WHY IS THE ABS LEADING THE PROCESS?
The ABS has been established by the Commonwealth Parliament as Australia’s national statistical office. The ABS provides key statistics on a wide range of economic, environmental and social issues, covering government, business and the Australian population. Under its legislative mandate, the ABS also plays an important leadership and coordination role in relation to the statistical activities of other official bodies, both within Australia and internationally.
Section 6 (1)(c) of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 (the ABS Act) outlines the role of the ABS in ensuring the coordination of statistical activities across official bodies, and through this in leading the NSS.
6 – Functions of the Bureau
(1)(c) to ensure co-ordination of the operations of official bodies in the collection, compilation and dissemination of statistics and related information, with particular regard to:
i. the avoidance of duplication in the collection by official bodies of information for statistical purposes;
ii. (the attainment of compatibility between, and the integration of, statistics compiled by official bodies; and
iii. the maximum possible utilization, for statistical purposes, of information, and means of collection of information, available to official bodies;
The ABS is not the only producer of highly important official statistical information for purposes such as policy formulation and evaluation, and effective delivery of community services. Demand for, access to, and usage of, the wealth of administrative data collected and held by government bodies has resulted in other departments and bodies that are involved in the production of statistical information.
The ABS has always sought to utilise its legislative mandate to promote coordination and collaboration between official bodies and the ESA for Australia initiative is no exception.