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Two recent developments have improved access to ABS statistics for WA Government agencies and for the community generally.
The WA Department of Treasury and Finance recently entered into an agreement with the ABS for supply of a service termed ABS@WAGov. Under this agreement state public servants will have free access to ABS statistics and other facilities to assist with the sharing of data.
Around the same time it was announced that ABS publications will be available free to all users from the ABS web-site. The ABS will be looking into the scope to provide further information beyond publications free of charge in the future.
WA Office Report to ABS Management
In July I presented the annual report on the operations of the WA Office to ABS senior management. The report showed that there is increasing demand from State Government agencies for the services offered by the Office.
Each area of the Office had registered some significant achievements over 2004-05 and the Office has managed its financial and human resources effectively.
The report identified the significant challenge for the Office in increasing its staff numbers to handle the Census and other new activities in the year ahead.
Enhancing the Use of Census Data
Following an extensive consultation process, which had a strong focus on privacy issues, the ABS has announced its approach to linking Census data over time.
Beginning with the 2006 Census, a sample of five per cent of records will be matched to successive Census results using statistical methods.
No name and address information will be used in this process, continuing the long standing policy of destroying names and addresses from Census returns after processing. As it becomes progressively available, the new linked data should assist researchers to identify changes and transitions in the community.
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