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Newsletters - APS Stats Network - Record of Meeting - 30 May 2001

Record of APS Stats Network Meeting, 30 May 2001

Mark Harrison | Customs
George Stockham |
Ian McDermid |
Lalith Daluwatta |
Sue Salloom |
Richard Tuttle |
Peter Thomson, Centrelink
Neil Batty, DFAT
Frank Wojtaszak, AusAID
Gary Sutton, Health
Sally Goodspeed, ABS/Health & AC
Andrew Webster, ABS / ATSIC
Heather Olley, ABS / ISR
Mark Lound, BTR
John Cauchi, DVA
Jeff Carlton | ABS
Rhodri Jones |
Carol Ward |
Rob Martyn |


Kuldeep Bhatia, AIHW
Zak Rahmani, DETYA
Mark Mussared, ISR
Andrew Edquist, ISR
David Ward, DIMA

The meeting was held in the History Room, Plaza Level, Customs House, 5 Constitution Avenue, Canberra City, commencing at 2pm.


Opening Address

Mr Mark Harrison, National Manager, Commercial Compliance, Australian Customs Service, spoke about Customs' responsibility for collecting revenue and ensuring compliance with Australia's laws on prohibited goods. He spoke about the risk assessment work Customs undertakes and how they've had to rely heavily in the past on the industry to 'self control' when completing records of consignments and this approach has not produced accurate data. Legislation is expected to be passed in late June 2001 which is expected to dramatically improve data quality, partly by including financial sanctions against those who supply inaccurate data but also by re-engineering the process for the online recording of trade consignments.

Automated detection of anomalous import and export consignments

Ian McDermid spoke about the successful work George Stockham and he, in the Customs Corporate Statistics unit, have been doing in relation to detecting anomalous import/export transactions, using a modified Tukey Boxplot technique. Ian concluded that the technique works well with some commodities and is inappropriate for others. With limited checking resources, Customs has to adopt a risk management approach and this technique offers a way of automating the checking and identifying of extreme outliers for those high risk commodities where the technique is appropriate.

Afternoon tea

General business

The next meeting will be held on 1 August at ABS, with a Census theme.

A summary of responses to Kuldeep's 'feedback from irregular attendees' email sent out in April was read out.

The meeting was advised that a presence has been established for the Stats Network on the ABS web site.

More complete details of the matters discussed at the meeting are available on request from the ABS Stats Network Coordinator, Rob Martyn, phone 6252 5280, email

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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