Appendix 1 - The Australian Statistics Advisory Council
The Australian Statistics Advisory Council was established by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975.
This is the twenty-sixth Annual Report of the Council, and is made in accordance with sub-section 24(2) of the Act which provides that: ‘the Council shall, as soon as practicable after 30 June in each year, prepare and submit to the Minister, for presentation to the Parliament, a report relating to matters connected with the operation of this Act’.
Under sub-section 18(1) of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 the Council is to advise the Minister and the Australian Statistician on:
"(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 Act enables the Minister or the Australian Statistician to seek the advice of the Council on these matters. The Council also offers advice on these matters to the Minister or the Australian Statistician when it considers it appropriate to do so.
The Act provides that the Council shall consist of a part-time Chairperson, the Australian Statistician (ex officio), and between ten and twenty-two part-time members, including one nominee of each State Premier and the Chief Ministers of the two territories. The Chairperson and members are appointed by the responsible Minister for periods of five years and up to three years respectively, and are eligible for reappointment.
The Chairperson receives an annual fee, set by the Remuneration Tribunal, and members are reimbursed their travel costs, where applicable. Apart from the Chairperson, no members receive remuneration for serving on the Council. Direct expenditure on ASAC during 2001-02 was $35,982. These costs are met from the Executive component of the ABS budget allocation.
Secretariat services for ASAC are provided by the ABS. The office of ASAC Secretary is held by the Assistant Statistician of the ABS Policy Secretariat Branch. Secretariat support, mainly involving organising and recording of meetings, administering membership and the members online Discussion Forum, and the preparation of Council’s Annual Report is provided by staff of the Policy Secretariat Branch. The cost of these services, which is included in the Branch’s normal running costs, was estimated to be $62,601 during 2001-02. Financial statements for the ABS are included in the ABS Annual Report.
In addition, ABS officers are involved in the preparation of many of the ASAC agenda papers.