HOW THE CRITERIA WERE APPLIED
The four criteria were designed as a guide for the creation of the preliminary list, to add clarity and direction to the consultative process undertaken.
The consultation paper for the ESA for Australia initiative identified the criteria used to produce the preliminary list, presented in order of importance. Feedback received through the consultation process reflected general agreement that criteria 1 and 2 were of higher importance than 3 and 4. It was further suggested that satisfying criterion 1 could be seen as sufficient justification for inclusion in the list, depending on the importance of the policy; how critical the statistics were to their development; or how widely spread their use was across different policies. This feedback was incorporated, as reflected in the inclusion of statistics which do not satisfy all the criteria, but are essential to supporting critical policies or are critical to measuring Australia’s wellbeing.
Acknowledging that the ABS is not always aware of the full range of uses of each statistic, the criteria succeeded in guiding the feedback towards concentrating on the reasons why each individual statistic is considered essential, and ensured the discussions with stakeholders added additional detail where required.
The 2013 list of ESA for Australia reflects the first iteration of the list to be produced for Australia. As the first release, there will no doubt remain some debate as to whether particular statistics have a case for inclusion, or potentially should be removed from the list. This debate is encouraged and supported and the next iteration of the list is proposed for 2015 to ensure relevancy.