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Quality gates

Australian System of National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods
Reference period
2020-21 financial year

24.102    Quality gates (QGs) link back to the ABS Data Quality Framework dimensions of institutional environment, relevance, timeliness, accuracy, coherence, interpretability and accessibility to ensure that all dimensions of quality have been considered and maintained in the production of the statistical outputs.

24.103    Quality gates reflect:

  • the institutional environment through their implementation as a statistical risk mitigation strategy, so that the reputation of the organisation is protected
  • timeliness and relevance by ensuring that they are placed at appropriate junctures in the process where they can influence the direction and outcome of the quality of the process. Examples include: preventing delays by identifying problems in time; confirming that the process is okay at a given point in time in order to continue to the next steps; or confirming that the output requirements are achievable from the design of the inputs.
  • accuracy and coherence through the use of quality measures and their corresponding tolerance levels
  • interpretability by encouraging documentation to ensure knowledge management and a shared understanding across all stakeholders of the quality gate and the underlying processes
  • accessibility through the provision of information on the quality of the process at the individual components. In some cases, the desired information may not be available due to current reporting limitations in the processes (such as a particular quality measure) but should be acknowledged as a requirement for future development opportunities.

24.104    The national accounts have implemented several quality gates throughout the compilation process. Quality gates are applied as the source data is received and entered the national accounts processing system, to ensure fitness-for-purpose. Checks at this stage ensure that the dataset is complete; unusual movements are highlighted; and that revisions adhere to the revisions policy.

24.105    Quality gates are vital throughout the editing stage to ensure the data is being processed correctly. Checks at this stage ensure or highlight:

  • additivity where applicable
  • correct application of benchmarks
  • missing and negative values
  • unusual movements
  • acceptability of revisions.

24.106    Quality gates are also applied when analysing the data. They are useful to highlight inconsistencies and incoherence in the data.