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The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's (AIHW) activities are guided by legislative and government requirements, and its strategic directions, work plan and contractual obligations. This chapter summarises the AIHW's performance for 2010-11 against each of its strategic directions, expected major deliverables and key performance indicators that were operating during this financial year, including those in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2010-11.
The achievement of specific planned outputs for 2010-11 is recorded in the unit reports in Chapter 3 Our operating units.
This chapter also summarises financial performance in relation to the audited financial statements in Appendix 9. Performance in relation to some specific legislative requirements is noted at the end of the chapter.
Portfolio Budget Statements
Performance against our strategic directions
Our financial performance
Further compliance with legislation
The Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) provide the major performance accountability framework against which the AIHW's performance is measured. Annual direct funding for the AIHW from the Australian Parliament is appropriated on the basis of outcomes (see Glossary).
The AIHW's outcome and program structure, as set out in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2010-11 Budget Related Paper No. 1.11 - Health and Ageing Portfolio, consists of one outcome and one program, each of which is consistent with the AIHW's mission and strategic directions.
Under the PBS for 2010-11, the AIHW's outcome and program are underpinned by 18 deliverables and associated key performance indicators used to monitor its performance. These are all included in the deliverables and indicators detailed in this chapter and listed below along with the reference point (or target) to be achieved.
A robust evidence base for the health, housing and community sectors, including through developing and disseminating comparable health and welfare information and statistics.
Develop, collect, analyse and report high-quality national health and welfare information and statistics for governments and the community.
Each of these deliverables and indicator targets were achieved, with the following exceptions.
The data supplied to the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision (SCRGSP) for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) reporting process covered 5 (not 6) disability performance indicators. During the year, the role previously carried out by the AIHW in enabling the preparation of one indicator from Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey data was transferred to the ABS, which will in future supply data for this indicator.
Metadata held online in METeOR—the AIHW's online registry of metadata—at June 2011 included 23 (not 25) national minimum data sets, 25 (not 28) other dataset specifications and 1,168 (not 1,231) data elements. These differences arose from changes to data collections and delays in data development.
The 1.392 million visits to the AIHW website for 2010–11 was slightly under the target of 1.423 million (see the last indicator in the list below). However, there were also 0.230 million visits to the MyHospitals website, and 0.056 million visits to the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse.
The target of 70 mentions of the AIHW and its products in the Commonwealth Parliament was not achieved. The actual number was 30, reflecting a different counting method that more accurately reflects occasions where the AIHW is mentioned.
During 2010–11, the AIHW's activities were guided by five strategic directions agreed by the AIHW Board in 2007 after consultation with key stakeholders and the Institute's staff. They were published in AIHW strategic directions 2007–2010 and are listed below. The directions provided the foundation for establishing and assigning priorities to the AIHW's activities and procedures, to enable it to fulfil its mission, 'Better information and statistics for better health and wellbeing'.
SD1 Strengthening our policy relevance
SD2 Capitalising on the new information environment
SD3 Enhancing data access, protecting privacy
SD4 Getting the messages out better
SD5 Our people—valued, expert and versatile
This section provides a summary of key examples of the AIHW's activities covering the first four strategic directions. In addition, Chapter 3 Our operating units details the achievements of each AIHW unit and collaborating unit against plans identified in the AIHW Work Plan 2010–11 endorsed by the AIHW Board in June 2010. Some specific achievements are highlighted in 'snapshots' throughout the report (see the 'snapshot' list).
Chapter 4 Our people provides details of the AIHW's strategies to recognise and develop the capabilities of its staff. This relates to the fifth strategic direction (SD5).
Statistics can both drive and serve policy development. The AIHW plays a leading national role in the development and delivery of statistics in the fields of health and welfare. Stakeholders continue to value the AIHW's authoritative reports and other statistical outputs which help to track the progress of Australia's health and welfare systems.
Those involved in making policy and running services on a day-to-day basis have specific, sophisticated and often urgent information requirements. Evidence-based decision making across government requires comprehensive, timely and higher-quality health and welfare information. Under this strategic direction (SD1), the AIHW aims to develop ways of meeting those needs and of ensuring the policy relevance of the statistics and information it collects and reports.
Under this strategic direction (SD1), the AIHW aims to:
Developmental work in several areas reached fruition during 2010–11 with the release of, for example, the MyHospitals website, which was one of the AIHW's major achievements in 2010–11 (see the 'snapshot').
During 2010–11, the AIHW accorded a high priority to supporting the National Performance Reporting System—established under COAG— while maintaining a strong focus on the release of new and annual data and metadata that assist policy makers and the broader research and general community.
The COAG-endorsed Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations established a national performance reporting regime to support its reform program. The AIHW is bringing together nationally consistent data from the various jurisdictions and leading the development of performance indicators for four national agreements and associated national partnership agreements:
The AIHW is responsible for providing data for performance indicator reporting to the SCRGSP for transmission to the COAG Reform Council. The AIHW has worked within the COAG arrangements and with the relevant ministerial councils in developing and specifying the technical detail of indicators and in commencing data development work necessary to ensure that the COAG performance reporting regime is well supported. In addition, it prepares data quality statements that describe the quality attributes of the data based on the ABS's Quality Framework. These tasks involved working collaboratively with relevant agencies and the COAG Reform Council to fulfil the performance reporting requirements and to improve the quality and timeliness of indicator data by resourcing and attending numerous working groups and consultative forums with the objective of securing agreement on performance indicator specifications and their associated data sources and data supply processes.
The MyHospitals website, launched in December 2010 by the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon. Nicola Roxon, MP, is an Australian Government initiative that makes it easier for people to access information about the performance of their local hospitals. It is a major initiative of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Agreement.
The clear and transparent reporting on the MyHospitals website will assist Australians make more informed choices about their health services and help ensure the standard of care patients receive continues to improve.
Around 230,000 visits were made to the website in the six months after its launch, with almost 1.5 million pages viewed.
The website includes information on all public hospitals and more than 200 private hospitals in Australia. It is based on the latest available information provided by state and territory health departments and private hospitals.
MyHospitals allows the performance of individual hospitals to be compared with national averages with respect to waiting times, elective surgery procedures and emergency department treatment. It contains information about patient admissions and hospital accreditation, as well as the types of specialised services provided by each hospital.
A major update of the site, in May 2011, resulted in the addition of services and admissions information for 2009–10 and links to new national hospitals data available on the AIHW website. In addition, users have been able to search for hospitals with the aid of interactive maps and to print and share pages more easily.
Regular updates are made to MyHospitals to ensure accuracy, and to include new data. Public enquiries about the site are responded to by telephone and email.
Development of the website drew on the skills of staff from across the AIHW, in areas including hospitals data and data development, communications, information governance and information and communications technology (ICT).
The AIHW continues to work with consumers to ensure that the website is simple, clear and easy to use. The MyHospitals Development Steering Committee, with representatives from all states and territories and private hospital groups, was established to provide advice on potential innovations for the site. Anticipated future developments include safety and quality measures, such as the incidence of Staphylococcus aureas bacteraemia infections acquired in hospitals and readmission rates.
The AIHW, in conjunction with consultants Cordelta and Cogent Pty Ltd, won the 2011 iAWARD for e-Government in the ACT, in recognition of the MyHospitals site. The 2011 iAwards honour companies at the cutting edge of technology innovation and leading professionals across the industry.
MyHospitals can be accessed at www.myhospitals.gov.au.
The AIHW is well positioned to advise on and deliver COAG performance indicator data because of its long-established collaborative leadership position among jurisdictions in the health, housing and community services sectors.
This work also included the development of metadata items supporting the data provided to the COAG Reform Council through the SCRGSP.
The AIHW's publications are listed in Appendix 7 and focus on answering policy-relevant questions wherever possible. These include:
During 2010–11 the AIHW released several publications containing policy-relevant data of a type not previously published in Australia. These include:
Deliverables and indicators that relate to this strategic direction (SD1) follow.
Data were provided to the SCRGSP for the second cycle of performance indicator reporting according to an agreed timetable to enable release of the COAG Reform Council report in April 2011.
Reflecting the COAG's emphasis on timely reporting, the AIHW is working with all jurisdictions to improve the timeliness of data supply and to streamline data validation processes. In working to deliver data more quickly, the AIHW remains committed to ensuring that the data are nationally consistent and of sufficient quality for their intended purpose.
AIHW responsibility for the supply of data is dependent on collaborative arrangements with Australian, State and Territory government departments and agencies and the availability of data to the Institute. Having received this data, the AIHW produced collated data for indicators as shown in Table 2 to meet the COAG reporting timetable.
The AIHW developed or enhanced the quality of data items in a number of respects, including:
Details of data improvements were published in the COAG Reform Council's 2009–10 National Agreement reports on the National Healthcare Agreement, National Affordable Housing Agreement, National Indigenous Reform Agreement and the National Disability Agreement.
Performance indicator specifications in the areas of health, housing and homelessness, disability and Indigenous reform required for the COAG reporting process were endorsed by the relevant national information committees (see Table 2).
The performance indicator specifications used for 2009–10 COAG reporting are available on the National Indicator Catalogue through the AIHW's METeOR website (see the 'snapshot').
Performance indicator data required for the COAG reporting process were provided to the SCRGSP. Details are included in Table 2 and in the 'snapshot'.
This indicator relates to the AIHW's role in coordinating the collection and production of health and welfare information and statistics from other departments and agencies. The national committees with which the AIHW engages are listed in Appendix 5.
The AIHW chairs and/or provides secretariat support to seven of these committees (listed below) and either secretariat or technical support (or both) to a large number of subsidiary data development groups reporting to them (as detailed in Chapter 3 Our operating units).
(a) This table covers information requirements variously termed 'indicator', 'benchmark', 'output', 'target', etc. in COAG national agreements and national partnership agreements. (b) This figure includes nine performance benchmarks for which no data were supplied.
The AIHW was an active participant in these national information committees, which include members drawn from state and territory and Australian Government departments and agencies, and from the non-government sector. It provided extensive support to their work programs, including in relation to their roles in endorsing national data standards that affect the way data are prepared and presented. AIHW received positive feedback from national information committee members and other departmental officers involved in this work.
The AIHW's participation in national information committees provides it with opportunities for extensive consultation with stakeholders and assisted with many of its achievements, detailed elsewhere in this chapter.
This strategic direction (SD2) aims to ensure that the AIHW capitalises on new developments in the information environment that will maintain and enhance the quality of its statistics and information on Australia's health and welfare. The AIHW's success as a leading data collection and reporting agency depends on its flexibility and capacity to seize opportunities while minimising risk in this rapidly changing environment. In particular the AIHW focuses on information technology infrastructure that will support high quality and timely data collection, analysis and reporting. It also focuses on innovative use of online communication tools designed to allow it to publish its work in a variety of formats to meet user requirements (see 'SD4 Getting the messages out better').
Under this strategic direction (SD2), the AIHW aims to:
During 2010–11, the AIHW successfully delivered several high profile products that capitalised on the contemporary information environment and represent a significant advance in the AIHW's ICT and information reporting capabilities.
During the second half of 2010, the AIHW's ICT and Online Communications units, in collaboration with specialist staff and other internal/external stakeholders, contributed the technical infrastructure required for the MyHospitals website (see the 'snapshot').
During 2010–11, the AIHW's ICT units, in collaboration with the Institute's Hospitals Unit and relevant state and territory departments, successfully piloted and released an online data Validata® for formal supply of hospital related data. This initiative led to immediate and significant improvements in the timeliness and quality of the resulting data supply. The project also delivered on two key corporate objectives:
The online hospital validator project succeeded beyond expectations in speeding up the supply of hospital data. It also marked the first step towards a corporate-wide validator which, based on its impact on the timeliness and quality of hospital data, will have a significant positive effect across all collections in future years. The success of the Validata® led to its selection for use with the SHS system.
The Validata® will be expanded to support the next hospital data collection period (see the 'snapshot').
The AIHW is always looking for ways to improve the timeliness and quality of its information and data products, hence its development of an online tool for identifying errors in data prior to submitting data.
The Validata® was used by states and territories for the first time in September 2010, for the submission of elective surgery and emergency department data. It was used again from December 2010 for hospital data on admitted patient care, outpatient care and hospital characteristics.
State and territory departments lodge their datasets online (via secure internet access) and receive an automatic report of possible data errors.
This initiative facilitated more timely reporting of:
The emergency department and elective surgery waiting times data were also available in time for inclusion in the COAG Reform Council report on the National Healthcare Agreement 2009-10.
Before the Validata® was developed, all hospital data were validated manually, in conjunction with jurisdictions, and this could be a lengthy process.
Receiving better quality public hospital information from states and territories has enabled the AIHW to report quality information in a more timely manner. Work continues on improving the Validata® and enhancing its potential for application to other AIHW data collections.
During 2010–11, AIHW's ICT units, in collaboration with the Institute's Housing and Homelessness Group, commenced development of an online system for lodging and validating homelessness data. The project represented a significant commitment of information technology (IT) resources and has made a significant contribution to enhancing the organisation's IT capability (see the 'snapshot').
The system is based on the Validator® and will facilitate the adoption of validator technology across the AIHW.
The development of the SHS System has expanded the Institute's knowledge of and experience in Microsoft SharePoint, a technology relatively new to the AIHW but one that is expected to provide other benefits across the organisation.
The system is the first adopted by the AIHW to require the implementation of a range of servers to support the full software development lifecycle. As a result, end users are expected to see improvements in quality and stability of the system which will also lead to a reduction in the maintenance and administration overhead for IT staff. These benefits will accrue to other AIHW systems as they are migrated to or developed on the new infrastructure.
The following deliverables and indicators describe AIHW's performance in maintaining its information infrastructure during 2010–11.
The AIHW has a central role in developing metadata relevant to health, health services and welfare services that are suitable for use as national data standards. It works collaboratively with the registering authorities from which national endorsement is required.
By developing applicable national data standards, data sets and metadata, the Institute supports its health, housing and community services data collections.
The AIHW has a commitment to maintaining its METeOR registry—for the development, registration and dissemination of metadata for national data standards.
To support the increased demand for performance indicators under the COAG intergovernmental agreements, a module in METeOR now stores information about the concepts, sources and computation methods that underpin the indicators.
Work has continued in collaboration with the National E-Health Transition Authority to assess the implications of the development of e-health for statistical collections in the future. This included analyses of the future data supply chain and the statistical implications of key elements of the e-health agenda such as data terminologies, the individual e-health record and the discharge summary.
This deliverable is measured by timely access to up-to-date national data standards for the health, community services and housing sectors.
During 2010–11, the AIHW made available online in METeOR all health, community services and housing data standards, which had been endorsed as national standards, within 30 days of endorsement, including those to appear in the National health data dictionary and the National community services data dictionary.
Endorsed standards are made available to the public as data dictionaries (see the 'snapshot' below). The Institute generates national data dictionaries from the METeOR registry.
This deliverable is measured by adherence to milestones toward publication of new versions of the national data dictionaries—detailing new and revised data standards—and the online release of update compilations of these national data standards. The reference points are two-yearly publication of new versions of the national data dictionaries and twice-yearly production, if necessary, of online updates of these dictionaries.
During the year, the AIHW:
In August 2010, the ICT units finalised a six-month project to migrate the AIHW to a new data analytics platform—a new version of SAS. The Institute will realise a number of benefits from the new platform, including a more user-friendly point and click interface to SAS, making the platform more widely available to staff who have varying levels of SAS experience.
Successful rollout of a new operating system—a new version of Microsoft Office—was also a significant achievement during 2010–11.
While statistical reports are a good source of useful facts and figures, it is important that advice is also provided on what those facts really mean. For example, what is classified as 'low birth weight'? How is 'life expectancy' calculated and what is a 'potentially avoidable death'?
These definitions can be found in AIHW data dictionaries and the National Indicator Catalogue (NIC). The NIC was released by the AIHW on its website in July 2010, and provides an accessible and comprehensive 'one stop' view of national indicators.
The NIC draws on national data standards covering a number of national minimum data sets for which AIHW is the custodian. These standards are held in the AIHW's online metadata registry (METeOR) and, where they are used in data collections, allow users of the data to meaningfully compare and interpret health and welfare information.
The AIHW also publishes and maintains the National Health Data Dictionary and the National Community Services Data Dictionary. These resources provide data definitions and spell out exactly what sort of data needs to be provided by people who supply data for specific national health or community services data collections.
During the year the AIHW expanded its SAS analytical capacity to support increased staff numbers and the size of the collections. Staff have already experienced productivity gains through reduced running times of data analyses. It is also scalable to support future analysis requirements.
During 2010–11, the IT Services Unit introduced several initiatives to support staff in their use of the new SAS platform.
In February 2011, the ICT units commenced a project to migrate existing online-accessible data cubes to the new SAS platform. The migration will make it easier for staff to produce and maintain cubes and yielded benefits through technology rationalisation. The project is planned for completion during 2011–12.
The IT Services Unit commenced a project to investigate and evaluate related SAS data dissemination technologies and to identify additional opportunities for SAS to support the AIHW's strategic directions.
In February 2011, IT Services Unit commenced a project designed to reduce the level of staff resources required to compile and update data tables and graphs in AIHW publications. The project is expected to reap efficiencies across the AIHW's collection and reporting units and will enable the Institute to capitalise on new features available to the AIHW following recent updates to SAS and Microsoft technologies. The project is planned for completion during 2011–12.
Proper enforcement of privacy enhances data access by instilling confidence in the provider and subjects of the information collected. The AIHW has in place a powerful and unique combination of privacy measures, ranging from the specific protection of the AIHW Act and the Privacy Act 1988, to a variety of strict protocols and systems used to manage its data collections.
This strategic direction (SD3) aims to enhance data access to support research, policy and program development in the public interest while ensuring that the personal information of every Australian is protected. The contemporary focus on citizen-centred government, for example through the Government 2.0 reforms, emphasises greater public accessibility to government data and information.
Under this strategic direction (SD3), the AIHW has aimed to:
The following deliverables and indicators measure the AIHW's success in improving the communication and accessibility of its information and messages to the community during 2010–11.
Did you know that 1 in 10—or over 2 million—Australians suffer from asthma? Or that in 2007-08 there were more than 37,500 hospitalisations for asthma and in 2007 there were 385 deaths due to asthma?
The AIHW's Asthma online snapshot is the newest way to quickly and easily find this information and answer many other questions about asthma.
The snapshot answers questions such as: 'Who gets asthma?', 'What drugs are used to treat asthma?', 'What roles do general practitioners play in treating asthma?' and 'How does asthma affect quality of life?'
This product is the first in a planned series of AIHW data snapshots covering a range of health areas designed to enhance the availability and accessibility of information by providing key statistics in a simple, easy to understand format.
The asthma snapshot has already proven to be a popular resource. It received 12,091 views, averaging more than 100 views per day, between 5 March and 30 June 2011. Feedback from users has been positive.
'Asthma Australia values highly the comprehensive, accessible, high quality data provided in the Asthma web product,' said Debra Kay, Chief Executive Officer of Asthma Australia.
The asthma snapshot was developed in association with the Australian Centre for Asthma Monitoring, a collaborating unit of the AIHW.
It is available at www.aihw.gov.au/asthma-and-chronic-respiratory-diseases/.
The AIHW makes its products available free on the internet to the greatest extent possible consistent with the need to protect the privacy of individuals and service agencies. Printed copies of many publications can be purchased.
During the year the AIHW published 135 reports on the nation's health, housing and community services sectors, all of which are available free on the AIHW website www.aihw.gov.au. This is an increase of 17 reports on 2009–10.
All publications were made available in Portable Document Format and an additional Rich Text Format, which facilitates access by those with impaired vision.
This deliverable relates to AIHW's legislated obligation to publish Australia's welfare 2011, Australia's health 2012 and the AIHW's Annual report 2009–10 and provide them to the Minister within the timeframes required by legislation and to the Minister's satisfaction. It is measured by adherence to planned milestones toward completion and the level of expressed ministerial satisfaction. Adherence to the timetables for planning and preparation of drafts for external review by expert referees is also measured.
Neither Australia's welfare 2011 nor Australia's health 2012 were published in 2010–11. However, preparation for each begins 15–18 months before release and so work was undertaken during the year. Both publications are highly regarded as key national reference works in the health and welfare fields (see Table 14, Table 16 and 'Feedback on the effectiveness of products').
The timetable for the preparation of Australia's welfare 2011 was met and planning for Australia's health 2012 is underway.
The AIHW's Annual report 2009–10 was presented to the Minister on 13 October 2010 and tabled in the Australian Parliament on 27 October 2010.
This indicator measures the AIHW's progress towards its objective of providing free high-quality information for Australians on health and welfare matters.
During 2010–11, there were:
For some data collections, users can query the data online and obtain tabulated results. These online data holdings are user-friendly and continually updated. For example, interactive Excel workbooks containing comprehensive long-term deaths data are available—for a broad range of causes of death by age and sex on an annual basis—including the General Record of Incidence of Mortality (GRIM) books, Burden of Disease books and Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality (ACIM) books.
There are national-level interactive data sets covering 22 subject areas and metadata collections covering five subject areas relevant to health, housing and community services, available on the AIHW's website.
In addition, supplementary data linked to reports are available on the website in Excel spread sheets.
Metadata was held online in METeOR at 30 June 2011 for 4,160 standard metadata items, of which:
During 2010–11, 618 standard metadata items have changed in METeOR. This includes:
COAG indicator work was a substantial driver of the data development program of work in METeOR for the indicators and quality statements.
During the year, the AIHW published a data snapshot on asthma in an online-accessible Hypertext Markup Language format (see the 'snapshot'). Other data snapshots are in preparation.
What do the topics 'the health of Australian Gulf War veterans, 'bushfire exposure on mental health' and 'the impact of surgical treatment for obesity' have in common?
The answer is data linkage. Research supported by linked data can help identify cause and effect relationships, or explain the nature of relationships over time and across different contexts.
Data linkage is one of the most powerful ways of adding value to data. It involves merging data— records, facts and figures—from different sources, based on common features.
For example, researchers at the University of Melbourne are using data linkage (also known as data integration) to examine the long-term effects of low dose radiation from CT scans in childhood. The AIHW has assisted them by linking Medicare (Medical Benefits Scheme) data on CT scans with the AIHW's National Death Index and Australian Cancer Database. This study will test whether there is an increase in cancer incidence or mortality following CT scans in childhood—providing an understanding of the size of any cancer risk—and could lead to further improvements in radiation protection.
The AIHW has a strong record in data linkage, both in its own work and in facilitating the work of other researchers.
The number and breadth of projects requiring data linkage is expanding rapidly. To meet this demand, the AIHW has further developed and expanded its linkage infrastructure and methods over the past year. This has enabled it to handle projects involving the linkage of several million records at one time.
This indicator measures the effectiveness of the AIHW's objectives of enabling researchers to have good and timely access to health and welfare information and statistics, and of supporting legislative requirements related to ethical clearances.
The AIHW has legislative obligations to support ethical research by bona fide researchers through controlled access to its data sets while, at the same time, protecting Australians' privacy. This obligation aligns with the Australian Government's commitment to improve the use of data to inform policy directions, research and evaluation of programs.
The AIHW Ethics Committee approves applications, largely from researchers associated with universities, medical research institutes and hospitals around the country, to undertake research using AIHW-held data (see for example the 'snapshot').
During the year, the AIHW Ethics Committee approved 67 applications, 52 of which were external applications (see Table 7). Three projects submitted by external applicants were not approved.
A review of the AIHW Ethics Committee arrangements was undertaken during 2010–11 (see the 'snapshot'), one of the objectives of which was to enhance access to AIHW data by researchers, within the AIHW's privacy framework. The review's recommendations were accepted by the AIHW Board at its meeting in June 2011.
In providing access to its data, the AIHW ensures that custodial and ethics approval processes conform to national human research ethics requirements, national privacy legislation, the AIHW Act, policy directions for national health and welfare information, and any new custodial arrangements arising from national information agreements.
Exploratory and developmental work was undertaken during 2010–11 on methodologies for the delivery of statistical products (such as tables, data cubes and confidentialised unit record files) in a manner that both protects privacy and supports analysis and research.
The AIHW also further developed its capacity to fill information gaps through the continued enhancement of data linkage and analytical methodologies, including support for the production of COAG performance indicators to be derived from linked data. Whole-of-government and life-transition views of Australians' health and welfare were enhanced by the AIHW's analyses of linked data recording the care pathways of older Australians (see the 'snapshot').
Feedback regarding data releases was positive. 89% of respondents to short online reader surveys considered the AIHW's reports 'useful' (see 'Feedback on the effectiveness of products').
No breaches of privacy occurred relating to release of confidential data.
The AIHW has a strong reputation for delivering quality information and statistical products to a range of audiences including the general public, government, the media, commentators and researchers. It also aims to make them easily available and in a variety of formats that suit various and diverse needs. The AIHW has continued to explain the concepts that underpin its analyses, and the interpretations that those data will or will not support to allow users to make good sense of the information in those products.
Under this strategic direction (SD4), the AIHW has aimed to:
The AIHW maintained its emphasis on improving its communications during 2010–11 (see Chapter 5 Our communications) and reviewed the structure of some of its key publications.
The following deliverables and indicators relate to how well the AIHW improved the communication of its messages to the community, and their accessibility during 2010–11.
The content and presentation of data in four publications were reviewed:
Each of these was released—or will be released— with a companion 'in brief' publication.
This deliverable relates to improving the readability and communication of key messages in AIHW publications.
93% of respondents to short online reader surveys considered the AIHW's publications 'clearly written' (see 'Feedback on the effectiveness of products').
The level of media coverage of AIHW's reports rose slightly in 2010–11 compared with 2009–10 (see 'Media relations').
Changes to the AIHW website's structure, content and graphics were implemented in the form of a new website, supported by an upgrade of the web infrastructure (see 'Website and intranet redevelopment').
A key feature of the upgraded AIHW website was an enhanced search capability for the publications catalogue, the need for which had been previously identified through telephone surveys.
This indicator relates to provision of access to the AIHW's information and analyses through the contemporary information environment. The AIHW website continued to be the AIHW's major communication medium for the provision of published reports and for downloading data. All AIHW publications were made available free on the AIHW website www.aihw.gov.au.
Nearly 1.4 million 'visits' were made to the AIHW website in 2010–11, an increase of 5.5% on 2009–10.
This indicator relates to the provision of free, high quality information through the contemporary information environment and the informing of public debate through use of the Institute's information and analyses.
There were 4,174 media references to the AIHW in 2010–11, a slight increase on 2009–10 (see Table 15).
There were 30 references to the AIHW in the parliamentary debates of the Senate and the House of Representatives in 2010–11. The AIHW is well referenced in the proceedings of state and territory parliaments (see Table 17) and in the reports of Senate committees.
The AIHW released several publications in 2010–11 that provide information in new formats, for example:
The new formats mentioned above supplement annual and other releases of information as publications available on the internet and in print, as online-accessible (often interactive) data sets and as education resources for the secondary education sector, to which teachers can self-subscribe (see Chapter 5 Our communications).
In 2010–11, the AIHW received 40% of its funding as an appropriation from the Australian Parliament. Most of the remaining revenue is for the delivery of specific projects for Australian and, to a lesser extent, state and territory government departments and agencies.
A summary of the financial performance of the AIHW follows. Further details are provided in Appendix 9.
The AIHW's appropriation income from the Australian Parliament was $21.4 million in 2010–11, an increase of 3% or $0.7 million over 2009–10 (Table 3 and Figure 4). This increase was due to a small increase in funding for COAG performance reporting offset by a small decrease in funding for work on closing Indigenous data gaps.
Income from externally funded projects totalled $31.4 million for 2010–11, an increase of 26% on the previous year. Most of this income came from Australian Government departments, notably the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).
Interest income was 52% higher in 2010–11 than in 2009–10. In 2010–11, the AIHW had higher cash balances and higher rates of interest on term deposits compared with the previous year.
Employee-related expenditure was higher in 2010–11 ($35.1 million) than in 2009–10 ($28.4 million, Table 3). This was due to increased salary rates and increased staff numbers (see Table 8). There were also additional costs in accommodating staff.
The overall result was a small surplus of $0.13 million.
Financial assets totalled $27.1 million in 2010-11, a decrease of $1.0 million on the previous year (Table 4). This was mainly due to a decrease in income received in advance for externally funded projects.
All excess cash has been invested in term deposits in accordance with the AIHW's investment policy.
Liabilities in 2010-11 ($24.6 million) were lower than 2009-10 ($25.9 million) due to decreased income received in advance offset by higher leave provisions due to increased staff numbers.
Total equity increased marginally from $6.0 million to $6.1 million. This was due to the surplus for the year.
Net cash received from operating activities was $0.3 million in 2010-11. Both cash inflows and outflows were higher because more contract work was being undertaken. The AIHW spent $0.8 million on the purchase of property, plant and equipment, and leasehold improvements compared to $1.2 million in 2009-10. The net cash decrease in the year was $0.6 million, reducing the cash balance from $18.8 million to $18.2 million (see the cash flow statement in Financial assets totalled $27.1 million in 2010–11, Appendix 9).
Income from externally funded projects is expected to increase in 2011-12 compared with 2010-11 (see Figure 3). Appropriation income from the Australian Parliament will decrease by $4.0 million in 2011-12 due to the cessation of funding for COAG data development work at the end of 2010-11. The decrease was offset by a small increase in funding for Closing the Data Gap work. Appropriation income will then remain relatively stable in subsequent years.
The AIHW's total expenditure in 2011-12 is expected to be similar to that for 2010-11. This is due to an anticipated increase in external income which will offset the drop in appropriation income.
The value of land and buildings is expected to decrease in 2011-12 due to the depreciation of fit-out costs over the term of the remaining lease. No other significant changes in the balance sheet items are expected.
Figure 4: Revenue sources, 2001-02 to 2010-11
The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) requires each Commonwealth Government agency to publish a statement setting out its role, structure and functions, the categories of documents available for public inspection and information on how to access these documents. This statement is available in Appendix 8.
In 2010–11, there was one request for access to records under the FOI Act, which was refused.
There were no requests for internal review made during the year.
No new matters relating to the AIHW were referred to, or raised with, the Commonwealth Ombudsman's Office during 2010–11.
In 2010–11, there were no legal actions lodged against the AIHW and no judicial decisions directly affecting the Institute.
Section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 requires certain reporting on advertising and market research by Commonwealth agencies, including those covered by the Public Service Act 1999.
During 2010–11, the AIHW paid $23,915 (GST inclusive) to Adcorp Australia, a media marketing organisation that placed recruitment and tender notices on behalf of the AIHW. No advertising campaigns were undertaken.