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On 25 January 2002 the 2002 Year Book Australia (cat. no. 1301.0) was launched by the Chief Statistician of the Republic of Singapore and President of the International Association of Official Statistics, Dr Paul Cheung. Launching the Year Book at the National Museum of Australia, Dr Cheung praised the ABS for playing a major role in shaping official statistics in the Asian region.
Australian Statistician Dennis Trewin with Dr Paul Cheung, Chief Statistician of Singapore,
and His Excellency Ashok Mirpuri, Singapore High Commissioner,
at the launch of the 2002 Year Book Australia.
A major dissemination initiative in 2001-02 was the release of 2001 Census of Population and Housing Basic Community Profile data on the ABS web site, available free of charge. The number of accesses to the ABS web site increased by over 30 per cent during 2001–02 with the average number of documents accessed on the web exceeding 75,000 per day. This increased significantly to average over 120,000 documents accessed daily since the release of Census data on the web site on 17 June 2002.
Free access to ABS data on the web site through AusStats - a subscriber service to ABS publications and time series data - has also been extended to the media and certain libraries. The Library Extension Program (LEP) enables free community access to ABS products and services at LEP member libraries. In August 2001 the ABS commenced its electronic Library Extension Program whereby a whole suite of ABS statistics are available electronically to LEP member libraries.
Other significant developments in dissemination included the introduction of e-commerce in March 2002 which provided users with a platform for ad hoc purchasing of downloadable files and the ordering of Census Maps from the ABS web site. Additionally, a Directory of Statistical Sources was released into production on 7 June 2002. The 'Topics Framework' of the Directory is being used to support a 'Catalogue by Topics' view of ABS products on the web site and to organise the statistical theme pages. The Directory is seen as an important component in the National Statistical Service Best Practice Guidelines developments. The National Statistical Service is discussed in more detail on pages 9 and 10.