ORIGIN OF THE ESA FOR AUSTRALIA INITIATIVE
The origin of the Essential Statistical Assets (ESA) initiative was a strategic review into the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), undertaken by the Allen Consulting Group in 2004. Their first recommendation was that:
“The ABS should set out to identify, in a highly consultative way, the key national datasets that are the essential indicators of the state of the nation, regardless of which organisations produce them.”
The focus of this recommendation was to deal with perceived concerns around underutilisation and duplication of statistical information. The ABS did not immediately act on this recommendation as preparatory work, including enhancing the ABS’s strategic relationships with key users, was required. In 2010, the ABS developed a proposal to identify Australia’s essential statistics. In November 2010 the Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC) (footnote 1) endorsed the ABS, as part of its legislated role to coordinate the provision of official statistics across the National Statistical Service (NSS) (footnote 2), to undertake identifying the list of ESA for Australia.
1. ASAC was established by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 to be the key advisory body to the Minister and the ABS on statistical services. It provides valuable input to the directions and priorities of the ABS work program and reports annually to Parliament. All state and territory governments are represented on ASAC. The other Council members are chosen to represent a broad cross-section of perspectives, covering government, business, academic and community interests. Further information is available on the ASAC website. <Back
2. The National Statistical Service is the community of government agencies, led by the ABS as Australia’s national statistical organisation, building a rich statistical picture for a better informed Australia. It aims to develop and improve a statistical system that ensures providers and users of statistics have the confidence to trust the statistics produced within it. Further information is available on the NSS website. <Back