1406.0.55.003 - Responsible Use of ABS Microdata, User Guide  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/03/2020   
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Responsible Officer Undertaking

To enable access to microdata:

  • each organisation's Responsible Officer must submit a legally binding microdata undertaking to the ABS
  • the Undertaking covers all members of the organisation
  • the ABS may require the Responsible Officer to re-sign the Undertaking periodically

The Responsible Officer Undertaking U15 form is available on the Downloads tab at the top of this page. Send completed Responsible Officer Undertakings to microdata.access@abs.gov.au.

Why the ABS requires a Responsible Officer

ABS legislation requires that the Responsible Officer for an organisation must submit a microdata undertaking before microdata access can be granted by ABS. The Responsible Officer is legally accountable for use of microdata by their organisation.

Organisations also need to nominate Contact officers to liaise with the ABS about microdata matters.

Who can be a Responsible Officer

The Responsible Officer is usually the CEO or equivalent for the organisation.
  • For Universities: a Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellor or University Registrar.
  • For Government Departments: Statutory Head, Secretary of Department, Head of Agency or equivalent, as agreed with the ABS.
  • For all other organisations: a person who has the same legal responsibility for the actions of the entity as a Departmental Secretary does for a Government Department. This will usually be someone with the status of CEO, Company Secretary or Managing Director.

Alternatively, the Responsible Officer may be another person in your organisation with a suitable delegation.


The obligations are detailed in full in the Responsible Officer Undertaking. In summary, the Responsible Officer agrees that all microdata users in their organisation will:
  • use the information for statistical or research purposes
  • not attempt to identify persons or organisations to which the information relates
  • not attempt to avoid, override or otherwise circumvent the controls put in place by the ABS
  • not attempt to match the information with any other list, database or repository of persons or organisations
  • not provide microdata to anyone without ABS approval

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