continued, as did the statistical aid work program supporting Pacific Island nations.
  • Implementation of next generation end-user and mobile computing technologies commenced. These will provide the platform for a more efficient and flexible working environment for all ABS staff including teleworking, activity-based working, and wifi in all offices.

CORPORATE SERVICES

Corporate Services provides leadership and strategic support to assist the ABS and its employees to meet business objectives. Services are provided directly to employees and indirectly through a support and coordination role, which includes policy advice, framework development and internal consultancy. Corporate Services operates on a national basis and provides services to all ABS staff.

Corporate Services provides leadership and consultancy on workforce planning, budgeting, business continuity and financial reporting, financial policies, communications, dissemination, legislation, policies and risk management. Corporate Services also provides human resources services; manages property; maintains and develops corporate support systems and services; and ensures the ABS meets its legislative and other government obligations.

Key achievements in 2014-15
  • Corporate Services helped set up a fully functioning centre to process Overseas Arrival and Departure Cards, during a period of disruption to the quality and timeliness of administrative data sources. The centre was fully operational within two weeks, ensuring the timely provision of data for publication.
  • The program addressed recommendations from several Comcare liaison and compliance inspections, and a long-running (since May 2013) inspection into Population Survey Operations field work practices has been closed by Comcare.
  • Development work was undertaken to deliver a new enterprise wide Learning Management System, known as CapabilityPlus. This will be key to transforming learning in the ABS and will enable the ABS to deploy a suite of blended learning programs including virtual classrooms. CapabilityPlus will be released in August 2015.
  • The new offices in Adelaide and Perth were established for ‘activity based working’ with better facilities for collaboration while reducing space and cost.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

The ABS International Relations program guides the international work of the organisation. The program supports a more holistic approach to the ABS’s international work, ensuring alignment to broader government priorities, and promoting closer relations with countries in Asia and the Pacific region. In particular, the program aims to: contribute to the development of international statistical standards, frameworks, strategies and policies; collaborate with international organisations to develop a shared set of infrastructure and collaborate on best practice; and build capability in developing National Statistical Office (NSOs) in Asia and the Pacific region.

Key achievements in 2014-15
  • Contributed to the discussion on key global statistical priorities, including presenting on big data for official statistics, and data in support of the post-2015 development agenda at the United Nations Statistical Commission.
  • Presented on the modernisation of statistical production and services to promote the innovative use of data at the Conference of European Statisticians.
  • Contributed to the setting of regional priorities of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Committee on Statistics.
  • Supported:
    • Input to the statistical dimensions of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
    • Improvements to the quality of civil registration and vital statistics in the Pacific region.
  • Provided training and support to Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Fiji, to improve macroeconomic statistics, and in the case of Fiji, to support a successful 2017 Fiji Census.