Finance is an agency subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). The 2010 reforms to the FOI Act included the introduction of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This plan describes how Finance intends to comply with the IPS.
The purpose of this plan is to:
- identify information Finance proposes to publish for the purposes of Part II of the FOI Act
- identify how and to whom Finance proposes to publish information for the purposes of Part II of the FOI Act
- how Finance will otherwise comply with Part II of the FOI Act
Finance’s objectives are to outline appropriate procedures to:
- manage its information holdings relevant to the IPS
- proactively identify and publish all information required to be published
- proactively identify and publish all operational information
- review information published under the IPS on a regular basis to ensure that is accurate, up-to-date and complete
- ensure that information published under the IPS is discoverable, understandable and re-useable
- ensure that the format of online content conforms with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0)
- measure the success of Finance’s contribution to the IPS by reference to feedback and review processes; and
- any other specific agency objectives as announced from time to time.
Establishing Finance’s Contribution to the IPS
The Deputy Secretary of Finance’s Business Enabling Services Group is responsible overall for leading the department’s work on implementing the FOI reforms, including the IPS. Corporate Services Division is responsible for administration of Freedom of Information, communications and publishing.
The FOI Unit in Legal and Assurance Branch, Corporate Services Division identified information required or permitted to be published under the FOI Act by:
- requesting Business Groups within Finance to review their functions and information holdings to identify material relevant to the IPS
- identifying information to be published under the IPS section of Finance’s internet website
- ensuring information to be published under the IPS section of the website was up to date, complete and accurate.
Administering Finance’s Contribution to the IPS
The Deputy Secretary of Finance’s Business Enabling Services Group is responsible for managing the IPS.
The FOI Unit maintains registers of information required to be published under the FOI Act and assists the Parliamentary and Corporate Engagement Branch in Corporate Services Division to develop guidance material to explain Finance’s responsibilities for contributing to the IPS. The guidance material:
- helps staff identify on an ongoing basis any required or optional information to be published under the IPS
- describes processes to be followed internally to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of published information.
This ensures information published on the Finance website is discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, accessible, useable, up-to-date and accurate, Finance’s Web Management and Design team:
- engages with Business Groups in formal web content reviews conducted annually to determine whether any new or updated information needs to be published to comply with the IPS
- as far as possible, ensures published information complies with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0).
Finance’s Information and Data Policy supports a comprehensive and systematic approach to creating, storing and accessing information to serve current and future business needs.
In promoting a pro-disclosure culture, Finance intends to make documentation available free of charge by primarily publishing information on its website.
While Finance will endeavour to provide as much documentation as possible online, some documentation is unable to be published. This includes material that is exempt under the FOI Act or for which an FOI request must be submitted. Enquiries about the status of a document or information should be made initially to:
Requests for multiple copies of archived documents which are no longer available online may attract a charge for the cost of photocopying, postage etc. Finance will notify the applicant of any potential charge at the time of the request and the charge will be payable prior to release of the document.
To ensure documents are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, Finance will publish its IPS information holdings on its website and:
- create new navigation from the About the Department section of its website to the IPS page
- place an IPS logo on the homepage
- where possible create content in a format that is searchable
- create IPS “featured results” in the Finance site search engine
- provide a link for feedback on the IPS to ascertain if the content is discoverable, understandable and machine-readable.
IPS information holdings will be available online under the following headings:
Who We Are
This section will include links to Finance’s organisational chart and details of appointed statutory office holders.
What We Do
This will outline Finance’s functions and activities, matters dealt with by Finance in accordance with the Commonwealth Administrative Arrangement Orders (AAOs), legislation administered by the Finance Minister and details of Finance’s decision making powers under Acts or parts of Acts administered by Finance. It will also include links it Annual Reports and to new policies or programs resulting from Government decisions made from time to time.
Reports and Responses to Parliament
This section will include links to reports and publications laid before the Parliament.
Routinely Requested Information
This section will include links to file lists made available in accordance with Senate Continuing Order No. 10, contract lists made available in accordance with Senate Continuing Order No. 11 and links to information held by Finance and routinely provided to the Parliament in response to requests and orders from the Parliament.
Arrangements for Public Consultation
This section will describe arrangements for making representations to Finance’s portfolio Ministers about policy and other matters as well as arrangements for making comments about issues managed by Finance.
Freedom of Information (FOI)
This section will describe procedures and contact details for making FOI requests. It will also provide access a Disclosure Log with links to documents released to applicants under the FOI Act.
This section will provide links to information held by Finance to assist it perform or exercise its functions or powers in making decisions or recommendations affecting members of the public. Links will be reviewed and updated to include additional information that falls within the scope of operational information.
Other Information to be Published
Finance will identify information to be published in addition to the information required under the IPS. Other information to be published on the IPS section of the Finance website includes:
As far as possible, information published to comply with the IPS will conform to the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0).
Some documents cannot be provided in HTML format and some will be made available to download and share in Portable Document Format (PDF). Where possible, Finance has taken steps to ensure that alternate formats are available, commonly Rich Text Format (RTF). For downloadable documents, an icon appears alongside the document link to indicate the file type and size.
A number of Finance documents have either an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) or International Standard Book Number (ISBN). Where these numbers apply, the document will make note of such a number accordingly.
A number of archived Finance websites (including those administered by the Department) can be accessed through the National Library of Australia’s Pandora Archive.
Selected historical publications are also available through Finance’s archived website.
IPS Compliance Review
The review will examine Finance’s compliance with the IPS requirements along with a review of this plan at least annually, which will coincide with the annual web content review.
Various criteria will be used to measure Finance’s compliance with the IPS requirements, including:
- Feedback from the public
- Timeframes in which Finance publishes information online
- Communication between Finance and members of the public in relation to accessing documents published online
In accordance with section 9 of the FOI Act, Finance intends to review the operation of its IPS at least every 5 years. Such a review will be undertaken in conjunction with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
Finance welcomes feedback on the approach it proposes to take to complying with the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) outlined in this plan. Please email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, the Department of Finance Information Publication Plan is issued under a Creative Commons BY licence. The terms of the BY licence can be found at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/.
The document must be attributed “Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Finance Information Publication Plan”.
The terms under which the Commonwealth Coat of Arms can be used are available at the It's an Honour website.