1001.0 - Annual Report - ABS Annual Report, 2005-06  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/10/2006   
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Chapter 2 - Overview of the ABS - Introduction

The ABS is Australia's official national statistical agency. It was established, as the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, with the Census and Statistics Act 1905. The agency became the 'Australian Bureau of Statistics' in 1975 with the passing of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975. This Act also established the role of the Australian Statistician, and defined the functions of the ABS. More information about the legislative basis of the ABS can be found later in this chapter.


The ABS provides statistics on a wide range of economic and social matters, covering government, business and the population in general. It also has an important coordination function with respect to the statistical activities of other official bodies, both in Australia and overseas.


To assist and encourage informed decision making, research and discussion within governments and the community, by leading a high quality, objective and responsive national statistical service.

The mission of the ABS reflects the role outlined above. A new ABS Corporate Plan was released in December 2005 and it outlines the strategies the ABS plans to use to improve its performance consistent with its mission and responsibilities.

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