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2001-02 has been a very successful year for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) with the successful conduct of the 2001 Census of Population and Housing being the highlight of the year. Other key issues and outcomes for the ABS during the year have been:
These developments are expanded upon further below.
A key objective of the ABS is to provide a statistical service that is timely, relevant, responsive and respected for its integrity and quality. We also want to increase the informed use of our statistics. The attached reports show that we have been successful in these endeavours. The range of statistics available to Australians, and their use of these statistics, continues to increase.
We are also at the early stages of developing what we refer to as the National Statistical Service in consultation with key stakeholders. This recognises that a lot of useful statistics are produced outside the ABS or the key data sources (for example, administrative systems) exist outside the ABS. Given this situation, there is scope for the ABS to play an important statistical leadership role. Discussions to date have been very supportive of the concept so the National Statistical Service will be a focus for development over the next few years.
For the ABS to continue to be successful in its endeavours, let alone deliver on the necessary productivity improvements, it must encourage learning, innovation, performance and excellence in all it does. This is a major focus of our work and several very important initiatives have commenced during the year which are described in this report. The Business Statistics Innovation Program is the most significant.
Our work relies fundamentally on the cooperation of businesses, households and others who provide the data we need to compile official statistics. Unless we have their trust and confidence, cooperation will deteriorate rapidly. We believe we have their confidence and response rates have been maintained at a high level. We have also continued our endeavours to reduce the load placed on businesses, particularly small businesses. I would like to express my gratitude to all businesses and households who have contributed to our work by providing data.