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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Contact Officers are appointed by their organisation to ensure appropriate management and use of microdata within their organisation and to liaise with the ABS on all microdata related matters.


The responsibilities of a Contact Officer include:

  • being the primary point of contact with ABS when arranging ABS microdata subscriptions
  • arranging payment for organisational access to microdata
  • being the primary point of contact with ABS on microdata access matters
  • distributing individual basic microdata files that have been provided to registered and approved users within their organisation (see below)
  • coordinating the completion of the microdata Responsible Officer Undertaking
  • assisting with the coordination of Individual Undertakings and other documentation if required
  • coordinating ABS audits of compliance if required
  • reviewing and updating microdata access and users within their organisation

It is recommended that organisations have at least two Contact Officers. To add or remove a Contact Officer, contact microdata.access@abs.gov.au.

When users leave the organisation, Contact Officers must ensure that those users no longer have access to any basic microdata or any other ABS microdata. Contact Officers should log into Registration Centre and remove users from their organisation. Alternatively, contact microdata.access@abs.gov.au with a list of names and the ABS will remove these users from the organisation.

Managing basic microdata distribution within an organisation

For Australian organisations, basic microdata is usually provided through MicrodataDownload, where users can securely download any of the files in a choice of file formats.

For access to basic microdata, an organisation must subscribe to MicrodataDownload. All organisation members may then download any of the files in MicrodataDownload directly to their secure environment. Alternatively, Contact Officers may download and distribute basic microdata files to members who are registered in the Registration Centre and joined to the Contact Officer's organisation. Contact Officers can log into Registration Centre to check which users are members of their organisation. By registering and joining their organisation, members are automatically approved to access the basic microdata held by the organisation.

Basic microdata may be stored within the organisation's secure network, as long as access is limited to users who are registered in the Registration Centre and joined to the Contact Officer's organisation. For further information, see Secure storage of microdata.

If an organisation is provided with an individual basic microdata file, the organisation's Contact Officer may provide access to users who have been approved by the ABS. When providing basic microdata to users (whether from MicrodataDownload or another secure transfer process) Contact Officers must check that users are registered and joined to their organisation in Registration Centre.

International organisations may request access to specific basic microdata, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Where international organisations are granted access to a basic microdata, each user must request access and be approved by the ABS. The organisation's Responsible Officer and each user must also sign an Undertaking, available from the Downloads tab.

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