Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 requires the ABS to provide detail on the structure of the ABS, and how members of the public can gain access to information held by the ABS.
Detail on the structure of the ABS can be found in Chapter 2, Overview of the ABS.
Information held by the ABS
Appendix Table 5.1: Categories of documents in the possession of the ABS
|Documents open to public access upon payment of a fee||The ABS does not hold any of these types of documents.|
|Documents available for purchase or customarily available free of charge||The ABS has a wide range of statistical publications available free-of-charge on its website <http://www.abs.gov.au>, and through major public libraries. Charged publications can be purchased via the ABS National Information Referral Service (Ph: 1300 135 070).|
|Government and Parliament||The ABS holds policy-related documents, ministerial briefings, ministerial correspondence, replies to parliamentary questions, and tabling documents.|
|Meetings and conferences||The ABS holds agenda papers, submissions, and records of proceedings of internal and external conferences, management meetings and workshops.|
|Statistical and statistical services projects||The ABS holds research, development and evaluation papers; records of consultations with suppliers and users of data; statistical classifications; lists of businesses; maps; data collection, processing and publication manuals and instructions; and mailing lists.|
|Administration and management||The ABS holds work program and planning documents; finance, staff and establishment papers and manuals; personnel files; recruitment files; files on selection and promotion of staff; staff development and training papers; officer services documents; and tenders.|
|Privacy||The ABS holds a record of the extent and nature of ABS holdings of personal information, as contained in the Personal Information Digest published by the Privacy Commissioner.|
|General||The ABS holds correspondence, manuals on general subjects, internal reports and administrative circulars.|
ABS freedom of information activities
Matters relating to the operation of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 within the ABS are the responsibility of the Office of the Statistician, which is located in Central Office. Authority for decision making under this Act has been delegated to the Deputy Australian Statisticians, the First Assistant Statistician, Corporate Services Division, and the Assistant Statistician, Office of the Statistician.
A significant part of ABS information holdings is information collected under the Census and Statistics Act 1905. This information is exempt from the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
The following table provides details of freedom of information (FOI) activities during the years 2003–04 to 2007–08 inclusive. Three requests were made to the ABS under theFreedom of Information Act 1982 during 2007–08.
Appendix Table 5.2: Freedom of Information Activities, 2003–04 to 2007–08 (number)
|Decisions made|| || || || |
| Access granted in full|
| Access granted in part|
*No information was released to the requestors under the FOI Act during 2007–08. However, the ABS released some information to the requestors separately to the FOI Act, where the Census and Statistics Act 1905
allows for such a release.
Where to get information
Freedom of Information Inquiries
All inquiries concerning access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 may be directed to the Freedom of Information Contact Officer, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Locked Bag 10, Belconnen, ACT, 2616; Ph: (02) 6252 5559; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ABS offers an initial contact point for all information requests:
Telephone: 1300 135 070
Facsimile: 1300 135 211
Mail: Client Services, ABS, GPO Box 796, Sydney, NSW, 2001.