8667.0 - Legal Services, Australia, 2007-08 Quality Declaration
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/06/2009
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Every effort was made to minimise reporting error by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training of survey analysts and efficient data processing procedures. Additionally, to ensure the accuracy of the estimates produced, the data have been checked against previous collection results and other sources, including contact with providers.
Estimates were produced using number raised estimation methodology with a sample of 1,558 legal services businesses and organisations.
Two types of error can occur in estimates that are based on a sample survey: non-sampling error and sampling error.
Non-sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Non-sampling error also occurs when information cannot be obtained from all businesses selected in the survey. For the 2007–08 Legal Services Survey, there was an 91.7% response rate from all businesses that were surveyed and found to be operating during the reference period. Data were imputed for the remaining 8.3% of operating businesses. Imputed responses contributed 7% to the estimate of total income.
Sampling error occurs when a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed. It reflects the difference between estimates based on a sample and those that would have been obtained had a census been conducted. One measure of this difference is the standard error. There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one standard error from the figure that would have been obtained if all businesses had been included in the survey, and about nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two standard errors.
Another measure of sampling error is the relative standard error, which is obtained by expressing the standard error as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers. The relative standard error is a useful measure in that it provides an immediate indication of the sampling error in percentage terms, and this avoids the need to refer also to the size of the estimate. Relative standard errors of key estimates are available in the Explanatory Notes of Legal Services, Australia (cat. no. 8667.0).The collection of pro bono and legal aid data is subject to non-sampling error, as barristers and other legal services businesses generally did not maintain accurate records of pro bono and legal aid work. Users are therefore advised to exercise caution when using these figures.
Changes made to the Legal Services Survey over time include changes in scope, frame, statistical unit, concepts, data item definitions and classifications. There are some major conceptual differences between the 2001-02 and 2007-08 surveys, so historical comparisons have not been made. For a full list of changes made between the 2001-02 and 2007-08 cycles of the Legal Services Survey refer to the Explanatory Notes and Technical Note on historical comparisons in the publication Legal Services, Australia (cat. no. 8667.0).
Further information on terminology and other technical aspects associated with statistics from the Legal Services Survey can be found in the publication Legal Services, Australia (cat. no. 8667.0), which contains detailed Explanatory Notes, a Technical Note and Glossary.
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