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Implementing an integrated program of economic statistics - An ABS perspective
*Eden Brinkley, Australian Bureau of Statistics 
Annette Scott, Australian Bureau of Statistics 

Keywords: Integration, coherence, challenges, lessons learned, international collaboration

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) established a project in 2003 to systematically integrate its annual industry collections into a single system known as the Annual Integrated Collection (AIC). The project involved integrating sample design and estimation methods across a suite of collections; integrating operational processes, systems and management structures; and a single collection program setting process to meet the highest priority user needs.

Most of the original expected benefits from the AIC have been met, but it wasn't always smooth sailing. While coherence within the annual collections suite was strong, coherence between the annual collections and quarterly indicator collections outside the AIC framework was less strong. ABS subsequently initiated a further research program to understand the detailed quality issues impacting on the annual and quarterly series.

This paper provides an overview of lessons learned in implementing our integrated system of annual economic collections. The paper also highlights some of our challenges for the future, including closer international collaboration on standards, methods, processes and systems infrastructure.