Under the Freedom of Information Amendment (Reform) Act 2010 all Commonwealth agencies subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), including our department, are required to have an IPS plan.
We’re subject to the FOI Act and are required to comply with the IPS. This agency plan describes how we do this, as required by section 8(1) of the FOI Act.
This plan describes how we administer our IPS entry in respect of its own information holdings by addressing:
- the establishment and administration of our department's IPS entry
- information architecture
- information required to be published under the IPS, section 8(2) of the FOI Act
other information to be published
- regularly reviewing information published to make sure it’s accurate, up to date and complete, section 8F of the FOI Act
Establishing and administering our IPS entry
(a) IPS accountability
The General Counsel of the Employment Law and Freedom of Information Branch (ELFOI) is responsible for leading our compliance with the IPS. The General Counsel of ELFOI is supported by and reports to the Chief Counsel, Legal Services Division, and through the Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Enabling to our Secretary.
(b) the processes and timetable for identifying information required to be published under section 8(2) of the FOI Act and for publishing additional information under section 8(4) of the FOI Act
Each branch of the department is responsible for the day to day tasks associated with complying with the IPS. For example, National Managers are responsible for ensuring that operational information is kept up to date on our operational information page. Consideration about whether operational information should be published is an integral part of this process.
To support this process, we have a guide for staff which:
- describes processes to be followed internally to ensure published information is accurate, up to date and complete
- helps staff identify what needs to be published under the IPS
- describes processes for publishing information
(c) details of access charges that we may impose for accessing information published under the IPS, and how charges will be calculated (section 8D(4) of the FOI Act)
We may charge a person for accessing any IPS document which is impracticable to publish online. If we charge a person, it’s:
- at the lowest reasonable cost
- to reimburse the department for specific reproduction costs or other specific incidental costs, section 8D(4) of the FOI Act
Any charges imposed 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.
(d) IPS information register
The Operational Blueprint explains how we deliver services. It also holds reference material to support staff delivering those services. It contains all service delivery operating procedures in simple, clear language that can be accessed and understood by staff, customers and stakeholders. It allows for greater transparency and consistency when making service delivery decisions.
IPS documents are downloadable from the Operational Blueprint page or available upon request as follows:
- by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- by mailing Freedom of Information, PO Box 7820, Canberra Mail Centre, ACT 2610
The ELFOI Branch continually reviews the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's Guidelines to determine whether documents we hold fall within the definition of operational documents.
IPS Information Architecture
The IPS entry will be published on the Information Publication Scheme page under the following headings:
(a) Required information
- Agency plan, sections 8(2)(a) of the FOI Act
- Who we are, sections 8(2)(b) and 8(2)(d) of the FOI Act
- What we do, sections 8(2)(c) and 8(2)(j) of the FOI Act
- Our reports and responses to Parliament, sections 8(2)(e) and 8(2)(h) of the FOI Act
- Routinely requested information and FOI disclosure log, sections 8(2)(g) and 11C of the FOI Act
- Consultation, section 8(2)(f) of the FOI Act
- Contact details, section 8(2)(i) of the FOI Act
(b) Other information
- Our priorities, section 8(4) of the FOI Act
- Our finances, section 8(4) of the FOI Act
- Our lists, section 8(4) of the FOI Act
(c) Ensuring our IPS is easily accessible
To make sure our IPS entry is easily discoverable, understandable and accessible, we have:
- published an IPS icon on our Freedom of Information page
- wherever possible, provided online content in a format that can be searched, copied and transformed
- updated our website, to help individuals identify the location of information published under sections 8(2) and 8(4) of the FOI Act
- included an alphabetical search function on our website to help members of the public to find documents in each of our programs
Information required to be published under the IPS
Who we are
Information we’re required to publish under sections 8(2)(b) and 8(2)(d) of the FOI Act about our organisational structure (including our organisation chart) and statutory appointments is available on our Organisation structure page.
What we do
We publish details about our functions, including decision-making powers and other powers affecting members of the public, and the rules, guidelines, practices and precedents relating to those functions and powers that is operational information required to be published under sections 8(2)(c) and 8(2)(j) of the FOI Act. You can find information about:
- our structure and the range of payments and services we offer
- our functions and powers under legislation we administer
- all operational material and procedural material for staff. Operational material is published except where publication may be restricted or prohibited under FOI Act exemptions or other legislation
- our corporate publications and resources – like our budget, corporate plan, enterprise agreements and finances
- online accounts – a range of your personal information is available through your online account:
Our reports and responses to parliament
We publish annual reports laid before the Parliament, and other information routinely provided to the Parliament as required under sections 8(2)(e) and 8(2)(h) of the FOI Act. This information is published on the following pages:
- Annual reports
- Senate Order No 8: Production of Departmental File Lists
- Senate Order No 9: List of Departmental Contracts of $100,000 or more
- Centrelink Data-matching Program report on progress
Routinely requested information and FOI disclosure Log
Information that can be published resulting from FOI requests and any routinely released information from such requests is found in our FOI Disclosure Log as required under sections 8(2)(g) and 11C of the FOI Act.
We’re required under section 8(2)(f) of the FOI Act to publish information about consultation arrangements that enable members of the public to comment on specific policy proposals for which we are responsible.
We consult in a variety of ways with members of the public.
We deliver a range of payments based on policy provided by other departments. We provide links to other departments on our Consultation page, so members of the public can make comments on any policy proposal to these departments.
We also undertake public consultation on our website through 'Speechbubble'. Speechbubble is an online forum where customers, staff and stakeholders can discuss and provide feedback about our initiatives
'Speechbubble' will be available online at various times to inform and engage with the public on different initiatives. It’s a less formal and more immediate way for us to consult directly and widely with the public to develop citizen-centred products and services.
To contact us in relation to the IPS, you can:
- email email@example.com
- write to Freedom of Information, Department of Human Services, PO Box 7820, Canberra Mail Centre ACT 2610
We also publish other information that we hold (in addition to the information published under section 8(2) of the FOI Act), taking into account the objects of the FOI Act (section 8(4) of the FOI Act). This information relates to our:
- priorities, for example our Corporate Plan and other strategic planning documents
- finances, for example our annual procurement plan and other financial information
- corporate publications and resources
IPS compliance review
Pursuant to sections 8F(a) and 9(1) of the FOI Act, we undertook a review of our IPS compliance by 1 May 2016.
In accordance with section 9(1), the next formal review of the plan will be undertaken by 2021, or as appropriate. To do this, we’ll review the IPS in light of any public feedback received and make refinements accordingly.