Information Publication Scheme (IPS)

Introduction

Reforms to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) promote a pro-disclosure culture across The Administration and the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly and build a stronger foundation for greater openness and transparency in government. A significant change is the introduction of a new Information Publication Scheme (IPS) for Norfolk Island Government. The scheme aims to transform the freedom of information framework from one that responds to publishing information. The scheme commences on 1st May 2013 for Norfolk Island.

Elements of the scheme

The information publication scheme:

The scheme does not apply to a small number of security agencies that are exempt from the FOI Act.

What information is to be published?

The FOI Act specifies nine categories of information that must be published, in addition to the information publication agency plan:

  1. detail of the Administration’s structure (organization chart)
  2. details of the Administration and Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly functions, including its decision making powers and other powers affecting the public
  3. details of statutory appointments of the Administration and Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly
  4. The Administrations annual reports
  5. details of consultation arrangements for members of the public to comment on specific policy proposals
  6. information in documents to which the Administration routinely gives access in response to requests under the FOI Act
  7. information that Administration routinely provides to the Legislative Assembly
  8. details of an officer who can be contacted about access to Administration’s information or documents under the FOI Act
  9. the Administration’s operational information (which is information that assists the agency to exercise its functions or powers in making decisions or recommendations that affect members of the public. This includes the agency’s rules, guidelines, practices and precedents relating to those decisions and recommendations.)

What other information can agencies publish under the scheme?

The FOI Act expressly recognizes that information held by the Norfolk Island Government is a national resource and is to be managed for public purposes.

The Administration may publish other information they hold that falls outside the nine categories listed above. For example, the Administration may hold for their own purposes statistical information which researchers and other member of the public would find useful.

The scheme does not require the Administration that is restricted, for example, if a document is exempt under the FOI Act or its publication is prohibited under other legislation.

How will I know if the information is up to date?

The Administration must ensure that information published under the information publication scheme is accurate, up to date and complete.

Are there any charges for accessing the information?

The intention of the scheme is that agencies will publish freely accessible information on their websites.

There may be circumstances, however, where it is not practical for an agency to publish information or data to its website. In making information available in another form, the Administration may incur costs (including reproduction costs). The Administration can decide to impose a charge to recoup these publishing costs. Where charges apply, the details will be published on the Administrations website.

More Information

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner also publishes a range of Information Publication Scheme facts and other guidance that may be of interest at www.oaic.gov.au.

Information Publication Scheme - Agency Plan

April 2013

Introduction

The Administration of Norfolk Island (Administration) 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 agency plan describes how the Administration proposes to do this, as required by s 8(1) of the FOI Act.

Norfolk Island is a self-governing external territory under the authority of the Commonwealth government. It has a legislature of 9 elected members and operates under the Norfolk Island Act, 1979 (Cth). The government, through its public sector agency – The Administration – provides a diverse and full range of government and public utility services spanning all three tiers of government responsibility. The Administration is governed by the Public Sector Management Act 2000.

The agency plan describes how the Administration proposes to implement and administer its IPS entry in respect of its own information holdings, by addressing:

The Administration will continue to build and foster a culture in which appropriate proactive disclosure of its information holdings is embraced, leading to successful implementation and administration of its IPS entry. This is in recognition that public sector information is a national resource managed for public purposes.

The IPS requirements are intended to facilitate and promote public access to information promptly and at the lowest reasonable cost.

Purpose

The purpose of this agency plan is to:

Objectives

The Administration’s objectives are to outline appropriate mechanisms and procedures to:

Establishing and administering IPS entry

The Office of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is designated as the office responsible for leading the Administration’s compliance with the IPS. The CEO appoints an IPS Compliance Officer to manage the Information Publication Scheme.

(a) Establishing IPS entry by 1 May 2013

The IPS Compliance Officer is supported by the IPS Steering Group to establish IPS entry by 1 May 2013.

The IPS Steering Group comprises of staff from various departments within Administration and staff from the offices of the Legislative Assembly.

The IPS Steering Group has prepared an IPS project plan for tasks to be completed by 1 May 2012, including:

The IPS Steering Group has developed an IPS information register. The IPS information register records details of documents and information required or permitted to be published under s 8(2) and 8(4).

To prepare the IPS information register, the IPS project team spent approximately three months:

The IPS information register facilitates conformance with WCAG 2.0 (see Objectives on page 2), as it:

(b) Administering IPS entry from 1 May 2013

The Administration is developing a comprehensive information asset management framework which will apply to the Administration’s IPS entry. This framework will initially comprise records management plans and policies which are currently under development. The Administration also intends to develop plans and procedures to address other information asset issues, including intellectual property and copyright.

The Administration will finalise its Records management policy prior to 1 May 2013. The Administration has sought advice from the National Archives of Australia on this process and is employing information management tools, such as the Administrative Functions Disposal Authority (AFDA).

From 1 May 2013, the Administration’s ongoing compliance with the IPS will be co-ordinated by the IPS Compliance Officer.

Each Agency Manager will be responsibe for day to day tasks associated with complying with the IPS. The IPS Compliance Officer will manage ongoing administration of IPS entry and will be responsible for implementing, reviewing and revising this plan.

As part of managing the ongoing administration of IPS entry, the Administration is developing a Guide to publishing information under the IPS for staff. The guide will:

The Administration will lead better practice initiatives to engage with the community about the Administration’s IPS entry. These include:

Documents which are not available on the website will be made available upon request.

The Administration may charge a person for accessing any IPS document which is impractical to publish online:

The Administration will generally not impose a charge where the reimbursement or incidental cost would be lower than $50.00.

The Administration will publish in the IPS section of its website a list of any IPS documents that are impractical to publish online, and give details of how a person seeking access to any of these documents will be able 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 2013.

IPS information architecture

The Administration will publish its IPS entry on its website in accordance with the timetable at Annexure B (except where this is impractical).

The IPS entry will be published on the Administration’s website (www.info.gov.nf) under the following headings:

Required information

Other information

To ensure that the Administration’s IPS entry (and individual IPS documents) is easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, the Administration has:

To conform to WCAG 2.0, the Administration has:

Information required to be published under the IPS

The Administration will publish documents required to be published under the IPS (s 8(2)) in the IPS section of the website at www.info.gov.nf.

The Administration will publish these documents in accordance with the timeframe set out in Annexure B.

The Administration will publish these documents under the following headings:

Required information

Agency plan

Who we are

What we do

Our reports and responses to Parliament

Routinely requested information and disclosure log

Consultation arrangements

Contact us

Other information to be published under the IPS

The Administration will publish on the IPS section of its website other information that it holds (in addition to the information published under s 8(2)), taking into account the objects of the FOI Act (s 8(4)).

The Administration will publish these documents in accordance with the timeframe set out in Annexure B.

Other information will be published under the following headings:

Other information

Our priorities

Our finances

Our lists

Our submissions

Our policies

IPS compliance review

The Administration will review and revise this agency plan at least annually, which will coincide with the Administration’s strategic planning process.

The Administration 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 (better practice guidance material to assist agencies to comply with the IPS – to be published in the Information Commissioner’s regulatory capacity).

The Administration will adopt the following criteria for measuring its performance:

  1. agency plan – has the Administration published a comprehensive plan for its IPS compliance?
  2. Governance and administration – does the Administration have appropriate governance mechanisms in place to meet its IPS obligations, including a sound information management framework?
  3. IPS document holdings – has the Administration reviewed its document holdings to decide what information must be published under s 8(2) and information that can be published under s 8(4)? Is the Administration’s IPS entry accurate, up-to-date and complete?
  4. IPS information architecture – does the Administration have a publication framework in place and has it taken the necessary steps to ensure that information in its IPS entry is easily discoverable and accessible?
  5. Agency compliance review – does the Administration have appropriate processes, systems and resources in place to monitor and review its IPS compliance and to make necessary improvements to its IPS implementation?

Annexure A

Access charges for documents not available on the website

No.

Document title

Format

Charges

1.

All Photocopy 10 cents per page
    Copy (other than photocopy) $4.40 per page
Copy of the document in the form of a computer tape or copmuter disk An ammount not exceeding the actual cost incurred in producing the copy
Copy of the document to be sent to the applicant by post or delivered to the applicant An ammount not exceeding the actual cost incurred in producing the copy and of

Annexure B

Indicative timetable – WCAG 2.0 conformance

The Administration will ensure, as is reasonably practicable, that all documents available on its website conform to WCAG 2.0 in accordance with the following timetable (subject to exceptions described below):

No.

Document Catorgory

Format

Indicative WCAG 2.0 conformance date

1.

All documents required to be published under s 8(2) RTF, PDF and/or HTML 1 May 2013

2.

Optional information published under s 8(4) RTF, PDF and/or HTML 1 September 2013

The majority of documents listed on the IPS section of the Administration website will be converted into HTML to meet accessibility requirements. A small number of exceptions may apply to:

Where possible, documents covered by these exceptions will be published in two alternative formats.

Contact Us

Information Officer
3rd Floor New Military Barracks
Quality Row
NORFOLK ISLAND 2899
 
Phone: +6723 22001 Fax: +6723 23177
Email: regionalcouncil@nirc.gov.nf