Part 2 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) establishes an Information Publication Scheme (IPS) for Australian Government agencies subject to the FOI Act. The IPS commenced on 1 May 2011 and requires the Department of Defence to publish a broad range of information on this website. Defence is also required to publish a plan that explains how the IPS is administered.
The IPS underpins a pro-disclosure culture across government, and transforms the freedom of information framework from one that is reactive to individual requests for documents, to one that also relies more heavily on agency driven publication of information. The IPS requirements are intended to facilitate and promote public access to information promptly and at the lowest reasonable cost.
This plan describes how Defence implements and administers its IPS entries as required by s 8(1) of the FOI Act, by addressing:
Defence will continue to build and foster a culture in which appropriate proactive disclosure of its information holdings is embraced. This is in recognition that public sector information is a national resource, managed for public purposes.
The purpose of this agency plan is to:
Defence's objective is to outline appropriate mechanisms and procedures to:
Defence proactively publishes 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 Assistant Secretary, Information, Management and Access (IMA) is the strategic manager of FOI processes, the IPS, and corporate information management more generally. The IMA Branch administers the Defence IPS entries and is responsible for implementing, reviewing and revising this plan.
The governance arrangements established to support information management improvements in Defence include an Information Management Steering Committee. With membership at 3 Star/Senior Executive Service Band 3 level from each Group and Service, the Committee sets the whole-of Defence direction for corporate information management. The committee is co-chaired by the Deputy Secretary, Defence Support and Reform Group and the Chief Information Officer.
Publishing and managing the Defence IPS entries is undertaken in accordance with the existing Defence publishing framework, which consists of a set of processes underpinned by corporate strategies, policies and standards.
In 2014, the Defence Web Estate Manual was released and it provides governance and guidance for the preparation, authorisation and publishing of web content. Defence will continue to update its Records Management Policy to address changes in the Archives Act 1983 and Records in Evidence obligations, as well as the introduction of the Government's Digital Transition Policy.
The Information Management Strategic Framework (IMSF) which was endorsed by the Defence Committee in 2010, brings together a set of principles and objectives that underpin a whole-of-Defence approach to Information Management.
In keeping with the requirements of the whole-of-government Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy, Defence has established a web team to improve web services and access to Defence information. The team is responsible for monitoring Defence's vast web environment and ensuring that the Defence websites comply with the Australian Government Information Management Office's web accessibility rating.
Defence maintains an internal register of information required or permitted to be published under the IPS. The register contains details on:
Defence ensures its IPS entries are accurate, up to date and complete by undertaking the following:
Defence will not charge for information provided by email. However, where information is requested in an alternative format (for example, a photocopy of the document) and the reimbursement or incidental costs would be more than $100, charges may apply. The charges that may apply are listed below.
|Photocopy||10 cents per page|
|Copy (other than photocopy)||$4.40 per page|
|Copy of the document in the form of a computer disk||An amount not exceeding the actual costs incurred by Defence in producing the copy|
|Copy of the document to be sent to the applicant by post or delivered to the applicant||An amount not exceeding the cost of postage or delivery|
Generally there will be no charge where the cost would be below $100.
The point of entry for public access to the Defence IPS content is the Defence website homepage. The IPS content can be accessed via the homepage navigation menu and the Accessing our Information icon in the footer.
The Defence IPS is structured as follows:
Defence reviews the operation of the IPS annually and updates its plan each year.