1005.0 - ABS Corporate Plan, 2015-19  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/08/2015   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All



Effective management of risk during our transformation is imperative to ensure continued delivery of high quality official statistics. As the accountable authority for the ABS, the Australian Statistician has a duty to establish and maintain systems relating to risk and control under section 16 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (the PGPA Act). The Statistician has set out responsibilities relating to managing risk and internal accountability through an Accountable Authority Instruction (AAI) issued under section 20A of the PGPA Act.

The ABS risk management framework aligns with the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy and is subject to continual improvement. The framework ensures there is a mechanism in place for monitoring and identifying shifts in risk exposure and the emergence of new risks. It also articulates tolerances for risk and actions required when risks reach certain levels.

In addition to general risk management, the AAIs and framework identify mechanisms for specialist risk management which address persistent risks. These include: fraud (managed consistently with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework); work health and safety, information and communication technology security; and disclosure risk (relating to privacy and confidentiality which is part of ABS core business).

In the context of significant organisational transformation, the ABS has a strong focus on managing statistical risk (for example, published statistics not being fit-for-purpose, or a lack of coherence with related statistics). Robust processes around statistical risk will ensure that these risks are understood and managed in a cost effective way.


Our ability to fulfil our purpose will be assessed through the following performance measures, categorised against our objectives. As per the requirements of the PGPA Act 2013, these performance measures will be acquitted in the Annual Performance Statement in our Annual Report (cat. no. 1001.0). These performance measures are derived from the key performance indicators documented in our Portfolio Budget Statement. These measures may evolve over time as their effectiveness at describing the key issues facing the ABS are assessed.

The Australian Government's Regulator Performance Framework establishes a uniform set of performance measures for assessing regulator performance. The ABS also reports against these measures in our Annual Report.

The ABS produces an annual Forward Work Program (cat. no. 1006.0) that provides a detailed work program breakdown including information on program objectives, resource estimates, outputs and developments with a four year outlook.

INFORMED DECISIONS, Decisions on Important Matters are Informed by Quality Official Statistics and Value-Added Statistical Solutions

Desired resultMeasurement method and rationale

Australia’s key decisions, research and discussions continue to be underpinned by trusted official statisticsThis measure identifies references and citations of ABS statistics including by the Reserve Bank of Australia (in RBA Bulletins), Parliamentary proceedings (Hansard), Parliamentary Committees, and academic journals (microdata).
Use of ABS data increasesThis measure will document visits to the ABS website, ABS product downloads and online performance, and compare results over time.
Australia’s leading indicators adhere to appropriate statistical standards and support comparability in global statistical systemsTo ensure comparability between countries, standards, frameworks, classifications and methodologies governing official statistics are agreed internationally. This measure reports the International Monetary Fund’s assessment of Australia's observance of the Special Data Dissemination Standards.
High-quality statistical information is available to describe Australia’s most important issuesThis measure will be used to identify developments that impact the quality of headline measures and highlight significant updates to the Essential Statistical Assets for Australia (cat. no. 1395.0).
The ABS progresses new sustainable solutions to support better and more cost effective statistical solutionsThis measure will assess progress of the ABS transformation agenda. The ABS will also be regularly reporting back to Government regarding the use of their infrastructure investment.
Statistical data integration projects involving primarily cross government data increase and progressThe ABS has been working with existing data providers to facilitate rich, modern and relevant statistical solutions including data integration. This measure will review statistical data integration projects involving primarily Australian Government data.

Note: These measures are reported annually and compared over time, unless otherwise stated.

TRUST AND SUPPORT, Government, Business and the Community Continue to Trust Us and Have Confidence in Our Statistics

Desired resultMeasurement method and rationale

Australian public sentiment about ABS statistics remains positivePublic sentiment will be assessed by the changes in the number of positive, negative and neutral media articles about the ABS, compared over time.
Community trust in official statistics increases or is maintainedThis measure will assess community trust through the results of the Community Trust in ABS Statistics Survey and compare to previous results from 2010. This measure is not annual.
The support of key stakeholders is increasedThis measure will assess the support of key stakeholders through the results of the biennial External Stakeholder Relationship Health Assessment and will be compared over time and against sentiments from the APSC Capability Review.
Continued provider cooperationProvider cooperation will be assessed through the achievement of target survey response rates and will be compared over time.
Deregulation is delivered by reducing provider burdenThis measure will look at deregulation from the perspective of provider burden. This will identify hours taken by businesses and households to complete ABS surveys and will be compared over time with a target of reducing hours. This measure will also highlight other deregulation activities of note, and estimated dollars saved from all deregulation activities.

Note: These measures are reported annually and compared over time, unless otherwise stated.

A DYNAMIC STATISTICAL SYSTEM, We are a Collaborative Partner in Building a Responsive National Statistical System that Meets Current and Future Requirements

Desired resultMeasurement method and rationale

ABS builds partnerships through active engagement with key stakeholdersThis measure will assess engagement activities including the number of out-posted officers, in-posted officers and secondments to and from the ABS. Engagement with strategic engagement forums and specialist statistical and advisory groups will also be identified.
Increased shared use, and development of, services and infrastructure across government and the statistical communityThis measure will assess initiatives to co-develop, share and re-use services and infrastructure across government and the statistical community.
An increase in the statistical capability of national statistical offices in Asia and the Pacific region through effective delivery of international programsABS international engagement helps make the global statistical picture more reliable, increasing the availability of credible statistics to inform decision making. This measure identifies key achievements and activities in the Asia and Pacific region.

Note: These measures are reported annually and compared over time, unless otherwise stated.