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The ABS remains committed to delivering high-quality, relevant and trusted official statistics, data and insights to inform Australia’s important decisions. This Plan reinforces the strategic directions outlined last year and updates the enterprise-level objectives.
The work program will continue to be demanding for the duration of this Plan. In 2020–21, work to inform the government response to COVID-19 is continuing, along with the ramp-up of preparations for the Census of Australian Population and Housing in August 2021. The 2021 Census will be a key area of activity for some years. Large scale testing is ensuring our processes and systems can deliver a smooth experience for the people of Australia. Significant effort will follow after the Census to generate and release information to inform a broad range of public policy and other important decisions.
The existing work program is also returning to more normal levels of activity as our field survey work progressively resumes. The Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study for the Department of Health will also contribute to our work over a number of the forward years. The demand for new statistics will continue as stakeholders expect more frequent and relevant information. The ABS continues to balance the production of high tempo output and the collection of enduring statistics.
The ABS will continue to focus both on quality of deliverables and protecting privacy. The Australian community expects and trusts the ABS to protect the information it provides while making information more available to those who wish to access it for research, investment, policy development, and public debate. The ABS is committed to managing data safely and securely.
Statement of Preparation
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the normal planning cycle was interrupted and release of the ABS Corporate Plan 2020–21 was delayed to December 2020 to allow management effort to focus on priority statistical production. This decision reflected the Department of Finance’s requirements for all Commonwealth entities. For the first half of 2020–21, the ABS worked to a set of pandemic-specific objectives to ensure operations continued to generate new sources of information about the effects of the pandemic on individuals and businesses, while prioritising the safety and well-being of our staff and survey participants.
As the Accountable Authority of the ABS, I am pleased to present the ABS Corporate Plan which covers the period 2020–21 to 2023–24, in accordance with the requirements of section 35(1)(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.
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