CHANGES TO FORWARD WORK PROGRAM
ENHANCING ECONOMIC STATISTICS FOR AN EVOLVING ECONOMY
The ABS will invest in a number of innovative approaches to maintain and enhance the existing suite of economic statistics. These include:
OTHER MAJOR STATISTICAL ENHANCEMENTS
- continuous enhancements in our economic measurement (for example, increased frequency of CPI re-weighting);
- enhancing measurement of growing areas of the economy, particularly the non-market and services sectors (for example, improving measurement of health output);
- enhancing the measurement of productivity through data integration and identifying the contributors to productivity (capital, labour, energy, materials and services); and
- building a dynamic and richer picture of the labour market by further enhancing our labour account and a linked employer-employee database.
The ABS is also undertaking a number of other important statistical enhancements. These include:
PROPOSED REDUCTIONS TO ELEMENTS OF THE ABS FORWARD WORK PROGRAM
- implementing the new Government Finance Statistics standards in collaboration with Commonwealth, State and Territory finance departments;
- implementing new methods for producing overseas arrivals and departures data and estimates of Net Overseas Migration using alternative data sources;
- enhancing statistical and administrative data to enable production of geostatistical measures of the built and natural environment; and
- producing new environmental economic accounts on key sectors or regions (for example, the Great Barrier Reef).
After consultation with key stakeholders about the prioritisation of the ABS statistical work program, a number of changes were proposed to ensure the ABS has sufficient resources to facilitate the new, higher value work priorities noted above. These changes were chosen to avoid compromising core economic statistics, and taking stakeholder input into account:
- cease the biennial Household Use of Information Technology statistics from the 2018-19 cycle, and the monthly Motor Vehicle Sales from the beginning of 2018;
- cease the Statistical Clearing House (SCH) from August 2017. Commonwealth agencies are no longer required to submit their business surveys to the SCH for review and approval;
- consult with relevant agencies on the cessation of the Agricultural Land and Water Ownership Survey, noting that a Senate Inquiry recommended that the Australian Taxation Office’s Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Register is used as the primary source of data on foreign investment in Australian agriculture;
- seek user funding for the continuation of the quarterly Industrial Disputes collection and the bi-annual Internet Activity Survey from 2018-19;
- seek user funding for some annual components of International Trade statistics;
- reduce or streamline outputs for Housing Finance statistics, Lending Finance statistics, and Tourism region maps from 2018-19; and
- adopt a new collection model for the General Social Survey.
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