ABS Policy on Data Management and Dissemination
1 The ABS aims to ensure that data from the same collection for the same reference period and revision, are absolutely consistent whatever the medium of dissemination, also that data disseminated from different collections are relatable to the fullest extent possible and that any inconsistencies are minimal and can be readily identified through inspection of the underlying metadata. An important facility supporting this aim is a corporate repository containing output datasets that can serve Client Services and Subject Matter areas by:
a) enabling fast and comprehensive searches of output datasets using client oriented terminology;
b) enabling fast retrieval of customised datasets to suit client needs with respect to coverage and data items;
c) enabling dissemination of data in the medium that best suits the client;
d) assessing costs billable to the client prior to retrieval; and
e) recording search and retrieval statistics, including details of unsatisfied requests.
2 The principal objectives of this policy are to ensure that the metadata describing output datasets are fully and consistently defined, that the corresponding data are readily available, and that storage and description of output data are integral to the processes by means of which data from a collection are disseminated.
3 The ABS will maintain a corporate repository, readily accessible to all staff, providing storage, retrieval, presentation and updating facilities for output datasets comprising data and the corresponding metadata.
4 The metadata describing all macro and micro output datasets will be stored in the corporate repository.
5 All macrodatasets produced for publication or other planned dissemination activities will be stored in the corporate repository.
6 All publication or planned dissemination activities based on macrodata will take place by drawing the macrodata from the corporate repository.
7 All microdata from which dissemination activity is undertaken will be stored in the corporate repository, or, if stored elsewhere, will be specified in terms of metadata stored in the corporate repository.
8 Any concepts, sources, and methods procedural metadata associated with a publication or planned dissemination activity will be drawn from the corporate repository.
9 All ad hoc outputs in response to client requests will be specified in terms of metadata stored in the corporate repository, and the corresponding data will be drawn from the corporate repository, or if stored elsewhere, will be extracted based on specifications generated through the corporate repository.
10 Data in the designated "output area" of the corporate repository will be regarded as being in the public domain; Client Service staff may disseminate these data.
11 Data in the designated "internal user area" of the central repository will be regarded as confidential. Access to such data will be controlled by the relevant Subject Matter area.
12 When the release of a dataset may lead to future restrictions in the release of related data, due to confidentiality constraints, details of the disseminated datasets and of the clients receiving them must be recorded in a register of confidentiality sensitive datasets in the corporate repository.
13 When datasets have been in the corporate repository for more than a prescribed period without being called upon to satisfy a client request or to support a planned product, they will be archived.
Implementation Notes and Responsibilities
14 The Information Warehouse will provide the corporate repository for datasets. The designated output and internal user areas will be respectively, the Output Data Base (ODB) and User Data Base (UDB) components of the Information Warehouse. Maintenance of appropriate storage, access, retrieval and manipulation facilities for datasets will be the responsibility of the Data Management area.
15 Datasets will be defined and documented in terms of dataset metadata in the Information Warehouse. Definition and documentation of a dataset will be the responsibility of the Subject Matter area producing it.
16 Identification and documentation of a confidentiality sensitive data set will be the responsibility of the Subject Matter area producing it. (Note: the procedures for doing so have yet to be specified.)
17 Decisions regarding access to datasets in the designated "internal user area" will be the responsibility of the relevant Subject Matter areas.