1005.0 - ABS Corporate Plan, 2017-18  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/08/2017   
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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. As the ABS is going through a significant transformation program around various fronts such as infrastructure, culture, capacity and capability, risk management becomes even more crucial. The ABS is seeking to implement effective and integrated risk management and processes combined with a cultural awareness where risk management is integral to achieving organisational and personal objectives and managing change effectively.

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

The ABS’s key risks relate to the quality, timeliness and usability of our statistics. We have a strong focus on managing statistical risk (for example, lack of coherence between published statistics, or breaks in time series). In recent years, the ABS has prioritised statistical risk management. A more rigorous and pragmatic framework now applies to statistical risks and will continue to be refined in 2017-18.

The ABS also has put in place processes to ensure effective management of risk during this period of transformation. The Transformation Program, of itself, both mitigates risks and generates new risks that need to be actively managed. The ABS is actively managing both risks and issues associated with the Statistical Business Transformation Program. This will continue in 2017-18 and over the life of the Program.

Another area of continuing risk management focus for the ABS is protecting the secrecy and privacy of our statistical information, which is vital to sustaining community trust fundamental to our ability to collect high quality information. The ABS has already implemented a model for determining trusted access to detailed information, using the Five Safes approach to assess disclosure risks. The Five Safes approach is adapted from international best practice and recognises that mutual benefits flow from enabling greater access to public information in a reliable and safe manner. In 2017-18, with the introduction of new privacy requirements for Australian Public Service entities, the ABS will be updating its processes to ensure that management of privacy is a key focus for the ABS and that independent Privacy Impact Assessments are conducted whenever there are significant changes to personal information handling practices.


The ABS 2017-18 performance criteria demonstrate how we are achieving our purpose through delivering on our three strategic priorities. These measures will evolve over time, reflecting ongoing changes in our operating environment. We report against these measures in the Annual Performance Statement in our Annual Report.


Provide high quality official statisticsDecision-making by governments, business and the community is informed by high quality statisticsAssessment of key ABS statistics against international and national standards

The two yearly Stakeholder Relationship Health Assessment.

Stakeholder case studies.
1.1 ABS Statistics meet target standards

1.2 Key stakeholders are satisfied with the quality, timeliness and range of our statistics
ABS statistics are widely usedWebsite usage, number of new agreements with other entities, use of Datalab, consultancy revenue

The two yearly Stakeholder Relationship Health Assessment.

Stakeholder case studies.
1.3 The uptake of ABS statistics increases each year, including stakeholders reporting increased usage of ABS statistics, data and insights in their work

Transform the ABS
for the future
The Statistical Business Transformation
Program (SBTP) continues to be implemented to agreed timeframes

The ABS builds the capacity and capability of staff, driving
cultural change and improving performance
Gateway review

SBTP Transition Plan performance reports

ABS People and Culture Action Plan performance reports

ABS Workforce Strategy performance reports
2.1 SBTP achieves mid-point deliverables as assessed by the Gateway review

2.2 Pioneer statistical collections are transitioned to SBTP capabilities

2.3 People and Culture Action Plan actions are implemented

2.4 The ABS Workforce Strategy is developed and implementation has commenced

Develop and implement
new statistical solutions
to maximise the value
of public data
The ABS creates new statistical solutions, in collaboration with stakeholders, to deliver the information needed for research, policy, planning and
targeting of government services, and evaluation
Number of new agreements with other entities, use of Datalab, number of secondments, consultancy revenue

Stakeholder case studies

Datalab access

The two yearly Stakeholder Relationship Health Assessment

Stakeholder case studies
3.1 Stakeholders seek out the ABS to undertake statistical activity and collaborate

3.2 The use of ABS microdata increases

3.3 Stakeholders agree ABS adds value to their business