The Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation (ARPC) is an agency subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) and is required to comply with the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) provisions. This agency plan describes how ARPC proposes to do this, as required by s 8(1) of the FOI Act.
The agency plan describes how ARPC proposes to implement and administer the IPS in respect of its own information holdings by addressing:
- establishing and administering ARPC’s IPS information holdings
- information architecture
- information required to be published
- other information to be published
- accessibility of information published
- IPS compliance review
- better practice initiatives including promoting community engagement.
ARPC recognises that public sector information is a national resource managed for public purposes. ARPC will implement and administer the IPS in accordance with the objects of the FOI Act to promote Australia’s representative democracy by contributing towards increased public participation in Government processes.
The purpose of this agency plan is to:
- assist ARPC in planning and developing its IPS
- manage the information holdings relevant to the IPS
- show what information ARPC proposes to publish (referred to as the IPS information holdings), how and to whom the information will be published and how ARPC will otherwise comply with the IPS requirements.
ARPC’s objectives are to outline appropriate mechanisms and procedures to:
- manage the IPS information holdings
- proactively identify and publish all information required to be published (s 8(2))
- proactively identify and publish any other 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 the information published under the IPS is easily discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, re-useable and transformable
- ensure the format conforms where possible to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) (WCAG 2.0) and provide alternative access arrangements
- measure the success of ARPC’s IPS contribution by reference to community feedback and compliance review processes
- adopt best practice initiatives in implementing and administering ARPC’s contribution to the IPS.
Establishing and administering ARPC’s IPS contribution
The Chief Operating Officer of ARPC is designated by the Chief Executive Officer as the senior officer responsible for leading ARPC’s work on implementing the IPS requirements under the FOI Act. The Communications team monitors, updates and implements the IPS requirements for ARPC.
ARPC’s IPS team is comprised of the Chief Operating Officer, the Communications Advisor and the Communications and Reporting Officer.
To prepare the register, the IPS team:
- identified information to be made available through the IPS portal in accordance with section 8(4)
- reviewed documents to ensure they are up to date, complete and accurate.
The IPS team has prepared a register of information required or permitted to be published under sections 8 (2) and 8 (4).
b) Administering information published under the IPS from 1 May 2011
From 1 May 2011, the IPS team will continue to be accountable for managing the IPS. The IPS team will be tasked with ensuring that the IPS documents are accurate, up-to-date and complete.
The IPS team will maintain registers of IPS required and optional information and liaise with authors to ensure that the documents are up-to-date, accurate and complete. Each branch of ARPC will be responsible as required, for day to day tasks associated with complying with the IPS.
The IPS team will continue to manage ARPC’s agency plan. As new processes are developed for managing information and internet material, the team will work with the relevant areas to integrate the IPS management into the management frameworks and will update this agency plan accordingly.
The IPS team has prepared a Management Plan to explain ARPC’s responsibilities for contributing to the IPS. The plan:
- 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.
The IPS team will lead better practice initiatives to engage with the community about ARPC’s contribution to the IPS. These include:
- inviting members of the public to provide comments to the FOI contact officer via ARPC’s website on the IPS information holdings, particularly where documents are found not to be discoverable, understandable or machine-readable
- providing IPS information holdings in alternative forms if possible when required.
The Chief Operating Officer will also arrange ARPC IPS documents, which are not available on the ARPC website, to be made available upon request.
ARPC may charge a person for accessing any IPS documents which it is impracticable to publish online:
- at the lowest reasonable price
- to reimburse specific reproduction costs or other specific incidental costs (s 8D(4)).
ARPC will publish on its website a list of any IPS documents that are impracticable to publish online. The website will state that a person seeking access to any of these documents may contact the Chief Operating Officer to arrange access.
The list of documents will include indicative charges that may be imposed for making that information available and an explanation for the charge. These charges will be consistent with charges in the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982 (which generally apply to access requests under Part III of the FOI Act). Annexure A lists the IPS documents which will not be available online as at 1 May 2011.
IPS information architecture
ARPC will publish its IPS information holdings on its website under the following headings:
- Agency plan (s 8(2)(a)
- Who we are (s 8(2)(b) and 8(2)(d))
- What we do (s 8(2)(c) and 8(2)(j))
- Our reports and responses to Parliament (s 8(2)(e) and 8(2)(h))
- Routinely requested information and disclosure log (s 8(2)(g) and 11C)
- Consultation arrangements (s 8(2)(f))
- Our workplace plans and policies (s 8(4))
- Our finances (s 8(4))
- Our communications (s 8(4))
- Our submissions
- ARPC invites comment on IPS
- Contact information (s 8(2)(i).
To ensure that the IPS information holdings (and individual IPS documents) are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, ARPC will:
- design and publish an IPS entry point on its website
- wherever possible, provide online content in a format that can be searched, copied and transformed
- publish a sitemap for its website, to help individuals identify the location of information published under s 8(2) and 8(4)
- provide a search function for its website
- invite feedback about whether the IPS information holdings (and individual IPS documents) are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable.
ARPC will make its IPS documents available through links from the IPS website.
ARPC will, as far as possible, make its IPS information holdings available for reuse on open licensing terms.
Information published under the IPS
ARPC will provide links to documents required to be published under the IPS (s 8(2)) in the IPS section of the website at http://arpc.gov.au/?/ips.
ARPC will publish these documents under the following headings:
Who we are
This will include an organisational chart, information about statutory appointments, our management team and our values.
For statutory appointees, ARPC will publish the name of the person appointed, the length or term of appointment, the position to which the person is appointed (and particulars of the position) and the provision of the Act under which the person is appointed.
What we do
This will outline ARPC’s legislative functions, the Act, review of the Act and ARPC’s scheme.
Our report and responses to Parliament
This will include the full text of ARPC’s annual reports tabled in Parliament and departmental file lists.
Routinely requested information and disclosure log
This will include information in documents to which ARPC has given access in response to FOI requests.
To date, ARPC has not been asked to provide any information under the FOI Act.
From 1 May 2011, ARPC will publish a disclosure log of information accessed under the FOI Act.
This will include a link to information about how members of the public may comment on ARPC’s reviews, consultations and discussion papers.
This will include the telephone number and an email address for the FOI contact officer, who can be contacted to assist with access to information or documents under the FOI Act.
Other information published under the IPS
ARPC will publish on the IPS webpage or provide links to other information that it holds (in addition to the information published under section 8(2)), taking into account the objects of the FOI Act (section 8(4)).
Information will be published under the following headings:
Our workplace policies and plans
This will include ARPC’s:
- code of conduct
- summary of conditions of service for ARPC staff.
This will include ARPC’s pay and grading structures.
This will include ARPC’s media releases and newsletters.
This will include submissions made by ARPC to Parliamentary committees and other agencies.
Accessibility under the IPS
(c) Approach to accessibility by commencement of the IPS
ARPC will ensure that all online information it is required to publish under the IPS (s 8(2)) and other information (s 8 (4)) conforms as far as possible with WCAG 2.0 on commencement of the IPS.
ARPC’s dedicated IPS section of its website will state that where a document is not available in an accessible format, it will be made available in an accessible format, if possible, on request through the contact details provided on the site.
(d) Approach to accessibility after commencement of the IPS
From commencement of the IPS, ARPC will publish any new IPS documents as soon as they are available for publication.
ARPC will ensure that all information newly published on the ARPC’s website conforms to WCAG 2.0 as far as possible.
IPS compliance review
ARPC will review and revise this agency plan annually in May of each year. This coincides with ARPC’s compliance reporting at the end of the financial year and with the commencement of the IPS in May 2011.
ARPC will review the operation of its IPS from time to time and at least every five years, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Information Commissioner about IPS compliance review.
Best practice initiatives
ARPC will adopt best practice approaches identified through:
- feedback from members of the public
- better practice guidelines and advice from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
- consultation with other government agencies
- internal review.