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 - The National Statistical Service

Under section 6(c) of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975, a key function for the ABS is to improve coordination of the collection, compilation and dissemination of statistics produced by other official bodies.

In accordance with the Act, the ABS has continued to develop the concept of the National Statistical Service by broadening the concept of ABS statistical responsibilities to include not only statistics collected by the ABS, but also data produced or available from other government and non-government agencies. The ABS has an important leadership role in relation to Commonwealth and state agencies in assisting them to make better use of their administrative data so that it can provide another source of quality data for statistical purposes.

During the course of the year, the ABS has been trying to develop the concept of a National Statistical Service in collaboration with key stakeholders. Our proposals are still under development but we see there is scope to increase cohesion in statistical outputs through:

  • a Directory of Statistical Sources that covers both ABS and non-ABS data;
  • comparable, good quality data using common definitions, and classifications for common variables as well as sound methodologies; and
  • ABS support to ensure statistical work is of a good standard through networks, workshops, guidelines on good practice, manuals, specialist consultancy services, etc.

Our activities will be a mixture of cross-cutting activities along the lines described above and collection specific activities where ABS input could make a difference to the quality or availability of statistical information.

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