New MOU strengthens Australian and Indonesian statistical ties, May 2004

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May 3, 2004
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
New MOU strengthens Australian and Indonesian statistical ties

Statistical cooperation between Australia and Indonesia continues to strengthen through a third Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed today between the Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS), Statistics Indonesia, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Dr Soedarti Surbakti, Director General (BPS), and Mr Dennis Trewin, Australian Statistician signed the new MOU in Canberra on behalf of their agencies.

Both Dr Surbakti and Mr Trewin gave strong support for the MOU and for continued cooperation between Australian and Indonesia in statistical matters.

"The new MOU continues to reflect the statistical priorities which BPS will need to address to assist policy development and planning in Indonesia," said Dr Surbakti. "Furthermore, it will enable BPS and ABS to work together to make the best possible use of rapidly changing technology including computing technology, across a wide range of statistical areas."

Mr Trewin was in full agreement. "Technology is a great enabler to do new things or do them more efficiently," he said.

"Together we will explore ways in which efficiencies in technology can be introduced, including the use of open source software, to help BPS improve its statistical outputs in a cost-effective way.

"We will also explore ways of raising overall technical capacity of BPS staff through guest lecturers and train-the trainer programs."

Mr Trewin said the main addition to the new MOU was a focus on using new technology and on staff training to assist Indonesia to expand its statistical capacity building.

Invited guests at the signing at ABS House in Canberra included senior ABS staff, together with representatives of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and the Indonesian Embassy.

The signing of the MOU took place during a visit to Australia by the BPS from 27-30 April. The purpose of the visit was to discuss statistical priorities and issues, together with matters of mutual interest, including:
    • the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the BPS and the ABS
    • the Australia-Indonesia Government Sector Linkages Program (GSLP), funded by AusAID
    • other ABS work and international programs of interest to the BPS.

The Indonesian delegation first visited the regional office of the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Western Australia on 27 April to discuss regional statistics issues, then travelled to Canberra for high level planning discussions with senior ABS staff.

Co-operation with Indonesia is a key part of ABS's international relations. The Bureau is an important and active member of the international statistical community and is committed to sharing its knowledge. It participates in a variety of international fora and provides technical assistance to statistical agencies in a number of countries.