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Within the context of the Portfolio Budget Statements, the ABS has two outputs: (i) Economic Statistics; and (ii) Population and Social Statistics. The table below provides, for 2003-04, a financial summary of ABS outputs and price of outputs against the budgeted figures, and also provides budgeted figures for 2004-05. The full financial statements are provided in Chapter 8, while a detailed summary of outputs by program component is provided in Appendix 2. The ABS budget is prepared under an accrual framework, consistent with the Australian Government Budget requirements.
There was an operating deficit of $1.649 million in 2003-04. This was a better outcome than the $2.0 million deficit anticipated at the time of the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements. The deficit in 2003-04 reflects unexpected results in two areas. First, leave accruals, in particular long service leave, have been higher than budgeted, and second, there have been delays in the deployment to other work programs of surplus staff arising from the implementation of the Business Statistics Innovation Program in the economic statistics area.
The ABS recorded a 25 per cent decrease in revenue raised from statistics in 2003-04. The breakdown of revenue raised from various sources is shown in Table 2 below.
The decline in revenue during 2003-04 can be largely attributed to the significant fall in revenue from the 2001 Census of Population and Housing data. This reflects the cyclical pattern of revenue from census products, the majority of which were released at the end of June 2002. While an increase was recorded against other products and services, this gain was offset by significant decreases in revenue from other standard products (notably CDATA) and information consultancies, together with smaller decreases in publications and user funded surveys.
While the decreases are consistent with the ABS census cycle, the ABS policy of encouraging self-help facilities, the increasing data availability on our web site and the increasing use of intermediaries, they further impact on the budget flexibility available to the ABS.