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Strategic Planning for Statistics in Australia. PARIS21/UNESCAP Forum on Strategic Planning for Statistics in South-East Asian Countries – Bangkok, June 2006 Geoff Neideck Director, Corporate Planning Australian Bureau of Statistics. Outline. Interactions with Government and Users

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Strategic planning for statistics in australia

Strategic Planning for Statistics in Australia

PARIS21/UNESCAP Forum on Strategic Planning for Statistics in South-East Asian Countries– Bangkok, June 2006

Geoff NeideckDirector, Corporate PlanningAustralian Bureau of Statistics


  • Interactions with Government and Users

    • Environmental scanning

    • Establishing user needs

    • Government funding processes

  • ABS Internal Planning

    • Planning cycle

    • Corporate Plan, Financial Plan, Forward Work Program

Environmental scanning
Environmental Scanning

  • Political priorities

  • Emerging economic and social issues

  • Community, academic, private sector

  • International developments

Determining user needs
Determining User Needs

  • Australian Statistical Advisory Council

  • Bilateral meetings

  • Statistics user groups

  • Outposted officers

  • Information development plans

  • Assessing level of support for new work, particularly funding

Australian statistical advisory committee asac
Australian Statistical Advisory Committee (ASAC)

  • Provides advice to the Minister and Australian Statistician

  • Membership from government, business, academia, community

  • Advise on:

    • Improvements to the Australian statistical service

    • Long term priorities and work program for the ABS

Formal interactions with government
Formal Interactions with Government

  • ABS is in the Treasury portfolio

  • Australian Statistician and ASAC report to parliament

  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer is the responsible minister

  • Government liaison unit

Obtaining government support
Obtaining Government Support

  • Involvement in government forums

    • Early involvement in policy development is preferable

  • Garnering support from other agencies

  • Building case with central agencies, particularly Treasury

Understand government funding processes
Understand government funding processes

  • What are the formal budget processes?

  • Have an agreed understanding of what the agency is funded for (core funding)

  • What are the opportunities for funding from other sources

    • Other government agencies

    • International/donors

Funding from other sources
Funding from other sources

  • Funder may attach conditions

  • What impact will conditions have on organisations ability to determine its future directions?

  • Will it compromise national priorities?

  • Need to retain adherence to statistical best practice

  • Potential to divert resources & highly skilled staff from core work

Criteria for assessing user needs
Criteria for Assessing User Needs

  • Essential criteria

    • Is it consistent with ABS mission and core role?

    • Is there a contemporary public policy need?

    • Is the solution fit for purpose?

    • Do we have the capacity to do the work? (e.g. funds, skilled staff)

Criteria for assessing user needs1
Criteria for Assessing User Needs

  • Criteria for prioritising competing bids

    • How important is the issue and to whom?

    • What are the risks and opportunities?

      • Budget risks

      • Funding support

      • Technology requirements

    • Does the activity build long-term capability?

Abs planning cycle overview
ABS Planning Cycle - Overview

Environmental scanning

Corporate Plan/Strategic Directions

User input

Management Meeting


New spending proposals


Management Meeting



Final Decisions on Proposals

Forward Work Program

Abs corporate plan overview
ABS Corporate Plan - Overview

  • ABS Mission Statement

  • Objectives

  • Values and People

  • Strategies

  • Performance measures

Abs corporate plan objectives
ABS Corporate Plan - Objectives

  • An expanded and improved national statistical service

  • ABS services that are timely, relevant, responsive and respected for their integrity and quality

  • Informed and increased use of statistics

  • A key contributor to international statistical activities that are important to Australia or our region

Abs corporate plan objectives1
ABS Corporate Plan - Objectives

  • An organisation that builds capability to continually improve its effectiveness

  • The trust and cooperation of providers

  • ABS is a respected and strongly supported organisation

Abs planning cycle key principles
ABS Planning Cycle – Key Principles

  • Link to Government budget cycle

  • Flexibility to respond to emerging issues

  • Key decision-making points

  • External views

Abs planning cycle key elements
ABS Planning Cycle – Key Elements

  • Environmental scanning

  • Strategic directions

  • Bid list

  • Funding options

  • Bid decisions

  • Forward work program

Financial plan
Financial Plan

  • Revenue

    • Government appropriation

    • sale of goods and services

  • Operating budget – surplus/deficit

  • Capital plan

    • property plan (9 offices)

    • asset management

  • Cash management

Forward work program
Forward Work Program

  • Overview of the ABS

  • How the ABS makes decisions

  • How the ABS operates

  • ABS strategic directions

  • Information on each program(e.g. national accounts, labour, health)

    • Objectives

    • Outputs

    • Developments

Strategy and process improvement
Strategy and Process Improvement

  • Internal audits

  • Reviews

  • Customer feedback

  • Project Management Framework

What abs can do to assist countries in the region
What ABS can do to assist countries in the region

  • Provide documentation – planning processes, statistical frameworks, etc.

  • Host study tours

  • Provide in country capacity building assistance - limited resources, in line with Aust. Government priorities