1006.0 - Forward Work Program, 2015-16 to 2018-19  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/09/2015   
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For over 100 years, the ABS has contributed to the wellbeing of Australia through informed decision making by governments, business and the community.

The delivery of the census and statistics is recognised in Australia's Constitution, and the legislation under which the ABS operates has a broad remit and significant requirements to collect and report information.

Over coming years, the ABS will continue to focus on delivering quality, timely information that meets a range of user needs. At the same time, we will be giving greater attention to innovating what we do and how we work, partly in response to the dynamic information environment that is opening up new opportunities and expectations.

The ABS does not have the resources to undertake all the activities that fall within our legislative mandate that our users would like. This has always been the case, and I expect the ABS will always need to make choices about what it can and what it cannot deliver within its funding.

This is why the ABS consults with key users on our work program, and we then need to make choices which seek to make the best use of the resources provided by the Australian Government in order to maximise the value of our statistics to our key stakeholders and the community. The ABS also receives additional funding for specific activities, still consistent with our legislative mandate, but which could not be funded within our limited budget appropriation.

During 2015-16, we will have a number of key priorities:

  • We will continue to prioritise timely delivery of quality economic and population statistics.
  • Preparations are well underway for our first predominantly digital Census of Population and Housing, to be held on Tuesday 9 August 2016. The Census remains Australia’s largest peacetime logistical exercise, and the next Census is no exception, with very significant implementation activities planned for 2015-16, building on preparations over past years.
  • We will take the first steps to implement the historic additional Australian Government investment, announced in the 2015-16 Budget, of $250 million over the next five years, to transform the ABS’s ageing and fragile statistical infrastructure. This is a key part of the overall transformation of the ABS.
  • We will continue to progress the broader transformation of the ABS, in particular to strengthen our partnerships and drive high performance across the organisation.
I encourage you to take the time to read through our Forward Work Program to get a fuller understanding of what the ABS expects to deliver, and the magnitude of the changes we have planned for the ABS.

David W. Kalisch
Australian Statistician
September 2015