The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation is an agency subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). Part 2 of the FOI Act establishes an Information Publication Scheme (IPS). The Information Publication Scheme commences on 1 May 2011 and requires agencies to publish a broad range of information on their websites. This agency plan explains how the FRDC intends to implement the IPS, in accordance with s 8(1) of the FOI Act.
The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation is a statutory authority under the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989 (the PIRD Act) established to plan and invest in RD&E for the Australian fishing industry. Its primary objective is to maximise economic, environmental and social benefits for its stakeholders through effective investment and partnership in ‘research, development and extension (RD&E) activities throughout Australia.
The agency plan describes how the FRDC proposes to implement and administer the Information Publication Scheme in respect of its own information holdings, by addressing:
- the establishment and administration the FRDC’s Information Publication Scheme contribution
- information required to be published
- other information to be published (optional information)
- accessibility to information published
- compliance review.
Staff are encouraged to routinely make information in the public’s interest available on the FRDC’s website and other mediums, rather than to wait for access to be provided following an FOI request.
The FRDC will continue to build and foster a culture within the agency 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 show what information the FRDC intends to publish, how and to whom the information will be published and how the FRDC will otherwise comply with the Information Publication Scheme requirements.
Note: in this plan, information to be published, by the FRDC under the Information Publication Scheme is referred to as the Information Publication Scheme information holdings, or as the Information Publication Scheme documents when referring to individual documents.
The FRDC’s objectives are to outline appropriate mechanisms and procedures to:
- manage the Information Publication Scheme information holdings
- proactively identify and publish all information required to be published
- proactively identify and publish any optional information to be published
- review and ensure on a regular basis that information published under the Information Publication Scheme is accurate, up to date and complete
- ensure that information published under the Information Publication Scheme is easily discoverable, understandable, machine-readable, re-useable and transformable
- ensure satisfactory conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2) (WCAG 2.0).
Establishment and administration of the FRDC’s Information Publication Scheme contribution
The FRDC General Manager Finance & Business is the senior officer responsible for ensuring the FRDC’s compliance with the Information Publication Scheme.
Establishing the FRDC’s IPS contribution by 1 May 2011
The draft facilitates compliance with WCAG 2.0, as it:
- contains links to an accessible version of an IPS document where one is available
- provides contact details for members of the public to request an IPS document that is listed in the information register but is not yet available on the FRDC’s website or to request an alternative version if not available on the website.
The FRDC’s focus was to ensure it published at least a list of the information required under s 8(2) and the ‘optional’ information recommended by the OAIC on its website by 1 May 2011.
Administering information published under the IPS from 1 May 2011
From 1 May 2011, the General Manager Finance & Business will have ongoing overview of the FRDC’s compliance with the FOI Act and the management of ongoing administration of the IPS information holdings.
The information published under the Information Publication Scheme must be ‘accurate, up-to-date and complete’ (s 8B). Information Publication Scheme documents will be reviewed periodically as part of the FRDC’s quality management systems review process.
The FOI page on the FRDC’s website includes information about charges associated with FOI requests, and an explanation for the charge. These charges are consistent with charges in the Freedom of Information (Charges) Regulations 1982 (which generally apply to access requests under Part III of the FOI Act).
Information Publication Scheme information
In accordance with guidance issued by the OAIC, the IPS information holdings available on the FRDC’s website have been published under the following headings:
- Agency plan
- Organisation Structure and contact details
- Who we are and what we do
- Statutory appointments
- Reports and responses to Parliament
- Routinely requested information and disclosure log
- Consultation arrangements
- Our priorities
- Our finances
- Our lists
- Contact us
To ensure that the Information Publication Scheme information holdings (and individual Information Publication Scheme documents) are easily discoverable, understandable and machine-readable, the FRDC has:
- wherever possible, provided online content in a format that can be searched, copied and transformed
- provided a search function for its website.
- established a feedback mechanism to seek and respond to community feedback about the Information Publication Scheme information holdings (and individual Information Publication Scheme documents).
The FRDC will make its Information Publication Scheme documents available and easy to find by providing links to the Information Publication Scheme documents published on the FRDC’s website from the Information Publication Scheme section of the website.
Information required to be published under the Information Publication Scheme
The FRDC has published documents and a list of other documents that are required to be published under the Information Publication Scheme in the Information Publication Scheme section of the website.
Other information we will publish
We will also publish other information that is not exempt under the FOI Act when appropriate to do so. We will publish information relating to our priorities, finances and lists. This information will be linked in our IPS page.
Accessibility under the IPS
The FRDC will ensure that all information published on its website under the Information Publication Scheme will comply with current web content accessibility requirements.
The FRDC’s dedicated IPS section of its website will state that where a document is not yet available in an accessible format, it will be made available in an accessible format on request, by contacting the FOI Officer (whose contact details will be provided).
From commencement of the Information Publication Scheme, the FRDC will publish any new Information Publication Scheme documents as soon as they are available for publication.
The FRDC will ensure that all information newly published on the website conforms with the WCAG 2.0 as soon as possible.
Information Publication Scheme compliance review
The agency plan is a living document, and will be reviewed periodically as part of the FRDC’s quality management systems review process to ensure it remains relevant and to incorporate feedback.
The FRDC will review the operation of its Information Publication Scheme from time to time and at least every five years, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Information Commissioner about Information Publication Scheme compliance review.
Access charges for documents available on request.
Type of request
10 cents per page
Copy (other than photocopy)
$4.40 per page
Copy of the document in the form of a computer tape or a computer disk
An amount not exceeding the actual costs incurred by the FRDC 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