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Newsletters - APS Stats Network - Record of Meeting - 26 June 2002

Record of Stats Network meeting, Wednesday 26 June 2002

Venue: Executive Conference Room, Dept of Family & Community Services, Tuggeranong Office Park

Serena Wilson, FaCS

Geoff Neideck, ABS/FaCS
Sue Sutton, FaCS
Andrew Coghlan, FaCS

Ian McDermid, Customs
Lalith Daluwatta, Customs
Darren Benham, DCITA
Sally Goodspeed, ABS/Health
Paul Nelson, Health
Peter Thomson, HIC
Chris Dorrian, DIMIA
Mary Patton, ABS/DITR
Andrew Edquist, DITR
Andrew Webster, ABS/ATSIC
Toni Matulick, ATSIC
Tangamani Kusa, ATO
Linda Sun, ATO
Jeff Carlton, ABS
Michael Robertson, ABS
Rob Martyn, ABS

Geoff Armitage ABARE
Will Blythe, ABCI
Mark Lound, DIMIA
Frank Bingham, DFAT
Sue Begley, DFAT


Opening address: Serena Wilson, Asst Secretary, Strategic Policy & Analysis Branch.

Serena spoke about the drivers and shapers for knowledge management in FaCS:
  • policy complexity: the need for a deeper understanding of issues, more systemic perspectives, greater range of data
  • more complex goals, e.g. early intervention
  • information technology and the web: the community is more policy literate, more likely to challenge, developing culture of measurement in Dept
  • more competitive environment
  • more inter-Departmental and inter-Government relationships
  • new expectations to meet - 'meaty bites' for the Minister, new ways to do things and need for commitment; bottom line is for organisation to survive.

Geoff Neideck, ABS outposted officer to FaCS, spoke to his topic: the Role of Statistics in Organisational Knowledge Management.

Geoff started with the quote "If we only knew what we know, we would be 30% more productive." He then addressed why FaCS is focussing on Knowledge Management (KM), how information needs are changing, the KM model and Framework they use, information needs analysis, the role of statistics, and issues/lessons.

Geoff's presentation slides are attached.

The Role of Statistics in Organisational Knowledge Management.ppt

Advancing the National Statistical Service (NSS): Michael Robertson, Data Management & Dissemination, ABS.

Michael explained that his area was currently seeking feedback regarding the NSS Best Practice Guidelines. He gave some background to the NSS:
  • not a new concept in many respects and is really about making the best use of data out there;
  • the responsibility of data holders to make it available, not ABS;
  • it's easier now to manipulate data, to generate statistics;
  • many admin systems are now better placed to produce, at marginal cost, data which was previously unavailable;
  • improving data access and quality is important, to make maximium use of data;
  • role of ABS: to maintain inventory of data holdings across agencies, identify what data is still required, and run surveys to fill the gaps.

Comments were made by several members that the idea needed selling to agencies, along the lines of 'what's in it for me?', as it has little to do with what they see as their core business; agencies need convincing of the benefits and value, and it will probably cost them to change systems, and to ensure quality and comparability; the idea isn't seen as agency-focussed, but rather ABS oriented, and 'big brother'.

In relation to a question on the proposed timetable, Michael made the point that an appropriate time to make changes to systems might be when they were next due for review.

Copies of Michael's handouts are attached:



General business:
  • - venue for August meeting: Darren Benham offered to host, at DCITA, on or about 20 August.

The meeting concluded at 4pm.

Rob Martyn
Stats Network Co-ordination

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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