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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 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.
Under the guidance of the Information Resource Management Committee (see Chapter 19 Management of human resources), the ABS has continued to manage information technology facilities effectively and efficiently. The Technology Services Division contributes in these key areas:
Scanners used to read census forms at the Data Processing Centre in Melbourne
In relation to professional practice, the ABS has adopted a Business Process Management Framework for achieving improvements in core statistical and business processes. The framework provides effective tools for business improvement and reengineering. As part of this, the ABS has increased the use of business activity monitoring to focus efficiency initiatives by measuring processes and identifying areas needing further work.
The ABS has recently developed a Technology Research Portfolio to ensure the organisation is well placed to understand technology opportunities and challenges. Business drivers and emerging technologies are matched and explored to understand the potential for use in future systems.
The ABS continues to lead collaborative efforts on the National Data Network in partnership with a number of agencies. The National Data Network platform enables sharing and integration of statistical data relevant to policy and research. It uses open source technologies and approaches to maximise opportunities for collaborative development. For more information on the National Data Network see Chapter 3 ABS and the national statistical service.
An increased focus on whole-of-government initiatives has seen the ABS as an active participant in the associated committees and forums. It has made strong contributions and is aligning its own activities with these initiatives. The ABS also hosted visits from a number of statistical organisations in other countries to share approaches in managing information technology and contributed to forums such as those of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.