ABS PRICING PRINCIPLES
ABS is committed to open access to official statistics by all levels of government, and the community generally.
ABS will provide free access channels to the Basic Information Set funded by government appropriation.
The ABS will recover the costs of accessing the Basic Information Set via non-free access channels (e.g. print on demand) on a marginal cost basis.
Where cost effective to do so, the ABS will recover the costs of producing and providing information products and services that are additional to the Basic Information Set, including salaries, operating and capital costs and associated overheads, from users.
The ABS will recover the costs of products and services provided in addition to the Basic Information Set, on marginal or incremental cost basis for those which only the ABS can provide (e.g. due to confidentiality considerations), and on a commercial cost basis, for those which may compete with products and services provided by other suppliers.
The ABS will set its pricing policy to conform with government Cost Recovery Guidelines and Competitive Neutrality Guidelines, with a view to:
- relieving the general taxpayer of those elements of the cost of the statistical service which have a specific and identifiable value to particular users
- enabling the demand for ABS products and services to be used as one indicator of how ABS resources should be used encouraging users to address their real needs for ABS statistical products
- encouraging users to address their real needs for ABS statistical products.
The ABS strongly encourages secondary provision of ABS data, but will recover the cost of dissemination and product creation from on providers of ABS information. It may also recover from them the costs of compliance with licensing conditions.
The ABS provides technical assistance to international agencies and other countries. Wherever possible it will use the applicable AusAID pricing schedule, which approximates charging on a marginal cost basis. Exceptions apply in the following situations:
- where the work is tendered in a competitive situation, the ABS will quote on a commercial cost basis
- where international agencies have their own standard rates, the ABS may choose to apply those rates
- where, consistent with the ABS international policy, the ABS may partially recover, or waive, its costs for statistical work associated with international engagement if it is a strategically important initiative that the ABS has decided to support, and/or there are important staff development opportunities.
The Australian Statistician or his delegate may, where public interest issues are involved, decide to charge products and services on other bases.
In all cases where costs are recovered, the ABS will charge "efficient costs" i.e. the minimum costs necessary to deliver products and services that are fit for purpose.
ABS will use simple and cost effective pricing schedules and administrative systems.
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