1001.0 - Annual Report - ABS Annual Report, 2001-02  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/10/2002   
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Contents >> Section 1 - Summary of Operations >> Chapter 1 - Executive Summary - Introduction

2001-02 has been a very successful year for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) with the successful conduct of the 2001 Census of Population and Housing being the highlight of the year. Other key issues and outcomes for the ABS during the year have been:

introduction of a range of new statistical products and services including the release of Measuring Australia’s Progress (cat. no. 1370.0) and a number of other thematic publications;

  • significant progress in expanding the range of information and statistics relating to environmental issues;
  • further enhancement of the ABS web site as one of the primary means of releasing ABS information;
  • completion of a major review of the ABS prices statistics program, including the Consumer Price Index;
  • significant progress in developing protocols and guidelines for the national statistical service;
  • significant contribution in the international statistical arena, particularly in respect of the provision of technical assistance programs in the Asia Pacific region;
  • continued reduction in reporting load on businesses by incorporating administrative data into statistical processes;
  • continued work on identifying and implementing the statistical opportunities from the introduction of The New Tax System;
  • the opening by the Treasurer, the Hon. Peter Costello, MP, of the purpose built ABS House as the new headquarters of the ABS;
  • consolidation of the quarterly economic activity surveys and the first release of the new quarterly Business Indicators publication; and
  • the release of the Information Paper: Measures of Labour Underutilisation (cat. no. 6296.0) which provided a comprehensive range of labour underutilisation measures.

These developments are expanded upon further below.

A key objective of the ABS is to provide a statistical service that is timely, relevant, responsive and respected for its integrity and quality. We also want to increase the informed use of our statistics. The attached reports show that we have been successful in these endeavours. The range of statistics available to Australians, and their use of these statistics, continues to increase.

We are also at the early stages of developing what we refer to as the National Statistical Service in consultation with key stakeholders. This recognises that a lot of useful statistics are produced outside the ABS or the key data sources (for example, administrative systems) exist outside the ABS. Given this situation, there is scope for the ABS to play an important statistical leadership role. Discussions to date have been very supportive of the concept so the National Statistical Service will be a focus for development over the next few years.

For the ABS to continue to be successful in its endeavours, let alone deliver on the necessary productivity improvements, it must encourage learning, innovation, performance and excellence in all it does. This is a major focus of our work and several very important initiatives have commenced during the year which are described in this report. The Business Statistics Innovation Program is the most significant.

Our work relies fundamentally on the cooperation of businesses, households and others who provide the data we need to compile official statistics. Unless we have their trust and confidence, cooperation will deteriorate rapidly. We believe we have their confidence and response rates have been maintained at a high level. We have also continued our endeavours to reduce the load placed on businesses, particularly small businesses. I would like to express my gratitude to all businesses and households who have contributed to our work by providing data.

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