Quality Framework

Quality Framework

On this page:
Requirements of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act
High Quality Statistical Service
Framework for Data Quality

ABS mission

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is Australia's official statistical organisation. We assist and encourage informed decision-making, research and discussion within governments and the community, by providing a high quality, objective and responsive national statistical service.

Requirements of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act

The Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 establishes the ABS as an independent statutory authority, defines the functions of the ABS, establishes the office of Australian Statistician and describes the terms under which the Australian Statistician can be appointed to, and removed from, office. The Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 also provides for the appointment of the staff of the ABS and establishes the Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC). The ABS operates with input provided by this council. The ASAC advises the Statistician in relation to:

(a) the improvement, extension and coordination of statistical services provided for public purposes in Australia

(b) annual and longer term priorities and programs of work that should be adopted in relation to major aspects of the provision of those statistical services, and

(c) any other matters relating generally to those statistical services.

The ABS Act requires the Australian Statistician to prepare an annual report on the operations of the ABS for presentation to Parliament. The ABS is financed, via Parliamentary appropriations, for its administration and programs. Its financial statements are audited annually by the Australian National Audit Office, and are published in the annual report. Together, these elements provide an environment conducive to the production of high quality national accounts and other statistics.
High Quality Statistical Service

The ABS has an excellent reputation, both at home and abroad, for providing a statistical service of high quality and integrity.

A key reason for this reputation is that the ABS is willing to subject its operations and performance to both internal and external scrutiny. Some of the ways this is done include:

    The advertisement of all scheduled release dates for publications up to twelve months in advance;

    The use of daily press and media releases to inform users of publications being released each day;

    The strict embargo policy, which is known to the public, that ensures impartiality for the release of all publications;

    The publication of the ABS three year Forward Work Program, which describes the ABS program, including the resources to be used, the outputs, the clients and the uses of statistical information, and the proposed developments over the next three years;

    The release of information about statistical standards, statistical quality, frameworks, concepts, sources and methods in a range of products such as information papers, publications (including explanatory and technical notes) and electronic products (e.g. quality declarations);

    The inclusion of details of major revisions to published data in the explanatory notes of the relevant publication; and

    The definitions employed by the ABS follow International statistical conventions. For example, the definitions of employment and unemployment are those adopted by the International Conference of Labour Statisticians.

    Framework for Data Quality

    The ABS recently released information about the ABS Data Quality Framework and its seven dimensions (Institutional Environment, Relevance, Timeliness, Accuracy, Coherence, Interpretability, Accessibility). This framework can be used for multiple purposes including declaring quality, assessing quality and identifying gaps in the availability of data. More information can be found through the following link: ABS Data Quality Framework, May 2009 (cat. no. 1520.0).

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Quality Framework_Final.pdf