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Newsletters - APS Stats Network - Record of Meeting - 30 October 2002

Record of Stats Network meeting, Wednesday 30 October 2002

Venue: HIC Boardroom, 65 Canberra Ave., Griffith

Darren Benham, DCITA
Pat Stakelum, ACT Chief Minister's Dept.
Andrew Webster, ABS/ATSIC
Mary Patton, ABS/DITR
Cheryl Trussler, DIMIA
Sue Salloom, Customs
Chris Raymond, HIC
Peter Thomson, HIC
Michelle Marquardt, ABS
Arthur Witherall, HIC
Jeff Carlton, ABS
Mark Patton, ABS
Michael Meagher, ABS
Glenn Ware, ACS
David Nowlan, FACS
Melissa Wilson, Health
John Butler, ABS
Tony Lawrence, Health
Neil Batty, DFAT
Paul Nelson, Health
Sue Sutton, Health


Geoff Neideck, ABS/FaCS
Sally Goodspeed, ABS/Health
Ian McDermid, Customs
Geoff Armitage, ABARE
Carolynn Fredericks, Health
Rob Martyn, ABS
Gary Sutton, Health


Privacy and Confidentiality - The Health Insurance Commission experience

Peter Thomson gave a presentation based on the work done in the Health Insurance Commission. They have large scale data processing requirements and the data is of a sensitive nature. In developing reporting products for release to stakeholders they have looked at various methods of confidentialising aggregated data. Arthur Whitherall gave a demonstration of the reporting package, highlighting the differences between confidentialised data and zero reporting. Members expressed interest in being able to access the HIC web site shown and Peter Thomson asked that any requests for access be sent to him for approval with the project owner.

A copy of Peter's presentation is attached:

Privacy and Confidentiality for APS Stats Network.ppt

Discussion following the presentation covered some related issues such as: level of suppression, advantages of one method over another, comparisons with other organisations, and the application of suppression rules.

Morning Tea

CURF Policy and Practice

Michelle Marquardt from the Data Management and Dissemination Section of ABS spoke about the changes in ABS thinking about access to and use of, CURF data.

Michelle noted that it is the increasing sophistication of external databases containing basic household structure data in the external environment which the ABS is concerned may enable identification of a particular household through matching. At the level of detail published on CURFs, ABS analyses indicate that about 25% of households are unique, and therefore potentially identifiable through matching. While all recipients of CURFs are required to provide undertakings that matching with other information will not be undertaken, undertakings are not always honoured. There is a tension between supporting secondary data analysis and releasing potentially identifiable information. Possible solutions included providing an on site data laboratory arrangement and provision of a remote access facility. ABS is seeking comments on the proposed strategies and whether there are any other possible strategies to address this issue. A Confidentiality Centre of Excellence is being established to do further work on these issues.

Her slides are attached below:

RADL Statsnetwork.PRZ

During discussion, Pat Stakelum flagged the potential usefulness of State level Unit Record Files as something for ABS to keep in mind for future releases.

General business: (Jeff Carlton chairing)

Election of Chair and Planning Committee for 2003

Darren Benham was nominated, and accepted, for the position of Chair. As there were no other nominations, Darren was elected by acclamation.

The Planning Committee from last year was re-elected, Darren Benham, Ian McDermid, Neil Batty. Without wanting to have the planning committee become unwieldy, it was agreed that there was scope for more representation. Any members interested should contact Darren.

Network Christmas function

The Christmas function has been booked for 4 December, using the amenity area, Wing 10, at ABS House.

The meeting concluded at 11.50 am.

Next meeting

The date, venue and agenda for the next Network meeting will be advised in the new year, after the next Planning Committee meeting.

Mark Patton

Stats Network Co-ordination

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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