6. OUR RISK OVERSIGHT AND MANAGEMENT
The ABS recognises that a major transformation of its statistical business brings with it an increased level of operational risk. Our operational environment is itself changing rapidly and exposes the ABS to a range of different challenges. It is critical to the success of the ABS to maintain the trust of the Australian community in both the official statistics we produce and how we maintain the privacy of the data we collect. The ABS needs to ensure innovative approaches to its delivery of statistics to meet the expectation of providing more data at a faster pace. This increases our reliance on data providers and exposes the ABS to risks in data quality. Managing the protection of our data is increasingly important in the face of continued global risk of cyber attacks.
The high demand for the skills of ABS staff requires the ABS to address risks associated with our workforce, to ensure there is sufficient capability and capacity to support the delivery of the work program alongside the delivery of our transformation program. In order to ensure that the ABS can deliver the statistical work program to which we are committed, and successfully achieve our transformation goals, our approach to risk management must be robust but also tailored to available resources.
Maturing our Risk Management Framework therefore continues to be critical to our ability to navigate the period ahead. For business as usual activities where resources are expected to be constrained, discipline in the application of risk management principles will be required. The challenge in 2018–19 is to embed risk more fully into daily operations.
Importantly, the ABS has completed a refresh of its register of enterprise risks which are listed below. These risks highlight the complex nature of our operations and interactions with external actors in an increasingly demanding operational and resource environment.
6.1 ABS ENTERPRISE RISKS
|The ABS repeatedly or significantly fails to deliver high quality statistical products and services
|Strategic Priority 1
|The ABS repeatedly or significantly fails to meet customer needs
|Strategic Priorities 1, 3
|The ABS is unable to access the data it needs and protect the data it holds
|Strategic Priorities 2, 3
|The ABS experiences a reduction in social licence and/or loses the confidence of Government, the Parliament, and other key authorising entities
|Strategic Priorities 1, 3
|The workforce quantity, capability and/or capacity is insufficient to deliver quality ABS products and services
|Strategic Priorities 1, 2
|Transformation fails to deliver capability to generate improvements in public value, meet customer needs, and more efficient operations
|Strategic Priority 2
Risk Management Framework
Work will continue in 2018–19 on the development of our Risk Management Framework. Risk policy and practice in the ABS is an expression of the need for balance between absolute rigour around critical and strategically important projects and programs, and cost effectiveness of routine business operations where any investment in time and effort must be justified by concrete benefits.