1006.0 - Forward Work Program, 2013-14 to 2016-17  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/06/2013   
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Contents >> Statistical Leadership >> National Statistical Service Leadership



The National Statistical Service Leadership program provides a focus within the ABS for strategies aimed at strengthening and extending the National Statistical Service (NSS), the community of government agencies working together to build a rich statistical picture for a better informed Australia. Consistent with the ABS’s legislated responsibilities as Australia’s central statistical authority, the program identifies opportunities for the ABS to partner with other organisations to improve the quality and value of their statistical resources. Targeted outcomes of this program are: optimising and improving Australia’s essential statistical assets for evidence-based policy development, evaluation and research; improved and more effective statistical infrastructure and services; and increased statistical capability of producers and users of statistics.

The program has a key role in developing policy and strategies to support the NSS, and serves as a catalyst and evaluator of NSS activities, particularly those which cut across ABS program areas or involve cross-jurisdictional developments. Externally, the program is a focus for statistical coordination and provides leadership to policy and research professionals by disseminating resources and policies to support their statistical activities.


Outputs of the program are:

  • policy and strategies for ongoing development and advancement of the NSS
  • support to the NSS Board and the following external statistical governance forums to advance NSS priorities and the use of statistical information:
      • the Australian Statistics Advisory Council
      • the State Statistical Forum
      • the Australian Government Statistical Forum
  • resources for collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of survey and administrative data
  • strategic engagement with stakeholders to advance information sharing across government agencies
  • participation in initiatives to improve the quality and use of official statistics e.g. Gov 2.0, data.gov.au, GovHack
  • support for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Reform Council’s reporting process through promotion of Data Quality Online.


Stakeholder engagement for 2013-14 will focus on the following key strategic priorities for advancing the NSS:
  • the transformation of Information Management infrastructure to establish an environment in which Australian governments and the community can easily find, access, and combine statistical information
  • unlocking the potential of key administrative data holdings held by governments for statistical data integration and research, and enhancing the official statistics evidence base for decision-making purposes
  • progressing, in a highly consultative way, the Essential Statistical Assets (ESA) for Australia initiative to protect and prioritise government investment in official statistics
  • enabling statistical information to be integrated with location information
  • enhancing the level of statistical capability across government agencies to support improved use of statistical information in policy formulation and evaluation.

The main medium-term developments of the program are to:
  • complete an ESA for Australia quality pilot and develop a preliminary list of Essential Statistical Infrastructure considered critical for the nation - due December 2013
  • lead the ABS's participation in the 2013 International Year of Statistics to raise the profile and commitment to developing national statistics - due December 2013
  • strategically position external statistical governance fora to focus on NSS priority areas and provide opportunity for engagement on key policy issues - ongoing
  • consult with key external stakeholders on issues related to improved statistical governance potentially via a national statistical policy - due December 2014
  • enhance strategic engagement to strengthen relationships between key official data producers and policy makers to invest and value high quality statistics as a strategic asset and statistical capability - ongoing.


Lewis Conn, Assistant Statistician, Office of the Statistician and External Engagement

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