Monday, June 9th, 2014

The acting Australian Statistician, Jonathan Palmer, has announced planned reductions to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) work program.

The ABS must reduce expenditure by about $50m over three years. While the ABS has been able to implement efficiencies in its operations, these are insufficient to meet the expenditure target. As a result, the statistical work program will be reduced from 2014-15.

Mr Palmer said the revised work program, developed after consultation with key Australian Government agencies, will continue to meet Australia’s core statistical needs.

“Our highest priority was to maintain activities that are critical to effective government decision making and deliver the most public benefit.

“While the revised forward work program retains core statistical elements and outputs, we have had to discontinue or reduce outputs in areas that are valued by the users of those statistics. If funding is provided for the work we are ceasing, we will reinstate it.
“The quality, integrity and relevance of our statistics are critical to informing effective decision making and we must not lose sight of that as we plan for the future,” Mr Palmer said.

The work program changes, which will be implemented from 1 July 2014, are:

Discontinue

Environment collections from Australian Households
Waste Account
Measures of Australia's Progress
Australian Social Trends
Survey of Tourist Accommodation
ABS funded component of Culture, Sport and Recreation statistics

Reduce

Industry statistics research, development and reporting in selected areas
Social conditions statistics research, development and reporting in selected areas
State and territories statistical services engagement and analysis activities
Regional statistics analysis and development
Macroeconomic research and development engagement in international activities
National information and referral services response times
External statistical education development programs


Review

Review the House Price Index, with the view to discontinuing it pending identification of alternative sources to meet the Australian National Accounts and other requirements


Further details of the work program changes will be advised to affected users in due course.

As Australia’s national statistical agency, the ABS provides official statistics on a wide range of topics relevant to government, business, and the Australian population.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Media requests: Communications Section 1300 175 070

Keywords

ABS work program

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