Information Publication Plan
Agency Plan for the Information Publication Scheme (IPS)
The ABS is an independent statutory authority established under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is an agency subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) and is required to comply with the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) requirements. This plan describes how the ABS will respond to part II of the FOI Act.
The ABS is required to protect the confidentiality of information collected under the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Additionally ABS staff are required to protect collected information as a part of their annual Fidelity and Secrecy acknowledgement process. The ABS also encourages public participation in government processes and increasing scrutiny of its activities under part II of the FOI Act.
The purpose of this Information Publication Plan is to:
- articulate how the ABS is responding to the IPS requirements
- identify the information that the ABS publishes, how and to whom the information is published
- identify any information that the ABS will publish in future under the IPS
- identify any actions that the ABS needs to take to otherwise comply with the IPS requirements (s 8(1))
The ABS’ objectives of this plan are to identify the actions the ABS must take to be compliant with the IPS requirements. Specifically this plan describes how the ABS will:
- identify and publish all required information (s 8(2))
- identify and publish any optional information to be published (s 8(4))
- review and ensure on a regular basis that information published under the IPS is accurate, up to date and complete (s 8B)
- ensure that information published under the IPS is easily discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, reusable and transformable
- ensure satisfactory compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2.0) (WCAG 2.0)
- monitor the success of the ABS IPS contribution by reference to feedback and compliance review processes.
Administering the ABS' IPS contribution
The Program Manager, Parliamentary, Policy and Planning Branch will be responsible for managing IPS compliance in the ABS.
The Parliamentary, Policy and Planning Branch will liaise with the web publishing team and other teams managing published content to ensure that the IPS contribution published on the ABS website is discoverable, understandable, useable, machine-readable, accessible, up-to-date and accurate.
Each branch of the ABS is responsible for the day-to-day tasks associated with complying with the IPS. For example, the Parliamentary, Policy and Planning Branch will be responsible for maintaining the disclosure log for FOI requests. Requests from Parliament are managed by the Parliamentary Section.
Fees and charges
There is no application fee for an FOI request.
There are no processing charges for requests for access to documents containing only personal information about you. However, processing charges may apply to other requests. The most common charges are:
|Search and retrieval:||time we spend searching for or retrieving a document||$15.00 per hour|
|Decision making:||time we spend in deciding to grant or refuse a request, including examining documents, consulting with other parties, and making deletions||First five hours: Nil|
Subsequent hours: $20 per hour
|Transcript:||preparing a transcript from a sound recording, shorthand or similar medium||$4.40 per page of transcript|
|Photocopy||$0.10 per page|
|Inspection:||supervision by an agency officer of your inspection of documents or hearing or viewing an audio or visual recording at our premises||$6.25 per half hour (or part thereof)|
|Delivery:||posting or delivering a copy of a document at your request||Cost of postage or delivery|
If we decide to impose a charge, we will give you a written estimate and the basis of our calculation. Where the estimated charge is between $20 and $100, we may ask you to pay a deposit of $20, or where the estimated charge exceeds $100, we may ask you to pay a 25% deposit before we process your request.
You can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced for any reason, including financial hardship or on the grounds of public interest. If you do so, you should explain your reasons and you may need to provide some evidence.
Information required to be published under the IPS
(1) The FOI Act requires the ABS to publish information about its work and how it is undertaken and information dealt with or used in the course of its operations (s 7A).
The ABS will publish documents required to be published under the IPS (s 8(2)) in the IPS section on its website and will adopt the same headings as the OAIC:
Who we are
This section will provide information about the ABS, including links to the ABS organisational chart and information about statutory appointments.
What we do
This will outline the functions of the ABS and its governing Acts and charters.
Our Annual reports
This section will include a link to the ABS annual reports and other publications laid before parliament.
Routinely requested information
This will include a link to the disclosure log which provides information on the ABS’ responses to:
- FOI requests (s 8(2)(g)) and
- requests from Parliament (s 8(2)(h))
This will contain details of arrangements for members of the public to comment on our collections. The ABS offers opportunities for the public to comment of specific proposals. These documents are published on the front page of the ABS website. The ABS will continue to publicise these documents through the website and media releases.
This will include the contact details for an officer who can be contacted about access to ABS’ information or documents under the FOI Act. The ABS has an established email addresses for this purpose that will not change with staff movements.
Optional information to be published under the IPS
Additional optional information to be published under s 8(4) will be identified in the manner described in the IPS Compliance Review section.
The ABS has considered accessibility at every stage of developing the new ABS website. A number of actions have been taken to ensure that the ABS’ IPS page is discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, the ABS will:
- wherever possible, provide online content in a format that can be searched, copied and transformed
- utilise the current sitemap on the ABS website, to help individuals identify the location of information published under ss 8(2) and 8(4)
- has provided a search function for its website
Under the IPS the ABS will be publishing new information and links to existing information on the website. The ABS has a team dedicated to ensuring the ABS’ compliance with the WCAG 2.0.
The ABS uses Adobe Acrobat to allow redacted documents to be securely loaded on to the Disclosure Log while still being machine readable.
Where any of our web products are not suitably accessible, the ABS will be pleased to make arrangements for the Royal Society for the Blind to translate the product into a more appropriate format. This service is provided at no additional cost to the user. This can be done by contacting the National Information and Referral Service. Their contact details will be provided on the IPS website.
IPE compliance review
The ABS is dedicated to ensuring that the information it provides under the IPS is complete, accurate up-to-date and readily accessible. The ABS will ensure this by reviewing the content of the IPS at least annually to coincide with the release of the ABS’ annual report. The ABS will also comply with section 9 of the FOI Act to complete a review of the operation of the IPS as required.