Australian Bureau of Statistics
ABS Pricing Policy
Open access to official statistics on the economic and social condition of a country and its population is an essential element of a democracy. The ABS attaches considerable importance to easy and widespread access by all levels of governments, and the community generally, to the statistics it compiles.
ABS Pricing Policy follows the latest government guidelines on cost recovery by information agencies, currently contained in Commonwealth Cost Recovery Guidelines, July 2005 (Guidelines)
(Please note that the links below will take you to documents on the Department of Finance and Deregulation website: http://www.finance.gov.au)
and Australian Government Competitive Neutrality Guidelines for Managers, February 2004 (CNG).
Australian Government Competitive Neutrality Guidelines for Managers
Corrigendum issued on 30 April 2004 regarding the example on page 20
Corrigendum regarding the example on page 20 PDF version [50 KB]
Users wanting information or services that are beyond that provided by the Basic Information Set are required to pay relevant costs, including overheads, incurred beyond the costs of collection and production of clean unit record files from which the information is produced.
ABS Pricing Policy provides for three bases for setting prices:
ABS Pricing Principles
The principles underpinning ABS Pricing Policy are set out below.
ABS is committed to open access to official statistics by all levels of governments, and the community generally.
ABS will provide free access channels to the Basic Information Set funded by appropriation.
The ABS will recover the costs of accessing the Basic Information Set via non-free access channels (e.g. print on demand) on a marginal cost basis.
Where cost effective to do so, the ABS will recover the costs of producing and providing information products and services that are additional to the Basic Information Set, including salaries, operating and capital costs and associated overheads, from users.
The ABS will recover the costs of products and services provided in addition to the Basic Information Set, on an incremental cost basis for those which only the ABS can provide (e.g. due to confidentiality considerations), and on a commercial cost basis, for those which may compete with products and services provided by other suppliers.
The ABS will set its pricing policy, in conformity with Government guidelines on Cost Recovery and Competitive Cost Neutrality, with a view to :
The ABS strongly encourages secondary provision of ABS data. We will recover the cost of creation and provision of customised data dissemination and product creation from on providers of ABS information. The ABS releases most data, including customised data, under the AusGOAL open licensing framework in compliance with Australian Government's commitment to provide open access to Public Sector Information.
The ABS provides technical assistance to international agencies and other countries. Wherever possible it will use the applicable AusAID pricing schedule, which approximates charging on a marginal cost basis. Exceptions apply in the following situations:
The Australian Statistician or his delegate may, where public interest issues are involved, decide to charge products and services on other bases.
In all cases where costs are recovered, the ABS will charge "efficient costs" i.e. the minimum costs necessary to deliver products and services that are fit for purpose.
ABS will use simple and cost effective pricing schedules and administrative systems.
Products and Services Included in the Basic Information Set
For further information, contact the Director, National Client Services.
This page first published 26 May 2006, last updated 31 August 2011